Devices |

CES 2021: get ready for a big year of 5G

By Luke Hopewell January 21, 2021

We’re on a roll with 5G, with more places covered now than ever. This year’s Consumer Electronics Show was loaded with incredible new gear powered by 5G.

New fast flagship smartphones

Amid the flurry of news at CES, Samsung announced its incredible new flagship smartphone series: the Galaxy S21.

The next-gen Galaxy range consists of three devices, all with 5G connectivity, beautiful screens, incredible cameras and monster specs.

The top-of-the-line Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G also features support for the excellent Samsung S Pen, so you can be even more productive on the go.

To check out the full range, check out our first-look on Telstra Exchange.

5G smartphones for less

Not all 5G phones have to be expensive flagships, however. At CES this year, chipmaker Qualcomm announced its new family of Snapdragon 480 processors.

The Snapdragon 480 family has the X51 modem built right in, which means it’s a perfect system on a chip (SoC) for the next generation of 5G devices. And most importantly, it’s a cheaper piece of hardware.

That means you can expect to see 5G come to even more affordable smartphones in the next 12 months and beyond.

Faster work on the go

Laptops have been beefing up their batteries and screens for years to become brilliant mobile productivity sidekicks. Now with the addition of 5G, they’re even better.

A number of manufacturers have announced new, razor-thin and incredibly powerful 5G-enabled laptops joining the range in the near future.

Lenovo’s classic ThinkPad X1 lineup is now blessed with the speed you need, with the X1 Titanium Yoga now coming in a 5G flavour. At just over a kilogram in weight and sporting a 13.5-inch 2K display, it’s a great new flagship. Plus it packs in a fingerprint reader and an IR camera for fast and secure sign-in.

HP is also getting in on the action, with the HP Elite Dragonfly range bringing in not one, but two 5G capable models across its 2021 range. And as a built-in safety feature for the occasionally careless, the new HP Elite Dragonfly range has a Tile tracker built-in so you won’t misplace it easily.

And even if you can’t find the right laptop complete with 5G, there are always 5G-compatible modems and smart hubs to give you the speed you need on the go.

The network to back it up

Telstra 5G now works in more places than ever. One in two Australians now live, work and travel in our 5G footprint, and we’re only getting bigger and better from here.

By the end of June 2021, we’re aiming to have 5G coverage for 75 per cent of the Australian population.

Check our website for coverage, and to find out more about when this awesome tech will be available near you.

5G | Network |

Breaking the 5G speed barrier with new records

By Nikos Katinakis January 20, 2021

We love records. They’re a milestone. A route marker. Records tell us what’s next when it comes to performance, especially for our incredible 5G network, which has just shattered another: a whopping download speed of 5Gbps for a single user on the commercial network.

Working closely with our friends from Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and Ericsson, we reached this new maximum download speed at our 5G Innovation Centre on the Gold Coast just before Christmas.

This new milestone represents Telstra’s approach to network leadership. Records set in the production network today are part of Telstra’s constant evolution towards better connectivity and more advanced network capabilities delivering the best possible user experience for our customers. The learnings from delivering these speeds assist us in optimising the wider scale deployment of the technology.

This is the second time in three months that we have set a new download speed record. Just three months ago we clocked 4.2Gbps, also using 5G mmWave technologies. That record represented a doubling of our previous capacity and speed, and our work with mmWave indicates we’re not done breaking boundaries yet.

We believe mmWave is the next important iteration of 5G, technology that will take 5G to the next level, something we have been testing and working with the global ecosystem partners on Australia’s intended frequency (26GHz) since 2017. We have come a long way from the customised equipment we used back then and this achievement is truly world leading.

It is this mmWave technology that we expect to roll out to our customers in 2021 following the auction of spectrum licenses and the growth in availability of mmWave compatible handsets and other devices.

Behind the scenes, we are continuing to work on mmWave and other 5G technologies such as 5G Standalone (5G SA) to make sure that our customers are among the first in the world to benefit from these incredible speeds and network capabilities.

It is for this reason that we are thrilled to have yet again set a new maximum download speed record, as we continue to build our new network and position ourselves for a big 2021, powered by 5G.

For the tech-heads out there, the new record was achieved on the live 5G network by using the Ericsson Radio System complete base station for millimeter wave (mmWave), the Streetmacro 6701 aggregating 800MHz of mmWave spectrum with a 4G LTE anchor band. It was conducted on a 5G smartphone form factor mobile test device, powered by the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ X60 5G Modem-RF System with 3rd generation Qualcomm® QTM535 mmWave antenna modules. The smartphone form factor has a few more options for us to test with and download software.

We’re excited to use this tech and more gear from our 5G Innovation Centre to shatter more global records soon.

Things you need to know

Qualcomm and Snapdragon are trademarks or registered trademarks of Qualcomm Incorporated.

Qualcomm Snapdragon and Qualcomm QTM535 are products of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

Entertainment |

CES 2021: what’s next for gaming?

By Luke Hopewell January 19, 2021

Just because next-gen consoles launched in 2020 doesn’t mean the gaming innovations are over yet. We’ve been at the virtual CES 2021 to find the best in gaming for your next round.

The annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas is all happening online this year. Nevertheless, the gadgets and announcements have been coming thick and fast.

New form factors

Consoles like the Switch showed us that gaming is no longer constrained to a controller, mouse or keyboard. It’s all about new and immersive platforms that can work anywhere.

That’s what Lenovo and NEC want to do with the LaVie Mini: create a PC gaming device that works exactly like everyone’s favourite Nintendo portable. Powered by an Intel 11th Gen Core processor and featuring a 1920 x 1200 8-inch display, this may be the portable gaming PC of the future.

And if you want to really shake up your gaming experience, maybe something like Razer’s Project Brooklyn is for you?

Project Brooklyn is an all-in-one gaming station that allows you to slide into a purpose-built gaming chair, complete with integrated tray table and curved monitor. Both the aforementioned accessories slide into place to suit you, and it’s truly immersive.

Next-gen visuals

It’s all about the refresh rate on high-end monitors. 120Hz is great for making everything buttery smooth, but what if you had 360Hz to make everything look like real life before your eyes?

That’s what Asus has with its new ROG Swift 360Hz: a 24.5-inch display that updates its image 360 times per second. That’s six times as often as a 60Hz monitor for smoother gameplay.

Asus also announced the 43-inch ROG Strix XG43UQ which has 4K, 144Hz and HDMI 2.1, so if you have recently purchased a next-gen gaming console like the Xbox Series X, this is the display you want to play it on.

The world’s best-looking gaming laptops from Razer are also getting powerful updates. Both a 15- and 17-inch model are getting great spec bumps for this year, with NVIDIA G-Sync compatible 1440p QHD displays and new graphics chips onboard.

Elsewhere in the gaming laptop world, Asus; Lenovo Legion, and MSI are all getting their big boosts of their own.

Faster experiences with 5G

5G will make good on the promise of a truly connected entertainment experience, delivering speeds and network capacity we’d only previously dreamed of. We predict that when 5G reaches its peak it could be 10x faster than the current 5G speeds enabling a download of a HD movie in around a second. 5G also improves latency (lag time) helping you play games faster and improve video calls and other entertainment technologies.

Telstra 5G is getting better every single day. As more and more sites come online, we’re bringing the promise of future gaming to Aussies in more places than ever before.

In a world where every millisecond counts, the ultra-low latency capabilities of 5G will greatly enhance the experience on mobile devices. And as gaming platforms and with cloud gaming machines host content at the mobile edge, the quality of mobile games is set to skyrocket.

We’re working to build experiences on the back of our incredible 5G this year, including a massive upgrade to the future of the Marvel Stadium experience, and a partnership with Fortress to build out great gaming moments.

Check out where our 5G is live right now, and where it’s set to be deployed next on our Mobile Coverage Maps, and learn more about Telstra 5G on our website.

Telstra News |

Samsung Galaxy S21 range: the next-gen Galaxy is here

By Luke Hopewell January 15, 2021

The Samsung Galaxy S21 range has landed. It takes the Galaxy experience to new heights, and we’ve got all the details; pricing and special deals you need to make it great.

Next-level specs

This year’s Galaxy S21 is bigger and better than ever. There are three models available to cater for all your screen-loving needs. And all the devices – from the Galaxy S21 5G through to the Galaxy S21+ 5G, right up to the flagship Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G feel great in the hand.

Each device in the range is powered by the fastest processor ever in a Galaxy for a supercharged 5G experience, and a choice of either 128GB or 256GB of storage1.

The range starts with the Samsung Galaxy S21 5G, with a 6.2-inch Infinity-O display. Don’t be fooled, though: just because it’s the smallest in the range doesn’t mean it skimps on the awesome features. The Galaxy S21 5G display features an adaptive 120Hz refresh rate for incredibly smooth streaming and gaming on the go, and a massive 4000mAh battery2 complete with 25W super fast charging (25W charger sold separately) and wireless powershare.

The Galaxy S21 5G also features a triple rear camera with Night Mode and gorgeous 8K video recording3. You even get 3x optical zoom and 30x Space Zoom 2.04 so you don’t miss a thing.

The Galaxy S21+ 5G is slightly larger, with its 6.7-inch Infinity-O display complete with 120Hz adaptive refresh rate for that all-important smoothness. It packs in the same triple rear camera with Night Mode and 8K video recording3, but beefs up the battery to 4800mAh2.

At the top of the range is the Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G, with all the trimmings.

It features a camera with the highest resolution on a Samsung Galaxy smartphone at a whopping 108-megapixels. It also features four lenses, advanced Night Mode and that brilliant 8K Video Recording3. There’s also a dual-zoom system with a 10x optical zoom, and the incredible 100x Space Zoom 2.04 system alongside it.

Optical zoom looks great on the gorgeous screens, and the Galaxy S21 range really puts the “pro” in Pro-Grade Cameras. The impressive hardware gives way to some awesome software, designed to help photographers and creators at all levels get the shot. From smart modes that take the guesswork out of shooting, through to Director’s Mode which activates an on-device multi-cam setup that makes creating vlogs easy. Along with multiple microphone support and Telstra’s fast 5G5 network for faster uploads, the Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G is a new standard for content creators.

All that tech fits under a 6.8-inch screen with the adaptive 120Hz display, and it’s powered by a 5000mAh battery2 to keep you going and going.

Security across the range is taken care of with improved ultrasonic in-screen fingerprint readers directly built in, Facial Recognition and Samsung KNOX and each model comes in a range of new colours.

But what’s really awesome is the addition of an old favourite into the Galaxy S line-up.

Meet the S Pen, all over again

That’s right: the Galaxy S21 Ultra is the first model to support Samsung’s S Pen stylus. The S Pen, typically a hallmark of the Samsung Galaxy Note range, is an incredibly powerful tool that lets you express yourself creatively and get more done on the go.

The S Pen (sold separately to the Galaxy S21 Ultra) features a smooth writing experience features a smoother writing experience and allows you to really make the most out of your device.

You can handwrite notes; edit excel documents; annotate images and screenshots and so much more on the go.

It’s a larger S Pen than we’re used to, which feels great in the hand.

And, if you’re upgrading from an older compatible Note model, it reduces the e-waste as you can reuse your S Pen again!

Fast 5G right out of the box

5G is here to stay, and the Galaxy S21 range really cements it with an all-5G lineup. Don’t worry if you’re not in a 5G area, either: the device still features 4G/3G connectivity also.

We’re now in more places than ever with Telstra 5G, so you can experience the true power of the Galaxy S21, S21+ and S21 Ultra 5G out of the box5. Check our website for coverage, and to find out more about when this awesome tech will be available near you.

Availability and special offers

We’re excited to carry the Samsung Galaxy S21 range on our incredible network.

We’ll be stocking:

Outright MRO 12-months MRO 24-months
Samsung Galaxy S21 5G 128GB $1248 $104 $52
Samsung Galaxy S21 5G 256GB $1344 $112 $56
Samsung Galaxy S21+ 5G 128GB $1536 $128 $64
Samsung Galaxy S21+ 5G 256GB $1632 $136 $68
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G 128GB $1848 $154 $77
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G 256GB $1944 $162 $81

Pre-orders open from 8am (AEST) on 15 Jan 2021. The devices will hit the shelves at 9am (AEST) on 28 January 2021.

To the pre-orders go the spoils! If you pre-order the Samsung Galaxy S21 5G or Galaxy S21+ 5G before 11:59pm on 28 January 2021 (AEST), you’ll get the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live in Mystic White included (RRP $319). Pre-order the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G before 11:59pm on 28 January 2021 (AEST) and you’ll get the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro in Phantom Silver (RRP $349).

Those who purchase a Samsung Galaxy S21 series handset our flexible XL Plan will save big too. If you take up a $115 XL plan, you’ll receive a $50 bill credit for 12 months. That’s a saving of $600, and a whopping $180GB of included data per month for $65.

And if you trade-in your old eligible Samsung device, you can get up to $600 credit on your bill when traded in at Telstra6.

Finally, if you find a better deal on your Samsung Galaxy S21 series device, let us know within 7 days and we’ll credit the difference back to your bill. That’s our 7-Day Price Match at work! Find out more about Price Match on Telstra.com.

Things you need to know:

  1. User cannot access entire memory capacity due to pre-installed content.
  2. Rated (i.e. minimum) battery capacity. Actual battery capacity value may vary. 25W charger required and is sold separately.
  3. To view videos in 8K quality, a compatible 8K device is required (sold separately)
  4. Space Zoom includes digital zoom which may cause image deterioration​
  5. 5G: Telstra currently offers 5G in selected areas and is progressively rolling it out to other areas. To find out more about Telstra 5G, check here or ask in store.
  6. Trade-in: To be eligible for the trade-in program, you must be aged 18+, with a Telstra consumer or small business billing account starting with 2000.
Telstra 5G network at 50 per cent
5G | Network | Telstra News |

One in two Aussies now covered by Telstra 5G

By Channa Seneviratne January 14, 2021

We’re all about setting bold resolutions for the new year, and we’ve already ticked a big one off our list right out of the gate. More than 50 per cent of Australia’s population now live inside of our 5G coverage footprint. And we’re not done yet: we’re aiming for 75 per cent population coverage before the end of June 2021.

From Bunbury to Berri; Cowell to Corowa; Warrnambool to Wagga Wagga, and hundreds of places in between, more Aussies than ever can get access to the rollout of our 5G service thanks to this new 50% coverage milestone.

That means these customers now have access to the nation’s largest 5G footprint, which will revolutionise the way that we live, work and stay entertained. Telstra 5G represents a massive leap forward in our speeds, data capacity and the number of devices we can connect at once. And while it’s impressive now, it’s only going to get better.

Reaching 50% of the Australian population is a massive milestone. Especially as our customers have told us that strong coverage is their number one priority.

But there’s still more work to be done to make sure that more people can get onto our awesome 5G experience.

We already have more than 750,000 5G devices on our network, and we’re adding thousands more every week.

We’re continuing to rollout Telstra 5G to 75 per cent of the population by June 2021. It’s an aggressive target, but we’re sure we can hit it for our customers.

This next milestone will ensure more Aussies living in big cities, regional centres and country towns will be covered compared to any other telco.

You can find out more about 5G coverage, our 5G enabled plans and devices and how to connect to the future on Telstra.com.