Devices |

Samsung Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21+ score Blue Tick for regional use

By Luke Hopewell February 2, 2021

The new Galaxy range from Samsung is more than just a pretty face. Right out of the box, the Samsung Galaxy S21 and Samsung Galaxy S21+ are certified as Blue Tick devices. This means they’re part of our device range that is designed for use in regional areas. Here’s what that means.

The Telstra Blue Tick is the mark we give phones that have been thoroughly tested and deliver superior voice coverage in rural and regional areas. This means the devices were rigorously tested by our technicians and engineers for the best voice call performance in these regional and rural areas.

If you’re on the farm, out in the sticks or just want to make sure you have the best opportunity for coverage you can get, look for the Blue Tick from Telstra.

Which phones have Telstra Blue Tick?

As of January 2021, here is the list of Blue Tick certified phones on Telstra.

This month’s additions include the new Samsung Galaxy S21 5G and Galaxy S21+ 5G devices.

Samsung Galaxy A21s Telstra Essential
Samsung Galaxy A51 Telstra Essential Plus 3
Samsung Galaxy Note10+ 5G Telstra Essential Pro 2 (A5 2020)
Samsung Galaxy Note20 5G Telstra Essential Smart 3
Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G Telstra Evoke Plus 2
Samsung Galaxy S20 5G Telstra Evoke Pro 2
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G Telstra Flip 3
Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G Telstra Tough Max 3
Samsung Galaxy S20+ 5G Samsung Galaxy S21+ 5G (new)
Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro Samsung Galaxy S21 5G (new)
Telstra EasyCall 5

What is the Telstra Blue Tick?

In 2007, when we shut down our CDMA network, we wanted to make sure we could recommend the right handsets to our customers in regional and rural areas. The new “NextG” network operated in a different way, and as a result, we needed to know which phones were best.

Since then, we’ve tested hundreds of devices for their performance on the 3G 850MHz and 4G 700MHz bands to determine their voice call performance

The best performers are awarded a Blue Tick.

How do we test phones for Blue Tick?

When Blue Tick first started, a crack team of Telstra technicians and engineers went bush with a range of devices to test exactly how they performed. While they were out there, they discovered a testing regimen that is still used today.

A Blue Tick comes down to how a phone performs on a voice call when you’re holding it in your hand to your ear. It’s the most common way we use a phone to make a call. For that reason, we used the same bloke’s hand to test the performance of a phone for a period of over a decade.

We now have more staffers whose hands are used for signal benchmarking. These hands work hard to run phones through a range of coverage tests to ensure you get the best coverage possible.

And now that we’ve been at this for a while, device manufacturers are working with our technicians to figure out how to maximise their coverage on networks like ours.

How to make sure you’re getting the best coverage in the bush

If you want to get every bit of coverage you can, there are a few tips to follow, straight out of our labs.

Covering the antenna in your phone can lead to reduced coverage in any area, let alone rural or regional. These tips are all about ways to not hold your phone in order to maximise coverage.

When you hold your phone, your hand doesn’t so much block the antenna. Instead, the antenna and the stuff in your body – we’re talking blood, sweat and bones – work to cancel each other out. Technicians call it a “detuning” effect that can reduce your overall coverage.

Therefore, it’s a no brainer to want to hold your phone better to get access to as much coverage as possible.

First and foremost, get yourself a Blue Tick certified device from Telstra to maximise your coverage opportunity.

Second, try using a wired or wireless headset so you don’t have to hold your device in your hand when taking a call.

And if you must hold your device, try and use as light a grip as you can to ensure your antenna can get as much exposure as possible.

We’ve put together a guide on how to get the best coverage in rural areas for you to read more.

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.

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 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 per cent 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.

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.