CNETCES 2019: A first look at the cool tech TechRepublic
Telstra has announced at CES 2019 that it has entered into a number of agreements to offer commercial 5G smartphones on its mobile network, but could not say which companies, the specifications of the devices, or exactly when they will be offered.
According to Telstra CEO Andy Penn, 2018 was about being network ready, while 2019 is about being device ready for 5G.
"From here on the timing on the rollout of 5G is dependent on the availability of the devices -- handsets, tablets, and into the whole world of the Internet of Things," he told media in Las Vegas on Wednesday afternoon.
The 5G smartphones will be offered in the first half of this year.
"This is the year of 5G, and as a world leader in the testing and development of 5G, we have been working closely with numerous global manufacturing and industry partners to make this revolutionary technology real-world ready," Penn added.
"These strategic relationships are now paying off directly for our customers, who will soon have exclusive access to 5G-enabled devices ... and other devices will also soon hit our stores."
Telstra had in October announced launching the network across Canberra, Adelaide, and Perth after launching 13 sites in the Gold Coast, one in Toowoomba, and one in Brisbane.
It then switched on parts of Sydney and Melbourne in late December.
By the end of 2018, Telstra had switched on more than 200 5G sites.
Telstra in December then unveiled a prototype 5G smartphone that is the size of a regular smartphone, which it is testing on its live 5G commercial production network, as well as on an HTC 5G smart hub powered by Qualcomm technology.
The 5G smart hub will be launching sometime during 2019, with Telstra network engineering executive Channa Seneviratne calling it a world first to have a commercial device running on a sub-6GHz 5G network.
Telstra has been working on the smart hub alongside Qualcomm and HTC, Seneviratne said. He added that the telco is also working with a number of handset manufacturers on other 5G smartphone prototypes.
Seneviratne told ZDNet that these handset manufacturers include HTC, ZTE, and Inseego.
"We want to work with all of them, but in terms of what we can say we can only talk about the handset manufacturers you see up here today," he told ZDNet.
"But rest assured we'll be working with all of them."
Previous and related coverage:
CES 2019: First look at the Samsung 5G smartphone
Samsung is showing off its 5G smartphone prototype at CES 2019, giving users a first taste of what the device will look like.
CES 2019: Cisco talks 6G
While everyone else spent CES 2019 talking about 5G, Cisco is already looking towards a 6G future.
Mobile device security: A guide for business leaders
Attacks against mobile devices are growing more widespread and more sophisticated, requiring companies to adopt new tools, strategies, and best practices to safeguard their data assets. This ebook offers...
CES 2019: Mobvoi announces TicWatch E2 and S2, fitness-focused Google Wear OS watches
Mobvoi's TicWatch lineup may be the most compelling Google Wear OS smartwatces available and two new models join the lineup.
CES 2019: Nvidia partners with Mercedes on artificial intelligence
Nvidia and Mercedes-Benz have extended their partnership to develop AI architecture across the entire car.
CES 2019: How Samsung Gear S3 became a surprise hit in the enterprise (TechRepublic)
Manufacturing, hospitality, and other industries have discovered some powerful use cases for adopting Samsung wearables.
CES 2019: Samsung Notebook 9 Pro is a powerful laptop/tablet combo (TechRepublic)
Samsung's redesigned 2019 Notebook 9 Pro combines a 13-inch tablet and Windows 10 laptop into a stylish convertible professionals should like.
More CES 2019 coverage: