Telstra start the move to expand towards 5G coverage

By Prateek V

New plans from Telstra herald the expansion of 5G coverage in a bid to connect Queenslanders to a high-speed, reliable network.

On 29 October Telstra announced its intention to expand network coverage and connectivity in Queensland and further remote island communities along the Torres Strait.

The plan has received significant government financial backing with the Department of Agriculture contributing AU$1.4mn via the Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA) to the funding and the Queensland state government Department of Housing and Public Works, the Department of Education and The Queensland Police service along with the Queensland Helath providing AU$2.26mn. Telstra commited the remaining $3.66mn to the project. 

The AU$7.32mn project has been named the Digital Foundation Project and intends to deliver high-speed internet to mobile devices across 14 Islands along the Torres Strait by 2021. The mobile service in the region has been lacking recently, with patchy coverage in more remote areas and some only having access to 3G services, according to Telstra.

 "A large barrier between the islands and mainland is technology and communication, so this upgrade to 4G will ensure we can stay connected which will enhance how we work and learn," said Member for Cook Cynthia Lui.

The decision follows Telstra announcement earlier this month that it would be deactivating its 3G network as of June 2024 in a bid to clear space for its 4G network to move into. Telstra has spoken about its plans to implement a 5G network in the near future which could see businesses in the region benefit from considerably faster connections.


The advent of 5G brings new opportunities for business that find themselves under the capable network. The high-speed connection can enable a greater operational efficiency from IoT connected devices, Cloud storage and AI analytics as it is able to send and receive significantly larger data packages between organisations. It also allows for a streamlined infrastructure as older networks would require a router to connect devices together, as it stands a 5G network does not require a router and can connect up to a million devices within a square kilometre, with negligible depreciation in connection speeds.

The transition to 5G has already started with the US FCC having already trained 20,000 skilled workers to maintain the towers once they are in place. The benefits for a business and for consumers are obvious but how can a business best prepare itself for the changes ahead?

Education is key when implementing a new technology. Training schemes and clear communication can have a big hand in the reception of a change and by educating staff about the capabilities of 5G, a company can begin to make it part of the culture and gain, much needed, workforce buy in.

By 2030 the demand for skilled workers will exceed the supply by 85.2mn according to research from organisational consulting firm, Korn Ferry. Company heads will need to ensure that they don’t fall prey to the shortages looming by the time 5G will see a much wider use in the global market. The adoption of 5G networks is set to create a major shift in the near future and the success or failure can depend on the perapration of core staff, ready for a networks next big leap.


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