Network |

Celebrating faster speeds and more capacity on our network

By Chris Meissner September 29, 2020

COVID-19 has put pressure on network bandwidth around the world. The need for more data in more places means that networks have their work cut out for them. But we’re not about to buckle under that pressure. Not when a nation depends on us to ferry their bits and bytes around faster and to more places than ever before. Instead, we’ve brought forward critical work to increase the capacity and the speed of our transport network – with some whopping results.

With the help of our friends at Ericsson and Ciena, we’ve been able to improve our optical transmission network (essentially the big pipes that carry internet traffic between data centres and major cities), to deliver speeds of up to 400Gbps between data centres, up from 100Gbps just a year ago.

What this means is more speed for the next-generation of applications, connectivity and technology. The network is geared for 5G, cloud computing, high-definition video streaming and calling, as well as futuristic applications like edge-computing.

And we’re doing it all with lower power and hardware consumption which helps contribute to our carbon emission targets.

By upgrading our optical transmission networks with 400Gbps technology, Telstra will be able to cater for capacity demands of up to 400 per cent of what was previously achievable. The upgrade enables us to rapidly deliver services to customers at scale without fibre builds, decreasing the time to market from weeks, to days.

This work to upgrade our optical transmission network was always on the cards as part of our Networks for the Future program, but we’ve rapidly accelerated the deployment with our partners due to COVID-19. People need more speed and reliability now, and we’re not about to make them wait!

In fact, we’re not even finished yet. Today we stand at 400Gbps transfer speeds between data centres – some at a distance of hundreds of kilometres away. But we’ve already successfully trialled faster and more efficient bandwidth at a speed of 700Gbps over 1000km between capital cities. The work of creating a faster, smarter and more efficient network for Aussies is never done.

Data is one of the world’s most valuable currencies, especially in the age of COVID-19 when workforces are more distributed than ever, online education is more prevalent than ever, and remote connectivity is vital for everything from healthcare to entertainment.

The need for speed over the next decade is very real, and we’re excited to be on the cutting edge for our customers.

Unveiling our first 5G device, after a year of network evolution
5G |

We’ve smashed another speed record with mmWave 5G

By Nikos Katinakis September 24, 2020

Together with Ericsson, we’ve set a new network speed record achieving peak download speeds of 4.2Gbps on a 5G mmWave data call.

This accomplishment represents a doubling of previous capacity and speeds and reinforces our position as one of the leaders in mmWave and 5G technology globally.

This result was achieved on our commercial network at the Telstra 5G Innovation Centre in Queensland using a mobile test platform, an Ericsson Radio System base-station, Ericsson’s Network Software and Ericsson core network. The tests combined eight 100MHz channels using 2×2 MIMO and 64QAM technologies.

The Telstra 5G Wi-Fi Pro – the only mmWave compatible device currently available for purchase in Australia – was put through similar tests and achieved a network record of its own when it clocked 200Mbps on the uplink, as part of the same testing.

The Telstra 5G Wi-Fi Pro test was carried out using mmWave in Telstra’s commercial network and used the latest 8 carrier x 100MHz aggregation software (8cc) for the device.

Just two years on from our 2Gbps speed demonstration at Mobile World Congress, we’ve more than doubled our existing network peak speed record as we deploy 5G and ready ourselves for the rollout of mmWave technologies in 2021.

mmWave spectrum will go to auction next year and will bring with it massive capacity over short ranges – making it ideal for high bandwidth applications that require a guaranteed level of throughput.

Even though spectrum isn’t yet on sale, we already have mmWave sites live on our network for testing and optimisation.

Over the last 18 months, we have laid solid foundations for our 5G service. We now have more than 1500 Telstra 5G sites on-air across selected areas of 53 cities and towns. More than 1000 suburbs nationally have more than 50% 5G coverage and we’re working towards having 75% of the population covered with Telstra 5G by July 2021.

Furthermore, our 5G was recently ranked #1 by Ookla for average 5G download speeds* in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide and by Umlaut for 5G speeds and availability in all 8 of the tested cities (Brisbane, Toowoomba, Gold Coast, Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Adelaide & Perth).

mmWave will add another level to Australia’s best 5G and we are pleased to be working with our partners such as Ericsson, innovating at the cutting edge of mobile technology.

Things you need to know

*Based on analysis by Ookla® of Speedtest Intelligence® data for Q2 2020 average 5G download speeds in Australia. Ookla trademarks used under license and reprinted with permission.

Telstra Underground Private LTE Mining Services Networks
Telstra Vantage™ |

We’re building one of the world’s largest underground LTE networks for digital mining

By Jeannette McGill September 4, 2019

We want to use the vast array of technology at our fingertips today to help businesses be more productive and efficient. That’s why we’re excited to announce a new partnership with South32 for a private 4G LTE network at their North West Queensland mine.

Right now, we’re in pre-deployment stage at the South32 Cannington underground silver, lead and zinc mine. The network will drive improved safety, automation and mechanisation at the site and will connect staff to vehicles and sensors around the mine at all times. The high throughput and low latency offered by the system means that staff will be able to control critical equipment without interruption, and South32’s digitalisation strategy will be achievable throughout the mine.

By adopting 4G LTE underground, the Cannington mine will be able to achieve better operating transparency, condition monitoring and production improvements for staff, machines and other mining systems, driving safety, productivity and efficiency.

We’ll be building an initial underground network 6.5kms in length using a private, virtualised core and LTE radio technologies distributed over leaky feeder cable using LTE-capable bi-directional amplifiers. Our analysis indicates this to be the most effective solution for underground miners and is capable of adapting to the unique geology and composition of the Cannington mine. It enables access to the latest advances in 4G LTE and NB-IoT, and is also upgradeable to 5G in the future.

The network being private means that it will be a completely standalone mobile network, independent from others, like Telstra’s own public network. South32 Cannington will have its own equipment, SIM cards and unique network codes for full autonomy and complete control.

Providing a modern connectivity platform will allow for more flexible operations as well as scalability and choice in applying various digital solutions. The combination of Ericsson mobile network equipment, Telstra radio spectrum, and leaky feeder solutions from specialist manufacturer METStech provides a unique capability that has made extending LTE underground a more commercially realistic and safer prospect.

At its full deployment, it’ll become one of the largest underground mining LTE networks in the world using leaky feeder. We’re excited to help drive South32’s Cannington mine further with this new private network, as it looks to pay dividends to safety, productivity and more.

If you want to catch a glimpse of the technology behind this build, make sure to visit the Ericsson stand at Telstra Vantage in Melbourne on 4 and 5 September.

Young woman on mobile phone in living room at home
5G | Network | T22 | Tech and Innovation |

Accelerating 5G for Australia and the world

By Channa Seneviratne July 23, 2019

When we opened our 5G Innovation Centre on the Gold Coast in 2018, we knew that it would yield a series of exciting developments on the journey to 5G. Today in partnership with our friends at Ericsson, we have yet another exciting milestone on our road to developing Australia’s best 5G technology.

In partnership with Ericsson, we have successfully completed the nation’s first end-to-end 5G standalone call at the 5G Innovation Centre on the Gold Coast. The call was completed via the 3.6GHz spectrum using a forthcoming commercial chipset.

This call via standalone 5G is significant, as it shows our commitment to evolve our mobile technology, just as we did with previous generations.

As 5G technologies are being built around the world in a commercial setting, they can be deployed in two modes. Early commercial 5G developments can be deployed in a “Non-Standalone” mode or NSA. What this means is that these early 5G technologies use the existing 4G technologies to signal between the 5G device and the base station. The 5G devices enjoy the next-generation speeds in 5G coverage areas utilising the 4G/LTE infrastructure.

A “standalone” deployment or SA, uses 5G technology including new 5G signalling between the 5G device, the base station and new standalone network architecture in the core network. The 5G standalone call – as demonstrated at our 5G Innovation Centre last week – is the first step in moving towards a 5G core which will bring flexible network architecture and even lower latency. These enhancements will open up more use cases and opportunities in the future such as industrial automation and control and provide the enablement of new services and applications that we haven’t even thought of yet.

This is yet another achievement in our journey to deliver the country with the best 5G available as we are always testing, evaluating and implementing the latest emerging wireless ecosystem technologies. We’re proud to be leading the way in our deployment of this technology.

To date, we’ve already launched 5G sites in 10 cities areas around Australia, and this will increase to at least 35 cities over the next 12 months. This includes CBD locations and selected regional centres that over 4 million people live, work or pass through every day.

Making this standalone 5G call through using our commercial 5G technology contributes to our ongoing end to end 5G ecosystem learnings. These learnings allow us to lead in the deployment of the most advanced 5G network architecture solutions.

We’re excited to continue our work to advance the global and local 5G eco-system with innovative partners like Ericsson to pave the way for 5G advancements, and the benefits it will bring all Australians.