5G is all the rage and it is difficult to wade through all the 5G press releases we get but when it is a commercial device connecting to 5G then we sit up and take notice. HTC and Telstra have taken the wraps off a new 5G mobile hotspot device, available in 2019.
Yesterday Telstra, in what was a world’s first for a 5G mid-band commercial device, used a HTC 5G Hub to demonstrate their 5G network in Sydney. This was also the very first time a commercial device has been connected to a 5G network in Australia. The HTC device, which uses the Snapdragon X50 5G modem, was built in collaboration with Telstra and will be “one of the first commercial 5G devices available for Telstra customers in 2019”.
Telstra’s CEO Andrew Penn said that the 5G development and testing in real world environments such as this will allow Australians to be among the first in the world to have access to 5G devices. Not only was the connection shown off but the ability to perform a 5G to 5G phone call was also demonstrated.
This 5G to 5G video call demonstrates the importance of Telstra’s strategic relationship with our global industry partners. We are at the cutting edge of technology, and day by day we are making significant progress on our roadmap to bring 5G to our customers.Andrew Penn, Telstra CEO
Along with the HTC 5G Hub Telstra also unveiled a 5G smartphone prototype from ZTE (likely to be Telstra branded if it ever lands commercially), and a 5G mobile hotspot prototype from Inseego. There is no word on whether these prototypes will make it to market here but the HTC 5G Hub is expected to be available in 2019.
At this stage Telstra have enabled 130 5G sites around Australia, with another 70 to be upgraded by the end of this month. These upgrades will not only make the Telstra network 5G-ready but also improve their 4G LTE speeds.
With Telstra making such early progress on their 5G networks, will it make you think about switching over to them?