In the lead up to the launch of 5G networks in Australia there’s going to be a lot of firsts, and today Telstra has completed another step connecting their first device with a 5G chipset to the Telstra network.

The Australian first connection of a 5G 3GPP Release 15 (the first set of 5G standards) compliant data call was achieved using equipment on Telstra’s 3.5GHz commercial spectrum with Telstra partners Ericsson and Qualcomm. Ericsson, one of the worlds largest networking and telecommunications companies supplyied the 5G network software, while Qualcomm Technologies supplied the ‘5G chipset in a commercial form factor device’.

The connection was achieved on the Gold Coast, where Telstra earlier this year launched their 5G Innovation Centre, and switched on their first 5G enabled cells.

Telstra’s Network Engineering Executive Channa Seneviratne described the importance of todays achievement saying

Today’s announcement is a significant milestone as it signals that commercial 5G devices are getting closer and closer. 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.

Telstra has been investing heavily in the implementation of 5G technology around Australia investing up to $5 billion in their mobile network as part of a three year plan which ends at the end of June 2019.

They’re a little bit in the weeds all these announcements, but it’s another sign that 5G networks, and devices are coming and coming soon.

Source: Telstra.