Telstra has revealed that the owner of Toowoomba, Queensland’s Pulse Data Centre FKG Group is its first 5G customer, after connecting a commercial 5G device to its network.
The Toowoomba-based construction and engineering company will use the first iteration of the HTC 5G Hub mobile broadband device to test connectivity to the network, allowing for future use cases in transport, logistics and agribusiness.
Telstra said its 5G network is ready in parts of Toowoomba, but concedes that the user experience benefits of 5G are not expected to become available until the first half of next year.
“This launch is a vital first step toward enabling a 5G experience with a customer, bringing together a first generation device with Telstra’s 5G network using the 3Gpp standards for the first time,” Telstra chief executive Andrew Penn said.
“We expect a range of devices to become commercially available in the first half of 2019 and as soon as they are launched at scale, we will begin to offer them to customers.”
Penn added that getting 5G devices into customers’ hands early was an important part of the network’s development, with use in real world environments needed to speed up the deployment for consumer use.
“It’s fantastic to working with Telstra and having the opportunity to test one of the first 5G devices in the country,” FKG Group executive chairman Gary Gardner said.
“Being at the forefront of this advanced technology will greatly assist FKG and its newly developed Aatlis Innovation Precinct to explore IoT use cases and pilot innovative solutions in the agriculture and food value chain.”
Telstra in August started to switch on 5G, with Toowoomba as the first regional centre to be upgraded with 22 5G-enabled sites. The telco was also awarded 143 lots of the 5G spectrum earlier this week, shelling out $386 million.