Australian carrier Telstra expects its 5G network to cover 75% of the country’s population by June 2021, the company’s CEO Andrew Penn said in a blog post.
Penn noted that Telstra’s 5G network already covers around one-third of the population.
The telco is already offering commercial 5G services in 53 cities and regional towns across the country.
“We made the decision in March to bring forward AUD500 million ($355 million) of capital expenditure planned for the second half of FY21 into calendar year 2020. This investment means we have been able to accelerate our rollout of 5G, while injecting much-needed investment into the Australian economy at this time,” the executive said.
“We are already a long way ahead of our competitors due to our increased investment, technology leadership and because our competitors have historically made the wrong choices on their suppliers of network technology from a security perspective,” Penn added.
Some of the cities in which Telstra offers its 5G service are Canberra, Central Coast, Brisbane, Sidney, Cairns, Gold Coast, Adelaide, Hamilton, Melbourne and Perth.
Penn also said that more than 210,000 5G service lines are already connected to the Telstra network.
The telco, which had launched 5G in May last year, is currently using its spectrum in the 3.6 GHz band to provide 5G technology across Australia.
The telco recently announced the launch of its Telstra 5G Wi-Fi Pro broadband modem with mmWave support.
In May this year, Telstra upgraded its 5G radio access network (RAN) coverage footprint across Australia, connecting a cloud-native 5G Core (5GC) network to handle new 5G standalone traffic.
Telstra used equipment from Swedish vendor Ericsson for the network upgrade.
The 5G upgrade means that Telstra already has the capability to run 5G technology independent of existing 4G network technology. 5G SA devices are expected to be commercially available in Australia in late 2020.
Rival operator Optus had launched commercial mobile 5G operations in 2019, while Vodafone Hutchison Australia is still in the process of deploying its 5G network. The company began field tests using 700MHz spectrum in May, planning deployment in selected areas in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Canberra and Perth.