The ever growing number of announcements surrounding the rollout of 5G networks in Australia and around is growing with Telstra today announcing they’ve negotiated partnerships for exclusive access to the first commerical 5G devices to arrive on our shores.
According to their announcement, Telstra has ‘exclusive access to 5G commercial smartphones’ from ‘some of the world’s biggest vendors’ which will arrive in the first half of 2019. Further, Telstra has advised that the phones ‘will be available exclusively through Telstra before any other Australian mobile operator’ when they are released in the first half of 2019.
While Telstra wouldn’t be drawn on which devices will be on offer, it leaves a door open to a number of manufacturers who announce phones in the first half of 2019 including Samsung, LG, Sony and more – all of whom are expected to announce phones at Mobile World Congress next month.
Telstra has been proactive in building out their 5G network in Australia which already has limited sites online in Sydney and Melbourne.
Announcing the partnerships, Telstra CEO Andy Penn said
The 5G revolution is now very real. More than 200 Telstra 5G mobile base stations are now online across the nation and our customers will very soon be among the first in the world to experience the possibilities this revolutionary technology can deliver.
Telstra has already bought up big in 5G spectrum auctions held by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) over the past couple of years, with the most recent auction seeing Telstra purchasing licenses worth over $366 million.
Which devices, and from which manufacturers will be made clearer later this year, but given the impending announcements at MWC we could know a lot more about which phones are included in the deal sooner rather than later.