TELSTRA AND 5G
Following the auction of newly-formed 5G spectrum bands, Telstra’s ‘5G Standalone’ (5GS) capable devices will soon be able to operate purely in 5G mode, without the support of 4G transmissions:
“We’ve reached another milestone in delivering the full power of 5G to Australia. We’re underway with our early testing of the first of the first 5GS devices, which should become available to our customers from late 2020.”
To date, in anticipation of spectrum approval by the United Nations International Telecommunication Union (ITU), companies have released their own ‘5G devices’. However, these have largely relied on the boosting speeds of existing 4G and 4GX signals to carry them, with most only able to maintain signals through a hotspot.
Standalone 5G uses the 5G network for data transfer just like existing non-standalone 5G, but importantly, it also now uses 5G for the signalling communication between device and base station.
Following the announcement, the telecommunications company also revealed that over 600 suburbs have now reached a coverage rate of 50% for the 5G network.
For example, a total of 57 Victorian suburbs are now more than 50 per cent activated, including the following in regions surrounding the Melbourne area:
Altona Meadows, Edithvale, Parkdale, Altona North, Essendon North, Point Cook, Ardeer, Gladstone Park, Reservoir, Armadale, Heatherton, Richmond, Aspendale, Kealba, Roxburgh Park, Balaclava, Keilor, Scoresby, Bayswater, Keilor East, Seabrook, Brooklyn, Keilor Lodge, Somerton, Brunswick, Keilor Park, South Melbourne, Brunswick West, Keysborough, Southbank, Campbellfield, Lysterfield South, St Albans, Clarinda, Meadow Heights, St Helena, Clayton South, Melbourne Airport, Sunshine West, Coolaroo, Melbourne CBD, Tottenham, Craigieburn, Moorabbin Airport, Tullamarine, Derrimut, Mordialloc, Vermont South, Dingley Village, North Melbourne, Wantirna, Docklands, Nunawading, Williamstown, East Melbourne, Oakleigh East and Williamstown North.
In South Australia, the list is even more extensive, with a total of 69 suburbs now covered by 5G:
Andrews Farm, Ascot Park, Ashford, Athelstone, Birkenhead, Burton, Camden Park, Clapham, Colonel Light, Gardens, Daw Park, Devon Park, Dudley Park, Evandale, Everard Park, Felixstow, Firle, Fulham Gardens, Gawler South, Glenunga, Grange, Hackney, Hampstead, Gardens, Hectorville, Hillcrest, Hyde Park, Kensington, Kensington Park, Kent Town, Kilburn, Klemzig, Kurralta Park, Largs North, Lynton, Marden, Marion, Medindie Gardens, Melrose Park, Morphett Vale, Munno Para Downs, Munno Para West, Netley, Newton, North Plympton, Oakden, Osborne, Outer Harbor, Panorama, Paradise, Parafield, Payneham, Payneham South, Peterhead, Port Adelaide, Prospect, Ridgehaven, Rostrevor, Royston Park, Salisbury East, Salisbury North, Salisbury Plain, Smithfield Plains, St Georges, Thorngate, Vale Park, Walkley Heights, West Beach, West Richmond and Westbourne Park.
The 5G rollout continues to steam ahead in Western Australia, with 40 Perth suburbs now having more than 50 per cent signal coverage. These are only a few examples.
You can search your local area for the latest tower information by visiting the the Radio Frequency National Site Archive (RFNSA), Telstra’s 5G coverage map or our comprehensive list of 5G tower locations.
Telstra says there are some other suburbs that have rolled out 5G, but are not over 50 per cent covered geographically, thus they are not included in the total yet.
Meanwhile, Vodafone Australia is starting to trial 5G services using 700MHz spectrum at an undisclosed number of 5G sites in and around Parramatta in Sydney’s western regions.
The news comes as parliament gives the green light for telecommunications companies to continue their rollout of 5G technologies across the country.
INQUIRY HANDED DOWN
The Federal Parliamentary Committee has given 5G the all-clear after months of submissions and discussions, given telcos the opportunity to install more towers and aggressively pursue the plan.
The report on 5G was tabled on May 12 and recommended the government ‘lean’ into the technology — citing its ability to create smart cities and ‘future-proof’ sectors such as agriculture.
The committee also recommended the government establish an R&D innovation fund to fast-track manufacturing of 5G components in Australia.
They also welcomed a federal government commitment to a new ‘community information’ campaign on 5G, feeling it improve consultation between telcos and residents. Authorities would work closely with the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) to respond.
Describing the new technology as “game changing”, the head of the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) says there still exists common misconceptions about 5G.
The inquiry found community confidence in 5G has been ‘shaken’ by extensive “misinformation that preys on the fears of the public spread via the internet, particularly through social media.”
This sentiment echoes previous calls by telecommunications giants for assistance to combat public backlash, with the government announcing a $9 million campaign to help ‘combat’ disinformation.
The 5G inquiry has dismissed concerns of Australians across the country, deciding to cite ARPANSA and other industry bodies when handing down the report. Stay tuned for a future piece exploring.
The recent development are the latest in a public battle over 5G that has lasted almost 12 months.
5G IN AUSTRALIA
In 2017, the Department of Communications detailed plans to support a timely rollout of 5G in Australia by 2020, spelling out the road map in their paper, 5G — Enabling the Future Economy.
In 2018, the 5G race between telecommunications companies began, with both Telstra and Optus undertaking testing of the technology. Telstra excelled early in the rollout of the new technologies over rivals Vodafone and Optus, having switched on their towers first.
In 2019, Australia’s 5G rollout was officially announced, and since then the agenda has attracted vocal opponents worried about the health impacts of the technology on the general public.
Recently, community residents in the Byron area staged peaceful demonstrations to the upgrade of a infrastructure previously put on hold by local council. COVID-19 ‘biosecurity’ laws overturned this.
Concerns with 5G technology have been among the highest results for search engines.
Communications Minister Paul Fletcher assured Telstra that it is “backing high-speed 5G mobile network rollout plans” amid signs of community backlash against the technology.
Given the new restrictions, Telstra says it will now be bringing forward an additional $500 million in capital expenditure from the 2020-21 financial year to help accelerate the rollout.
The world’s leading authority on mobile networks, GSMA Intelligence, predicted 5G would cover a third of the world’s population, or one in eight mobile connections, by the year 2025.
5G technology will power Australia’s national smart city infrastructure, underpinned by an approaching surveillance model embedded in a looming ‘Social Credit System’. The devices will also sustain the coming cashless society, digital identification grid and biometric systems.
Not only is the COVID-19 narrative being used to increase the existing rollout of the technologies, but it has also been used to restrict growing opposition and present legal loopholes for authorities.
The time for fence-sitting is over. Australians must make a decision and take action.
Revealed: 5G tower locations across Australia | Exclusive
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