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How you can get first access to 5G devices


Posted on February 4, 2019

2 min read

This article was originally published on January 10, 2019.

I am in Las Vegas for CES, the biggest consumer electronics show in the world, to ensure we are at the forefront of the latest tech for our customers.

5G is a major focus this year and the amount of connected gear on display here is proof our big 5G network rollout and testing is going to deliver major benefits to our customers.

2019 is when the 5G revolution becomes very real and I am excited to announce our customers will soon be at the forefront of 5G device technology, including exclusive access to 5G commercial devices, thanks to a series of partnerships with some of the world’s biggest brands.

Under the partnerships, the devices will be available exclusively through Telstra before any other Australian mobile operator when they are released in the first half of 2019.

Watch this space. These smartphones and devices are coming soon and we will provide further details closer to their release. Once on the market, these 5G-enabled devices will connect to Australia’s first 5G-ready network – our customers’ first opportunity to experience this revolutionary technology.

We are also continuing to hold discussions with other providers and I look forward to providing even more good news for our customers in the near future.

I am also pleased to report we have delivered on our commitment to roll out 200 5G enabled mobile sites across the nation by the end of last year. In fact we did even better, with 207 sites now online, including in every major city and some regional centres.

Telstra has been a world leader in the testing and development of 5G. We continue to work closely with numerous global manufacturing and industry partners to make this revolutionary technology real-world ready and these strategic relationships are now paying off directly for our customers.

CES 2019: What you could soon be driving, riding, even flying

Tech and Innovation

Posted on January 14, 2019

4 min read

How we get around will very soon fundamentally change in a number of ways, and we’re not just talking on the road – it’s in the air and the water too. Your home and work are also set for further shake-ups as robotics technology continues to advance.

Last week in CES, the world’s biggest consumer technology show, the vehicles and robots of the future were unveiled.

They all had different purposes but one thing was the same in all of them – they were connected and 5G will play a major part in powering these new technologies at scale.

Riding into a connected, electric future

When the iconic Hog goes electric, you know it’s a road revolution.

At CES 2019, Harley-Davidson announced it has started taking pre-orders for the LiveWire, its all-electric motorcycle.

The bike will go from 0 to nearly 100 km/h in around 3.5 seconds, with 100 percent of the motor torque available instantly. Unlike regular motorbikes, there’s no clutch or gear shifting – it’s just twist and go – and the famous Harley road roar has been replaced by more of a “zoom” sound.

It also comes with a host of connected features and an app, giving you the ability to check your battery charge remotely and get an alert if someone’s tampering with your ride.

Flying taxis: closer than you might think

You couldn’t miss Bell Air Taxi’s hybrid-electric flying car at CES. Using six tilting ducted fans, it’s designed to take off and land vertically from a rooftop or launch pad.

Initially capable of carrying four passengers and a pilot, the plan is to eventually make them autonomous (self-driving).

The military aircraft manufacturer has partnered with Uber and plans to roll out these air taxis to cities by the “mid-2020s.”

Never leave home, even on the road

When it comes to the cars of the future, dashboards could be replaced by mega touch screens and remain connected to your home, even when you’re out and about.

We’ve all probably been in this situation: you get home and you’re hungry only to find you’re out of bread or that key ingredient. Samsung’s connected car concept at CES allows to you to check what you have at home via their smart fridge so you know whether you need to stop at the shops on the way home.

Meantime, Chinese EV start-up Byton has unveiled an electric car full of screens, including a huge 49-inch screen that spans the entire width of the windshield.

That’s just one of five touch screens, that can show maps, car telematics and entertainment, when in autonomous driving mode of course.

Smart boats making waves

A yacht launched at CES for the first time this year.

The 78-foot Adonis concept by Furrion comes with its own “virtual concierge” voice and facial recognition system, called Angel. As well as allowing you to control the vessel’s lights, blinds, media and climate, she can even deliver an order to the kitchen (because you’ll have your own chef on board, of course!), including reminding them of any dietary restrictions you may have.

Angel is so intuitive, she can even monitor your weight and skin moisture levels (time to hydrate, cool down and swim off some calories).

Robots providing assistance and comfort

There were more than 344 robotics exhibitors this year as a future where robot assistants are common continually comes closer to reality.

This year, they were showcasing assistants that lift, bake, shop, dance, play ping pong, and even help cure loneliness.

Lovot has developed what’s been described as an advanced Furby (remember those) with fur, wheels and flippers as well as sensors that detect touch, thermal cameras, and an impressive range of animated emotions.

LG also showed off concepts specifically developed for use at hotels, airports and supermarkets which deliver food and refreshments, carry luggage and help shoppers find products.

Of course, there was also no shortage of fun and cute robots that dance and do tricks, which have been around for a while but continue to advance and evolve.

The weird, wacky and wonderful tech of CES 2019

Tech and Innovation

Posted on January 11, 2019

4 min read

At CES in Las Vegas every year, we always see a glimpse of the latest and greatest tech that will one day end up in our pockets and in our homes. There’s also some less conventional, more niche gadgets on show – and sometimes those are the most interesting ones!

CES 2019 is full of bleeding-edge tech for your home, your office and your backpack or purse. Some of it is for a very specific purpose, maybe too specific – think pet feeders with facial recognition, belts that measure your waistline, and beds that customise their firmness for your sleeping pattern each night.

Most of the buzz around CES 2019 was about 5G – and this is the year where the talk becomes reality. We’ve got 5G up and running in all major Australian cities, our first 5G device unveiled and exclusive 5G device partnerships on the way, and we’re excited to share more with you soon. But enough about 5G – let’s look at some of CES’s more unconventional products on show.

Your smart home is getting even smarter, and stylish

It was definitely the kitchen and living room that seemed to be getting the most digital attention at this year’s CES. Samsung’s latest Family Hub fridge has a touchscreen tablet built into the door to look up recipes, share notes with family and even order groceries, and KitchenAid had a Google-connected smart display on show that can survive splashes from your exploding banana smoothie. If we had a favourite, though, it would be LG’s 4K OLED TV that rolls up out of the way when it’s not in use.

The other technological innovation that caught our attention – although it doesn’t look particularly high-tech – was Mui, which the gadget’s makers call a ‘Calm Design Device’ but we call a Wi-Fi connected block of wood. Hidden behind that block of wood is a screen that can display the weather, control your speakers or air conditioner, or respond to questions through Google.

The stand-out ‘smart’ home gadget from CES for us this year was the Foldimate, a device that looks like an oversized photocopier. It doesn’t print and collate your documents, though – it folds your shirts and undies. By all accounts it was a bit of a crumpled disaster last year, but the proof is in the video below.

Robots are getting even more helpful

Every man and his robotic dog had some kind of smart electronic assistant on display at CES 2019, each with a different purpose. Many robot manufacturers are touting the power of their machines’ artificial intelligence, and personal care was high on the agenda. Samsung’s Bot Care can take your vital signs and even dispense medication at the right time of day. The Bot Air looks like a garbage bin, but it’s actually a trundling air purifier.

Another robot with an even more therapeutic bent was the Lovot Groove X – just ignore the name – made to forge an emotional connection and “heal your heart” with friendly affectations. It might look like a Furby on steroids, but there’s plenty of studies to show that robots like this can become a genuine friend to those in need.

Robotics also includes autonomous vehicles, using their own cloud-connected smarts and sensors to navigate around our cities and suburbs. Or, as the case may be, around our skies – check out Bell Labs’ Nexus electric air taxi, which boasts nearly 250km of range and a top speed of nearly 250 kilometres per hour.

And, of course, there’s just the straight-up wacky tech of CES, robots and more. Feast your eyes on some of the weirdest gadgets we’ve ever seen on display below, as well as a few 5G prototypes and connected tech from our partners:

Our predictions for 2019’s biggest tech trends

Tech and Innovation

Posted on January 7, 2019

5 min read

As 2019 starts, we are on the cusp of a new wave of high-tech change and innovation. That change will be driven by the rollout of 5G alongside complementary technologies like the Internet of Things, improved artificial intelligence and machine learning. We’ve forecast some of what we think will be the biggest technology trends in 2019, ones that thrive on connectivity.

Vehicle sharing and autonomous cars: Rentable E-scooters will appear in more Australian cities during 2019 making it easy for people to get around – but these services will need to be tracked as they move around to prevent theft and to help business owners operate efficiently. The Cat M and NB-IoT network technologies being used are evolving directly into 5G technologies, and suit the long battery life, deep coverage and meagre data use aspects of this application. E-scooter sharing service Lime has already started operating in Australia.

As we predicted at the start of 2018, autonomous vehicles are enjoying plenty of research and validation both on and off public roads – but these technologies require a huge amount of data to make the decisions that human drivers handle without thinking, and all cars that have access to this data are able to learn from it. Sharing this data in real-time requires high speed, pervasive connectivity – a perfect use case for the extra capacity and performance of 5G services. Autonomous cars alone have the potential to massively disrupt the ‘own to drive’ model of car ownership that has been popular since the invention of the automobile.

‘Pop up’ connected business technology: In 2019, we will see an increasing number of fast 4G and 5G connected devices that will allow businesses to start up without waiting for a wired internet connection or other similar services. Similarly, software as a service (SaaS) and other subscription offerings like Office 365 let businesses spin up digital assets quickly, and easy out-of-the-box payment processing services mean a simple enterprise can start making money quickly. The impact for consumers like you and I may be in greater choice, as it lowers the barrier to entry for new businesses to pop up and test a business concept, or an established business to test out a new location.

Augmented world: Still in their nascent stages, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) have huge potential. Like voice control, both provide a different way for users to interact with technology. Wireless headsets are the ‘holy grail’, and as they move out of the games room, they will require high-speed and reliable mobile connectivity to deliver immersive experiences. In the same way that videoconferencing has made remote working easier for us, AR and VR could revolutionise skills training. As well as augmenting our eyes, “hearables” will augment our ears, and these new wearable devices will allow us to listen to both the world around us as well as modify it, removing sounds or adding music and computer speech. The ‘hearables’ ability to unintrusively mix sound sources will also allow people to continually stream music throughout a day, even while for example interacting with people. This type of constant streaming will benefit from the higher capacities of 5G networks.

Game streaming: ‘Game streaming’ usually conjures up images of professional players on video streaming services like Twitch, but imagine using your laptop to play the latest games using the cloud, not just watch them. There’s a new breed of streaming service on the way that lets low-powered desktop and laptop computers play visually rich video games – and even other 3D-accelerated services like Photoshop – by running computing processes and graphics on a powerful server in a data centre, then ‘streaming’ the resulting video output over the internet to your PC. The key to this is fast and low-latency networks – a perfect application for 5G. We may even see this kind of cloud computing come to smartphone gaming.

Smart city cameras: The widespread high-speed connectivity and support for a massive number of devices transmitting up to the cloud simultaneously that 5G and specialised mobile technology like Cat M and NB-IoT make possible will also allow our cities and towns to get smarter. Where traffic intersections detect cars using sensors embedded in tarmac, but don’t detect waiting pedestrians automatically, imagine a city where the number of pedestrians needing to cross a road affects the speed at which traffic lights operate. If you extrapolate that one example to other ways in which smart cameras can be used, like detecting commuter numbers to better influence public transport development, an entire new world of possibilities – powered by 5G – is revealed.

5G and foldable phones: There are more than a few 5G phones on the horizon, and 2019 looks to be the year that they will start filtering out of research and development laboratories into customers’ hands. 5G is faster than the current leading 4G standard, but also allows for many more devices to stream HD video at the same time – especially important when we’re seeing a consistent increase in the number of devices on our networks, even before any of the new use cases for 5G and complementary technology like the Internet of Things have been explored. We’re also seeing a few prototypes and rumours of foldable touchscreen smartphones, with the most straightforward concept being a dual-screen ‘folio’ that only takes up the space of a regular smartphone, with twice the display real estate and the potential for new apps and functions to be developed, and the increased number of pixels will drive even more demand for 5G bandwidth.

Work and play with the Microsoft Surface Go 4G LTE


Posted on December 21, 2018

4 min read

The new Microsoft Surface Go 4G LTE is the perfect companion for mobile professionals, students, or families on the go. Combining performance and portability in one highly functional device, it has all the benefits of the Surface family of Windows PCs in a smaller and more affordable package. We’re proud to be Microsoft’s first telco partner in Australia to range the Surface Go 4G LTE with our latest tablet plans for consumers and businesses.

We know that on any given day, you might want to switch between different roles instantaneously, whether you’re commuting to work or catching up with friends or family. Australians are becoming more mobile than ever, and the Surface Go 4G LTE removes the dependence on Wi-Fi hotspots or home broadband so you can work from the outdoors as easily as the office.

With the Microsoft Surface Go 4G LTE on Telstra, you’ll have the perfect portable productivity device on Australia’s fastest and most reliable mobile network*, giving you the convenience to switch on and start working wherever whenever you need to. With the built-in connectivity of a 4G LTE SIM, you could run your small business remotely or stream your favourite TV shows and movies without relying on Wi-Fi.

At the heart of our new approach for small business is choice and flexibility – both critical elements for success in today’s fast-paced business environment. Our partnership with Microsoft on the Surface Go 4G LTE provides our customers the choice of adding powerful and portable technology to our flexible Business Choice mobile and tablet plans. It’s a great combination that enables businesses to be more productive, more mobile and more connected than ever.

As part of the partnership, Telstra consumer customers can purchase the Surface Go 4G LTE on a $65/month plan (for 24 months, min cost $1,560), with 40GB data (25GB + 15GB bonus) on Telstra’s mobile network with no excess data usage charges# in Australia.

Telstra Small Business customers can also purchase the 128GB Surface Go 4G LTE with Windows 10 Home on a $65/month plan with 30GB of shareable data (for 24 months, min cost $1,560) or the 256GB Surface Go LTE with Windows 10 Pro on a $85/month plan with 30GB of shareable data (for 24 months, min cost $2,040).

Additionally, for the first time, Telstra small business customers can get the Surface Go 4G LTE on a tablet plan with no lock-in contract and no excess data charges in Australia.# This means small businesses can scale their mobile needs up and down from month-to-month, in line with the growth of their business or peak periods.

If you’re looking to escape the ordinary – whether that’s to run your business or just for fun – then the Surface Go 4G LTE will be there with you, whatever the task.

Things you need to know:

* All references to Australia’s fastest network are based on national average combined 3G/4G mobile speeds.

Telstra Mobile Network offers 4GX in all major and regional cities and in over 1,600 towns and communities around Australia. In other coverage areas in Australia, you’ll automatically switch to our fastest available 3G or 4G. Speeds vary for reasons like location, distance from base stations, terrain, user numbers, hardware/software configuration, download source and upload destination. If multiple users connect to a Wi-Fi device, speeds will be less. Check coverage at

# Peace of Mind Data: After your Included Data allowance, data speeds capped at 1.5Mbps (which is not suitable for HD video or high speed applications, and means that some webpages, video/social media content and files may take longer to load) and slowed further during busy periods. For personal use in a smartphone only. FairPlay Policy applies. For use in Australia.