5G hits Australia with Gold Coast Telstra WiFi

You might think that 4G’s gigabit speeds are impressive, but the future pushes even faster, as the promise of super fast mobile internet speed is teased in Australia’s north courtesy of Telstra.

Australia presently offers some of the fastest mobile speeds in the world on 4G networks, but they’re about to get better. While new phones like the Galaxy S9 can hit speeds as high as 125 megabytes per second, these impressively speedy connections are just a drop in the ocean for what you can expect to find in a replacement technology on its way to the world.

In fact it’s not so much a replacement, but rather an improvement, as the technology that gives us those high speeds evolves. Believe it or not, 4G has been around for a good six years, with 2012 being the first time a 4G phone was introduced to Australia in the HTC Velocity.

Several years later, 4G is everywhere and it’s time to move on, with 5G that next level of speed. Over 2Gbps of bandwidth are possible here, and that’s something Telstra is beginning to test, with Australians in Queensland the first to experience this, as the telco rolls out support in a handful of locations across the state.

Specifically, it will be through WiFi hotspots set up in Southport on Scarborough and Nerang streets, and through a car driving through the Gold Coast that Telstra has set up to be 5G connected.

Currently, there are no phones out that can connect to the 5G network and take advantage of the speeds on offer, and so these WiFi hotspots will be linked to the 5G connection to deliver speeds of more than 3Gbps. In real-life terms, that’s a good 375 megabytes per second of access, and it will be made available for free for people to try.

If you’re around the Southport area or happen to know where Telstra’s 5G-equipped car is going to be, you can freely connect to the 5G hotspot and download 10GB of data per day per device. Technically, that means if you bring a few devices, you might be able to download more than you might at home, and given the speeds on offer, it shouldn’t take long too.

However this lends itself to Telstra’s test, which is all about maximising use of its 5G network before devices start putting it to the test, and it’s something the 5G connected car aims to do as well, being tested not just with a connection to the web, but a WiFi hotspot it will be driving around town.

“We have said we intend to lead on 5G and with these 5G-enabled WiFi hotspots, Australian consumers will be among the first people in the world to try the technology,” said Mike Wright, Managing Director of Networks for Telstra.

“Taking 5G technology out of a lab and into the hands of consumers is another key milestone on Telstra’s roadmap to offering 5G services in 2019,” he said.

Queensland does appear to be the first place you can see this, and that means folks in those areas can get access faster than the rest of us, though we’ll keep you updated as and when the rest of the country gets the same sort of access.

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