It’s no secret our major telcos are shutting down their 3G networks and reusing those bands dedicated to the older 3G network to bolster their 4G and new 5G networks.
Telstra has announced that it has completed testing its low band 5G spectrum and it is now ready for commercial use.
Telstra 3G network usage has declined, thanks in part to its announcement back in October 2019, when it stated it will close and look to move those using 3G devices to new 4G and 5G device in preparation for the closure in June 2024. As we move closer to that date, Telstra was able to re-purpose part of the spectrum for more efficient and higher value 5G services.
Testing and rollout began in November 2020 during the pandemic, as most people were mainly working from home. The new frequency has added another dimension to Telstra 5G network offering with parts of the network now able to do a 5G data session over distances exceeding 80km.
Speaking on the development and launch of the new low band 5G network, Channa Seneviratne Executive Technology Development and Solutions at Telstra has stated:
“The addition of low band 5G to our network is going to offer greater depth to our 5G coverage and help us bring 5G to some hard to reach places – another part of our drive to make 5G accessible to as many Australians as possible”.
Telstra has stated that it has 1,200 sites activated with the new software, ready for 3rd generation 5G devices, whilst the company continues to work with ecosystem partners to optimise this new 5G network capability in combination with new device software.
Seneviratne further stated:
“We are continuing to test and optimise 5G, work that will unlock further advanced 5G capabilities such as the aggregation of more carrier frequencies, lower latency like the ~ 5mSec we demonstrated previously and the progression of the 5G StandAlone Network which we first enabled in May 2020. We are also readying the 700MHz spectrum to add to our low band 5G”.
Personally, I think it is great to see our telco’s repurpose and reuse old bands to provide better network coverage for not only metropolitan cities but more so for regional areas which need better coverage in this day and age.
It will be interesting to see what happens with Telstra’s competitors 3G networks as closures are certainly at least still two to four years away.