Telstra has released its HTC 5G Hub for online ordering, laying claim to being Australia’s first telco to have a 5G mobile device.
At the start of the year, Optus switched on its fixed-wireless 5G Home Broadband network in Canberra and Sydney.
Plans for the device begin at AU$70 a month for 10GB of base data with a 15GB bonus. The other two plan options are AU$94 a month for 30GB base and 30GB bonus, and AU$104 monthly over 24 months for 80GB base and 20GB of bonus data.
The 5G Hub is able to work on 5G and 4G networks, can support up to 20 devices via Wi-Fi, and has a single Ethernet port and USB-C port. The Hub is said to be capable of up to 24 hours of active use, runs Android 9 Pie, and has a 5-inch touch screen.
The Hub is available online from today, and will be sold in Telstra stores from May 28.
Since October, Telstra has switched on parts of its 5G network across Australia even though there was a lack of devices capable of using it.
In the 5G spectrum auction that occurred in December, Telstra paid AU$386 million for 143 lots, made up of 12 each in Sydney and Melbourne; seven in Adelaide; six each in Brisbane, Canberra, and Perth; 10 each in northern Queensland, central Queensland, northern NSW, southern Queensland, Tasmania, and regional Victoria; as well as 15 in regional South Australia; and 16 in regional Western Australia.
The telco now claims to have between 60Mhz of contiguous 5G spectrum in all “major capital cities”, and between 50 and 80Mhz of contiguous spectrum in regional areas.
The Australian incumbent telco previewed the HTC Hub in December, and at the same time said it had been working with HTC, ZTE, and Inseego on a 5G prototype handset.
“Our launch of the HTC 5G Hub is the moment 5G becomes a reality for Australian consumers,” Telstra CEO Andy Penn said.
“Since 2016, we have been working with some of the world’s leading technology brands to ensure Australians are among the first in the world to be able to access 5G.”
In South Korea, where the nation’s 5G networks were switched on in April for it to claim the “world’s first” set of commercialised 5G networks, 260,000 people have moved onto the networks as of the end of April.
All consumers moving to 5G had to purchase a Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, as it was the only handset available.
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The Samsung Galaxy 5G S10+, the LG V50 ThinQ, and the Oppo 5G phone will be available either exclusively or first on Telstra’s 5G network.
Telstra has announced multiple agreements to offer commercial 5G smartphones to customers in the first half of 2019.
The new rewards program is aimed at making Australians bring all of their services into Telstra.
Telstra won on both download speeds and upload speeds while Optus has the best 4G availability, according to Opensignal.