Telstra opens new 5G innovation centre on Gold Coast, follows Optus 2019 pledge

By Addie Thomes

National telco Telstra has unveiled a new $60mn 5G innovation centre on the Gold Coast, following Optus in showcasing its potential to deliver state-of-the-art connectivity solutions in the coming years.

Last week Optus pledged to rolling out 5G networks in key urban areas by early 2019, while Tesltra reaffirmed its $5bn investment in 5G technology during the 2017-19 period. Telstra did not, however, commit to a network rollout date.

Chief Operations Officer, Robyn Denholm, said: “Telstra has already conducted Australia’s first 5G field trial and the world’s first 5G outdoor data call over 26GHz ‘mmWave’ radiofrequency spectrum.  From our new 5G Innovation Centre we will be completing a number of 5G firsts in 2018 to ensure Australia remains at the forefront of mobile technology.”

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The new centre at Telstra’s Southport Exchange is designed to enable collaboration among technology vendors, developers, startups and enterprise customers. The company will also conduct more 5G field trials in the coming months in and around the Gold Coast

Among the demonstrations at the centre are a field trial a moving vehicle demonstrating how 5G can deliver an immersive view from the driver’s perspective via virtual reality headsets, supporting autonomous driving. It also showcases how AI-enabled drones can aid with surfer lifesaving.  

“5G has the potential to transform the way we all live and work,” Denholm added. “Like previous generations of mobile technology, it will deliver more capacity and faster data speeds but on top of that it will support vastly more connected devices at very high levels of reliability and lower latency.”

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