The carrier aims to end this year with a total of 200 5G-enabled sites

Australian mobile carrier Telstra already operates a total of 15 5G-enables sites across the country, the company’s CEO Andrew Penn said in a blog post.

“We are already rolling out 5G technology on our network with 15 sites already live in Brisbane, the Gold Coast and in Toowoomba, the first regional community in Australia to be 5G ready,” he said.

Penn also confirmed plans to have 200 5G-enabled sites live around the country by the end of this year.

“While commercial devices for 5G are not yet available, our 5G readiness program means we can trial and test these as soon as the manufacturers make them available,” he added.

Penn also said that Telstra continues to prepare to attract new opportunities in the internet of things (IoT) field, including launching services in mining, logistics, agritech, smart metering and other sectors.

“Customers already deploying devices like sensors, trackers, alarms to manage or monitor their machines, vehicles, livestock and other assets on 4G will see a step change in these types of uses as 5G expands, and many more as well,” Penn said. “When we think about 5G use cases in the future a set of technologies come straight to mind: autonomous vehicles; virtual and augmented reality; smarter smartphones; artificial intelligence and machine learning; smart cities, smart factories, smart homes; remote surgery and health care; technology that creates personalized customer experiences that bring simplicity instead of added complexity. Many of these technologies not only exist today, they will soon be mainstream.”

At the beginning of the year, Telstra opened a 5G Innovation Center on the Gold Coast, with the main aim of testing next-generation technologies to support the early commercial deployment of 5G mobile services in Australia. Telstra aims to launch commercial 5G services in 2019.

The carrier said that the 5G center is central to a $58 million investment Telstra has made to upgrade infrastructure on the Gold Coast to support growing demand and major events in the area.

Telstra has previously said that it would work with Ericsson on key 5G technologies including massive multiple-input, multiple-output (Massive MIMO), adaptive beamforming and beam tracking, and OFDM-based waveforms in its Gold Coast center.

Earlier this year, Telstra announced plans to roll out small cells across the country in a move to boost capacity and speed in some of the country’s busiest locations.

The operator has already installed more than 50 4G small cells across the city of Melbourne as the first stage of a national small cell rollout initiative. Each 4G small cell deployment utilizes existing mobile infrastructure at locations such as information hubs and street light and electricity poles.

Telstra’s small cell program stipulates the deployment of 1,000 small cells in metro and regional locations within the next three years. Some of these areas include Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.

The post Telstra already operating 15 5G-enabled sites across Australia: CEO appeared first on RCR Wireless News.