Australian mobile network operator (MNO) Telstra has claimed a new record, having registered what it called a ‘whopping’ download speed of 5Gbps for a single user on its commercial 5G network. In a blog post, the MNO said it had achieved the speed working closely with Swedish vendor Ericsson and US-based Qualcomm Technologies. It noted that the speed had been actually been recorded at its 5G Innovation Centre on the Gold Coast just before Christmas, while Telstra highlighted the fact that this was the second time in three months that it had achieved a new peak downlink rate; previously, in September 2020 it had reported reaching a speed of 4.2Gbps, using 5G millimetre wave (mmWave) technologies, with that having represented a doubling of its previous peak speed.
With regards to the most recent achievement, Telstra confirmed the most recent speed record was achieved on the live 5G network by using the Ericsson Radio System complete base station for mmWave, the Streetmacro 6701 aggregating 800MHz of mmWave spectrum with a 4G LTE anchor band. It was conducted on a 5G smartphone form factor mobile test device, powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon X60 5G Modem-RF System with third generation Qualcomm QTM535 mmWave antenna modules.
The cellco has said it views mmWave as being ‘the next important iteration of 5G, technology that will take 5G to the next level’, and it has been testing it on the country’s intended frequency (26GHz) since 2017. A commercial rollout to consumers is expected in 2021, following the auction of spectrum in the band in question and improved availability of mmWave-compatible devices.