Following our announcement of 5G world and Australian firsts last week, today we have secured between 30-80 MHz nationwide in the 3.6 GHz spectrum auction held by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). The 3.6 GHz spectrum is important as it is to be used globally for 5G.
This investment of $386m will support our national 5G rollout, and adds to the momentum we are building to bring 5G services to Australians in both cities and regional areas in the new year.
Combined with existing holdings, Telstra now has 60 MHz of contiguous 5G spectrum in all major capital cities and between 50-80 MHz of contiguous 5G spectrum in all regional areas.
While these licenses won’t come into effect until March 2020, we are working with the ACMA to enable early access where it is suitable to do so, to ramp-up our roll out plan for 5G in the first half of next year.
Securing this spectrum dramatically increases the speeds we will be able to offer and puts us in a competitive position in all markets, including Sydney and Melbourne, with site rollout to extend to these cities as soon as access to the new spectrum is available.
Our aim, just as we were with 3G and 4G, is to be Australia’s leading 5G provider, through the culmination of an $8 billion investment over the five years to 30 June 2019 to enhance the capacity, capability and reach of Telstra’s mobile network. We have already switched on 130 5G-enabled sites across Australia and plan to have a total of 200 sites by the end of 2018.
We’re also leading the way in working with suppliers and international standard bodies to develop the 5G ecosystem, driven through our 5G Innovation Centre on the Gold Coast, which was the setting last week for Australia’s first 5G to 5G video call.
Last week also saw the unveiling of the world’s first connection of a 5G mid-band commercial device – the HTC 5G Hub mobile smart device. This device is expected to be one of the first commercial 5G devices available to Telstra customers in 2019 and the connection of the device brings Telstra a significant step closer to putting 5G devices in the hands of Australians.