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Australian telecommunications incumbent Telstra has announced the launch of its 5G services on the Gold Coast.

CEO Andrew Penn expressed his delight at the operator becoming the first telco to launch 5G services in Australia, and added that the introduction of next-generation mobile technologies reiterated Telstra’s commitment to mobile leadership.

Penn said, “Today we have switched on 5G-capable sites on the Gold Coast, which enable us to test 5G pre-commercial devices in real world conditions and use unique innovations like our Connected Car to test our 5G footprint. It also means we can connect compatible commercial 5G devices for customers in 5G areas as they become available.

“Today's switch on demonstrates Telstra's commitment to mobile leadership in Australia and will support the ongoing testing of next generation mobile technologies in Australian conditions to support the early commercial deployment of 5G mobile services," added Penn.

The announcement comes almost two year to the day the Australian operator conducted its first live trial of 5G. In March this year, it also launched a series of W-Fi hotspots on the Gold Coast connected to the Internet via 5G, and its first end-to-end call in July 2018.

There has been significant attention directed towards the possibility of telco’s using 5G networks to provide fixed wireless services as a way of bypassing the NBN, but Penn appeared to rule this out of Telstra's short- to medium-term strategy.

The CEO said, "We know mobility is critical for our customers, and that's why we are focused on delivering a 5G mobile service first and foremost.”

In addition to this, the Telstra CEO disclosed that more than 200 5G-capable sites are planned to be live around Australia by the end of 2018.

Penn concluded by saying, "Over the coming months we will continue expanding our 5G coverage with plans to roll out to many more capital cities, regional centres and other high demand areas.  Our T22 strategy will be underpinned by our aim to have the largest, fastest, safest, smartest and most reliable next generation network, and these ongoing investments will ensure we continue to deliver market leading innovation in networks.

"Telstra has a history of innovating and adopting the next generation of wireless technology ahead of the curve. With our mobile network now 5G ready in selected areas, we will continue deploying the technology and developing innovative services and use cases for our customers, concluded Penn.”

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