The world’s first 5G-powered wi-fi hotspot precinct has been switched on by Telstra on Australia’s Gold Coast.
The firm recently opened a 5G innovation centre on the popular tourist stretch, and it is from here that the trial is being managed, along with tests on a 5G connected car.
Group Managing Director Networks Mike Wright said: “We have said we intend to lead on 5G and with these 5G-enabled wi-fi hotspots Australian consumers will be among the first people in the world to try the technology.
“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.”
There are no 5G compatible commercial smartphones or tablets available today. However, by connecting 5G backhaul and infrastructure to a standard wi-fi access point then consumers can use the technology on their existing device. This is what Telstra is trialling on the Gold Coast.
Wright added: “Wi-fi has limited throughput so a single hotspot alone cannot come close to reaching the limits of 5G at our innovation centre. By using multiple hotspots with potentially hundreds of smartphone users served through a single 5G device we are able to get closer to demonstrating 5G in a real-world environment.”