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Tag: 5g

Switching on our 10,000th mobile network site in Toowoomba

Network 5G

Posted on March 19, 2019

3 min read

We turned on our 10,000th mobile network site today in Toowoomba, Queensland. The site will not only provide better coverage to our customers in the area but it is also a milestone achievement for us; one that represents our commitment to offer connectivity to as many Australians as possible.


Telstra – then Telecom – launched 1G in Sydney back in 1987 with just 14 base stations. Today, the Telstra Mobile Network covers more than 2.5 million square kilometres – vastly more than any other mobile network in Australia – and offers coverage to 99.5 per cent of the Australian population.

We have come a long way.

Not only is our network getting bigger, it is getting faster and smarter. The new base station in Toowoomba includes the very latest technology as part of our 5G program.

We’ve been able to successfully connect the LG G7 ThinQ to our 5G network.

Since passing 200 5G-enabled sites at the end of last year, our roll-out of 5G has continued in the major city CBDs with the plans to extend to a 2-kilometre radius of coverage from each city centre.

Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth CBD roll-outs are already well progressed, as are Launceston and Hobart, and we are in the process of extending coverage in the CBDs of Sydney (including some coverage in Parramatta CBD) and Melbourne as we work towards the launch of our first 5G mobile devices.

Toowoomba has been at the heart of this – as the first regional centre where we introduced 5G capability. Indeed, with more than 100 5G mobile sties now installed in Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Toowoomba – and with the region playing host to our 5G Innovation Centre (where a number of 5G world firsts were achieved) as well as our first 5G customer trial – Queensland could be considered the 5G capital of the world.

Our network coverage milestones

1987: Telecom, now Telstra, launches 1G (AMPS) in Sydney and Melbourne.
1993: Telstra launches 2G.
2006: Telstra launches 3G.
2010: Telstra connects its 7000th base station.
2011: Telstra is the first operator in Australia to commercially launch 4G LTE.
2012: Telstra switches on its 1000th 4G site.
2013: Telstra’s 4G coverage reaches more than 85% of the Australian population, including 300 regional towns.
2015: Telstra’s mobile network coverage passes 2.4 million square kilometres, reaching 94% of the Australian population.
2017: Telstra’s 4G coverage extends to 99% of the Australian population and more than 1.4 million square kilometres. It is also announced that Cat M1 compatibility across the entire 4GX footprint has been switched on.
2018: Telstra Mobile Network coverage passes more than 2.5 million square kilometres. 4GX is made available to over 99% of the Australian population and Telstra commences its 5G roll-out, with over 200 5G-enabled mobile sites completed by 31 December 2018.
2019: Telstra connects its 10,000th mobile network site.

Tags: 5g, networks,

Unlocking the potential of Australia’s low-altitude airspace

Tech and Innovation 5G

Posted on March 6, 2019

3 min read

We’re partnering with Thales to imagine a safe and secure ecosystem for the management of Australia’s low-altitude airspace.

Our partnership with Thales aims to make it safer for manned aviation vehicles and drones to collaborate and share airspace.

In recent years, drones have become incredibly popular for recreational and commercial use, but the technical capability to monitor and safely coordinate airspace traffic between drones and general aviation has not taken off as quickly.

Australia’s general and commercial aviation industry already has regulation and a robust technology platform to manage the airspace that passenger aircraft fly in. We want to bring that level of safety and security to low-altitude airspace to enable both recreational drone enthusiasts and commercial UAV operators to fly their craft with peace of mind. This type of system could also inform general aviation of the locations and intended flight paths of drones.

We’ve been exploring the potential of our 4G and 5G mobile technology, and our extensive long-range IoT networks, to enable monitoring of all kinds of vehicles in low-altitude airspace. We see a future where a drone operator might be able to simply plan and prepare a flight through an app on their phone and where authorities have the ability to dynamically open and close airspace using temporary flight restrictions if necessary.

The prototype air traffic control platform that we are developing with Thales, called Low Altitude Airspace Management (or LAAM), is capable of integrating both manned and unmanned aerial vehicles and providing automated drone flight approvals, amongst other features. The platform can also provide near-real-time notifications, which is helpful in managing dynamic, high-traffic areas. In situations where a drone pilot needs to change course to make room for a first responder such as a helicopter ambulance, near-real-time notifications enable the instructions to be relayed to the drone efficiently and safely. Our work with Thales will also allow the development of new products, services, and innovations in the UAV industry.

There are extraordinary opportunities for the widespread take-up of unmanned aerial vehicles in Australia. To unlock this potential, we are investigating how we can use our 4G and 5G mobile technology and IoT capabilities to make secure and reliable communication, navigation and monitoring of UAVs possible. Our work with Thales on LAAM, underpinned by continuous investment in and improvement of our networks around the country, proves that it’s possible for manned flights and UAVs to operate together effectively and safely in our skies.

Tags: 5g, Drones, IoT,

Why AI is good for us, and good for business

Tech and Innovation

Posted on March 1, 2019

3 min read

Not a day goes by without a headline about artificial intelligence, or AI. Whether it’s another breakthrough in capability, a prediction about big economic changes, or even killer robots and impending doom – we are fascinated by what this technology may hold.

I am a technology optimist, and after decades of working with technology companies in Australia, Europe and the US, I can see huge potential in AI.

There are many types of work that AI might always struggle with, particularly where instinct, experience and inference matter most.

However, there is one area in which it can clearly make a huge difference – putting our overwhelming amounts of data to good use.

Data growth, AI and IoT

Look at almost any part of our economy – healthcare, transport, logistics, agriculture, education or engineering – and you’ll see that we measure, monitor, video and track more things than ever before. The boom in Internet of Things (IoT) means sensors and other low-power gadgets are being used in huge and increasing quantities. For instance, we can monitor the location, performance and the condition of drivers and cargo in every truck on our roads. Or monitor and manage precious natural resources like fresh drinking water.

This has created a tsunami of data and the volume will increase exponentially as technologies like 5G and cloud computing become commonplace. With more data than people know what to do with, AI’s enormous analytical capacity can deliver insights and help us make good decisions.

Why AI is good for us, and good for business

AI capability on a reliable network

But before AI can help, all this data needs to travel across a network from where it is collected to where it is analysed and acted on. And the larger, safer and more reliable and more capacity a network has, the better. Luckily, this is what Telstra is famous for. Our Narrowband-IoT network provides more than 3.5 million square kilometres of coverage for NBIoT sensors and devices. Our mobile network connects around 18 million phones, tables and other services. And our international subsea cable network stretches for more than 400,000 km, carrying about one-third of all internet traffic in the Asia Pacific region.

To make sure our networks can run smoothly, we constantly monitor its performance. This generates a huge amount of data – 151 terabytes each day, or at least a terabyte of data every 10 minutes! This volume of data will grow over time as more people and devices are connected.

Our Next Gen Operations Support System already parses, enriches and analyses this ocean of data to provide actionable intelligence and insight into the current health of the entire network. Our ambition is to create an even smarter network, one that can use AI to make decisions to avoid failures before they happen, self-heal in order to keep the network stable, and present people with the data visualisation and recommendations on the most complex and critical problems.

The challenge of our digital age is that we can see plenty of problems, and we are collecting an ocean of data about them, but human capacity alone cannot deliver the solution. In short, these are the perfect challenges for AI to help us solve.

We’re working with CBA and Ericsson to bring 5G to banking

Tech and Innovation 5G

Posted on February 25, 2019

3 min read

In an industry first, we’re collaborating with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Ericsson to explore and trial 5G ‘edge computing’ technology for financial services – giving you a glimpse of the bank of the future.

Our collaboration with the Commonwealth Bank and Ericsson is the first of its kind in Australia to bring technology providers and the financial services sector together in exploring 5G edge computing use cases and network architectures. We intend to test end-to-end banking solutions over 5G – showcasing what the bank of the future might look like, and exploring how 5G edge compute can reduce the network infrastructure required at individual bank branches.

What does 5G edge compute technology enable?

5G edge compute will allow us to discover more ways to access and interact with financial institutions in ways we haven’t even explored yet. For example, your face and fingerprints could be used in the future to verify and confirm your identity faster and more securely. You might be able to walk into a bank, scan your face/finger and immediately withdraw or deposit your money and walk straight out – providing a faster and more secure way to access your money.

Further to this, the potential of 5G edge compute might mean something as simple as faster transactions when paying for your groceries at a wireless payment terminal, or a more secure, personalised experience when using an ATM by not having to use your PIN number.

That’s what the technology behind 5G edge compute makes possible, and we’re working with Commonwealth Bank and Ericsson to see what’s possible in the banking sector. It has the potential to transform banking, and to deliver innovation to the financial services sector in a faster and more efficient manner.

Commonwealth Bank, Ericsson and Telstra

5G edge computing is all about bringing the network closer to the user or application. For financial institutions like Commonwealth Bank, it will help to enhance existing banking applications as well as deliver new use cases such as artificial intelligence, all supported by a range of software defined networking solutions.

Our earliest work with Commonwealth Bank and Ericsson will examine the process of simplifying the network operations and complexity required at individual bank branches, and will explore optimal 5G coverage solutions and provide more flexibility for bank locations.

These trials will provide valuable lessons and insights for us, too, as we continue to deploy 5G and explore further options with a range of partners and assess the potential for edge computing in telecommunications across many industry verticals.

Tags: 5g, mobile, mwc, MWC 2019,

We’re bringing exclusive 5G devices to you, first

Devices 5G

Posted on February 25, 2019

3 min read

We have partnered with some of the world’s leading 5G smartphone manufacturers to bring you exclusive and first-to-market access to brand new 5G devices as soon as they are released.

These exclusive partnerships mean you’ll have access to a range of 5G smartphones on the Telstra mobile network before any other Australian mobile operator, when those devices are released in the first half of 2019.

We’re 5G ready, right now. We started rolling out 5G technology across Australia back in August, and we’ve been working from that time with major mobile brands and leading manufacturers of 5G smartphones to bring you these innovative devices first, as well as giving you a variety of products to choose from.

Over the recent days, we’ve made a series of 5G device announcements:

The Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, with its 6.7-inch screen, bigger, faster-charging battery and an all-new camera experience, will be available first through Telstra when the smartphone is launched in Australia. Plus, if you purchase a Samsung Galaxy S10+ through us, you’ll be able to upgrade to the 5G-capable Galaxy S10 5G at no extra cost when it is released.

The LG V50 ThinQ, with an innovative design, 6.4-inch screen and long-lasting 4000mAh battery, will be available first through Telstra when it launches in Australia.

Our device partner Oppo has also announced its global plans for 5G, and we can confirm that you’ll have access to Oppo’s first 5G handset through us when it launches in Australia.

These announcements also follow our demonstration in December of the HTC 5G Hub, which we expect to make available exclusively to our customers in the coming months.

Andy Penn and Oppo at Mobile World Congress 2019

Why we’re first on 5G

Our push to be first on 5G is happening for a reason. Traffic on our mobile network has continued to soar by around 40 per cent year-on-year, which is why we are focused on delivering a superior 5G mobile service to our customers first and foremost, and in high demand areas.

Our 5G rollout aims to bring the technology to areas where it matters most, especially when you’re out and about. Our current 5G network footprint focuses on CBDs and selected regional centres that over 4 million people live, work or pass through every day, but throughout 2019 we’ll be extending our 5G footprint even further to cover more cities, more regional areas, and more traffic hotspots.

As well as being the largest and fastest mobile network* in the country, we’re the first to be 5G ready. In the last six months, we’ve switched on 5G technology across parts of Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra, Brisbane Adelaide, Perth, Hobart, Launceston, the Gold Coast and Toowoomba, and that rollout is continuing into 2019. As well as being the largest and fastest mobile network* in the country, we’re the first to be 5G ready.

We’ve been 5G ready for some time, and we’re now even closer to having 5G-compatible devices available for you to enjoy.

*Based on national average mobile speeds