Forget 4G. 4G is so 5 years ago. Telstra's already on the way to rolling out 5G by 2020. That's ages away, but the good news is that you'll be able to get theoretical maximum speeds of up to 450Mbps down by April this year. Here's how it works.
Speaking at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week, Telstra talked about what it would be working on in the next five years to get 5G ready for consumer use. Mainly, the strategy surrounds upgrading 4G to make it a 5G-like service by the time 2020 rolls around. You may remember Telstra did something similar in the lead-up to its 4G deployment by upgrading 3G and rolling out Next G.
We'll start seeing the benefits of these upgrades by April this year, when Telstra switches on its LTE-Advanced network, complete with Category 9 capabilities in capital cities. LTE-A and Cat 9 bring with them theoretical maximum speeds of up to 450Mbps with a compatible device.
It works by meshing together three bands of spectrum using Carrier Aggregation to achieve those massive speeds. It builds on the existing 4GX and the compatible devices from Samsung, Netgear and Huawei to achieve even greater speed.
Telstra is working with Netgear to bring out a Wi-Fi hotspot around that time, with Category 9 capable device updates coming later on in the year.
Telstra will also roll out Voice Over LTE or VoLTE in April, before a full commercial roll-out later on in the year.
The telco is partnering with Ericsson for broader work around 5G services over the next five years. The pair will work together defining networking standards for 5G and figure out how it can cater to the next generation of devices. Devices like machine-to-machine connections, wearables and next-gen smartphones.
We're unsure as to what the roadmap looks like from 2016 onwards, but you can be sure there's a whole lot more speed for users going forward.