As the fifth generation of mobile technology arrives, Telstra has debuted a device that promises to boost your home internet speeds.
Today at the flagship Telstra store in Sydney, the long anticipated 5G network was launched through two new products.
The HTC Hub and Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, both launching on May 28 ready for the Telstra network are the first devices to support the new network band along with 4G.
The biggest problem for many will be whether 5G is actually available in your area and unless you live in one of ten cities Telstra has launched with, you’re out of luck. There is however plenty of reasons to be excited for 5G.
The HTC Hub is geared for use as a wireless hotspot and brings the Telstra network into the home. With an onboard battery, this allows for portability where ever you need, or wherever you can enjoy the 4G and 5G network.
In the briefing today, Telstra were clear that this product is not geared as an NBN replacement however should be more of a complimentary service.
The HTC Hub also runs the Android operating system which means that it can also run applications, receive updates for speed improvements and allow up to 20 devices to be connected to it at one time.
If you are years away from receiving the NBN though, this product really could be for you, especially if you have 5G availability. In our tests, it was easy to achieve over 600Mbps, six times faster than the NBN.
The Samsung Galaxy S10 5G is not just a current S10 phone with upgraded antennas. It is an entirely different phone with a bigger display at 6.7 inches and a larger battery. The cameras are also improved with a total of six cameras on the device.
It is their Bugatti Veyron of smartphones as it is also Australia’s first 5G device capable of download speeds of two gigabits per second. In the Telstra store we were able to use this S10 on the 5G network and achieve consistent speed tests of 1.2Gbps or 1200Mbps.
This is 12 times faster than what is achievable on the NBN, and we were doing this on a smartphone. We also understand that only a few devices are connected to the 5G network at the time of testing so congestion is not an factor.
While the 5G network is only available in a small number of cities in Australia, including Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Launceston, Hobart and Toowoomba, Telstra advise that within 12 months that number will be up to 35 cities. The decision to move forward and give 5G over to consumers today is unlike their 4G network which was much more mature on their launch day.
Telstra’s Network Engineering Executive, Channa Seneviratne, went so far as to comment that the software running the Telstra 5G network is considered a “beta version” albeit a stable one and will be receiving continuous updates as the network evolves with it.
This means that performance of the 5G network should improve over time. Globally, Australia is one of the first to launch 5G in this form and Optus is also only months away from their 5G network launch also.
Telstra CEO, Andy Penn commented that, “The roll out of 5G coverage is ongoing and, as 5G develops, there will be more devices and more technologies to come. But this is an important step we take today, as the first Australian network to offer mobile 5G.”
From a cost perspective, Telstra plans for the HTC Hub start at $70 per month for 25GB while Optus has already published that they will be offering an unlimited data plan for $70 per month.
For anyone looking to enjoy the 5G network should assess coverage maps before doing so, to avoid disappointment.
In the coming weeks, we will be hearing from more smartphone manufacturers with their 5G phones set for Australia and fully expect this will become the new norm.
In the same way that 4G brought apps, social media and video streaming to our phones, 5G is being seen as the next industrial revolution where the new access to these speeds will change how we interact and use our smartphones entirely.