Australian mobile network operator (MNO) Telstra, in collaboration with Ericsson, has announced the successful completion of ‘a 5G Standalone (5G SA) data call [over a distance of 113 km] from a Telstra commercial mobile site in Gippsland, Victoria’. In a press release detailing the development, Ericsson noted that the 5G SA call had been achieved using Telstra’s 850MHz spectrum and Ericsson’s latest commercial 5G SA network software, and used a commercially available smartphone. The vendor’s software solution is designed to support Telstra’s expansion of its 5G footprint in regional areas, when deployed, while the MNO has said it plans to ‘selectively’ enable the long-range capability based on the local requirements and environment of each of its mobile sites.
Commenting, Nikos Katinakis, Telstra Group Executive, Networks & IT, said: ‘This achievement is another example of Telstra’s drive to innovate for the benefit of all of its customers, particularly those in regional areas. Australia’s geography and demography present challenges to any network provider, but it is Telstra’s commitment to meet those challenges and bring its technology to all its customers that fuels such innovation.’ Meanwhile, Emilio Romeo, Head of Ericsson, Australia and New Zealand, added: ‘This new world record of an extended 5G cell range of 113 km is a huge win for rural and regional Australia giving Telstra another coverage capability option.’