The 5G test used Telstra’s spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band

Australian carrier Telstra said it has achieved what it claims to be Australia’s first live 5G connection using a commercial 5G chipset on the carrier’s mobile network.

The company said it used a form factor device working with two of Telstra’s network partners, Ericsson and Qualcomm, on the Gold Coast in Australia. The connection used Telstra’s 3. 5GHz commercial spectrum, Ericsson’s 5G network, and a Qualcomm Technologies commercial 5G chipset in a commercial form factor device.

“Telstra’s strategic relationship with these global industry partners allows Telstra to test, understand and demonstrate real world 5G capability so we can advance the deployment of 5G and immediately bring it to our customers as soon as devices are commercially available,” said Channa Seneviratne, Telstra’s Network Engineering Executive said,

“Field testing in our real-world mobile network with this chipset over our commercial spectrum moves the verification well and truly from the lab into the street. The team will continue testing over the coming months to improve data rates and overall performance in readiness for device availability.”

Last month, Telstra said it has selected Ericsson as its key partner for the deployment of 5G technology.

Telstra CEO Andrew Penn said the carrier is already rolling out 5G technology in its network, with the technology switched on for the first time in Adelaide, Perth and Canberra.

With the new activations in Adelaide, Perth and Canberra, Telstra has now upgraded 50 base stations to 5G technology across the country. Other locations include Brisbane, Toowoomba and the Gold Coast.

In February, Telstra opened a 5G innovation center in the Gold Coast region. Telstra said the main aim of the new 5G center will be to test next-generation technologies to support the early commercial deployment of 5G mobile services in Australia. Telstra has said it aims to launch commercial 5G services in Australia in 2019.

Telstra said its 5G center is designed to enable collaboration among technology vendors, developers, start-ups and the operator’s enterprise customers. At the time of the opening, the carrier announced plans to conduct 5G field trials in the coming months in and around the Gold Coast.

Earlier this year, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) had announced it will award spectrum in the 3.6 GHz band for the provision of 5G services in November. The regulator confirmed that it will be auctioning off 125 megahertz of spectrum in the 3.6 GHz band. The spectrum will be divided into 350 lots across 14 regions of Australia.

The regulator also said that the auction will include a spectrum cap, whereby each bidder is limited to 60 megahertz of spectrum in urban areas and 80 megahertz in rural areas.

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