Australian telecom, Telstra, announced it has established a 5G hotspot that can handle millimeter waves, reports ZDNet.com. “mmWave is going to be a big part of our 5G future and with the Telstra 5G WiFi Pro we are offering customers a device that will be able to take advantage of the next iteration of 5G as soon as it arrives,” stated Telstra product and service design executive, Andrew Stormont.
There are currently 47 different locations in Australia where 5G is operational. At present, only three sites can support mmWave technology. Fortunately, the hotspot is compatible with 5G, LTE networks, and 3G in the 850 MHz band.
“Getting the Telstra mobile network to be 5G standalone-ready is an important step towards unleashing greater capabilities for enterprises and consumers alike,” said Nikos Katinakis of Telstra’s group executive networks and IT. “The new standalone capability will be able to support new enterprise services that power a branch office running multiple applications and services. It could also help new industry vertical use cases such as manufacturing and remote-controlled operations.”
Telstra has said that devices for standalone 5G are not available, but it expects them to be in use by the end of 2020. Testing is currently underway. Telstra and Ericsson have been working together to develop an extended LTE signal with a range of almost 125 miles (200 km) from a cell tower.
The new mobile hotspots are designed for existing technologies, with an eye towards future usage. Telstra envisions a growing network that will also benefit new uses for the Internet of Things. However, Paul Milford, Telstra 5G network principal, took a cautious stance, saying, “This is not a magic pill to double out coverage. I wish it was. This is a very important option for us when we’re looking at specific coverage scenarios and options to deploy this technology.”