What does Telstra’s 5G future mean for Australia?

By Enterprise Monkey

Telstra has just conducted one of the world’s first 5G radio test beds in Melbourne in partnership with multinational telecoms titan Ericsson. The trial, which was the first of its kind in Australia, incorporated live video streaming as well as speed demonstrations.

"This is the first 5G trial on Australian soil, and the outdoor nature of the test has provided a true sense of what 5G will be able to offer customers once it is launched commercially," said Telstra's Chief Technology Officer, Philip Jones.

But how will the technology enable increased efficiency in the lives of businesses and consumers?

Speed is the key
The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the technology reached speeds of 20 gigabits per second during Tuesday’s test, which is fast enough to download 600 high-quality movies in just one minute. However, it’s unlikely that the technology will reach the Australian market before the 2020s, with companies around the world vying to be the first firm to deliver 5G to consumers.

Lower latency
When it comes to mobile networks, “latency” refers to the amount of time it takes to send a signal from a mobile phone to your network and back again. Its thought that lowered latency time is going to be another major selling point for 5G.

"We know this lower latency will have a huge impact on future gaming and immersive experiences, virtual and augmented reality, and IoT," said Jones. "The results we have seen are extremely promising, particularly at this early stage of the technology."

Beam steering capability
Telstra’s 5G proposal also includes ‘beam steering’ technology, which can send a direct mobile signal to a device, as opposed to the so-called dispersed signals in use today. Ultimately, directed beams will allow for less interference and the delivery of a higher quality signal to customers.

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