In a world first, Telstra and technology partner Ericsson have completed a 5G trial data call over 26GHz or ‘mmWave’ radiofrequency spectrum using Telstra’s production core network.

5G is a technology that will fundamentally change the way our world works. While superfast speeds, ultra low latency, and supporting IoT on a huge scale are often called out as the key benefits of 5G, what really makes 5G interesting are the specific use cases and applications that will flow from it.

This world first trial is a key milestone to demonstrate how Telstra and the broader telecommunications industry are ready to utilise the mmWave band of spectrum, which is an important high capacity and speed layer for both 4G and 5G. Testing and understanding this new mmWave spectrum is vital in refining Telstra’s future 5G network design. This is the first time the 26 GHz band has been used in the field, and is expected to play an important part of 5G deployment globally.

By using more and different spectrum bands, 5G will be able to support a huge range of different applications. 5G will bring a range of new use cases improving the wireless broadband experience, smart vehicles and transport infrastructure, critical control of remote devices and our human interaction with devices to the mobile network. Imagine a world where virtual and augmented reality become the norm and are available in all industries? Or a world where your smartphone contacts your driverless vehicle in an instant to take you out for dinner? These are some of the types of use cases that will become real in the near future.

To help ensure Telstra continues to bring the best mobile technology from around the world to Australia, we are also establishing a dedicated 5G testing centre on the Gold Coast. This latest trial is the first in what will be a series of activities over the next 12 months, where we plan to test a number of technologies and explore use cases to ensure Telstra and Australia are fully prepared for a 5G world.

Now that we have completed this data call over mmWave spectrum, we will conduct more tests with Ericsson to gain further insights into how mmWave 5G can be scaled and integrated into commercial mobile networks. We also look forward to working with Australian industries to help them unlock future benefits and use cases based on 5G technology.