Telstra giving small plan users a taste of 5G

Telco giving users a sample of 5G speeds for half a year.

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Image: Chris Duckett/ZDNet

Telstra has bumped up some of its postpaid small plan users onto 5G, which the telco previously reserved for its medium and higher plan users.

Initially enabled last week, at least for this writer, the telco has messaged users stating they have been given six months of 5G connectivity for free, and if they wished to continue with 5G, they would need to move to a higher plan. The telco said it would remove the boost if users did not shift plans.

In speedtest results with a Pixel 5, the best result gave 278Mbps down with 19.8Mbps up. The test used up 468MB of data, in total.

Elsewhere, alongside the Victorian government, the telco said on Wednesday it was improving coverage in the southern mainland state.

The first project will see Victoria stump up AU$3.2 million to improve 4G coverage between Wemen and Beverford in the northern part of the state through the installation of three new base stations and one small cell. Around 2,650 premises are set to benefit from the coverage expansion. The project also involves Olam Orchards, which will be increasing its use of robotics in pest spraying and harvesting of its almond crop.

The second sees Spring St put forward AU$2.2 million to improve 4G coverage and backhaul in Mallacotta, which was devastated by bushfires in the Black Summer of 2019-20.

Triple Zero AML rollout complete

Minister for Communications Paul Fletcher said on Wednesday the deployment of advanced mobile location (AML) across Australia was complete.

Kicked off in December, AML provides Triple Zero operators with coordinates using the same location technology that phone users use when searching for directions.

AML was used on New Year's Eve to rescue two kayakers from rough water off Adelaide.

"It proved crucial when two people became caught in strong winds on a kayak approximately 3.2km offshore at Seacliff beach, unable to paddle back to safety on Thursday, December 31," the South Australia government said at the time.

For AML to work, Android users need only have a phone with Google Play Services installed and running Android Jelly Bean, which was released in 2012, or higher. Those on Apple devices need to have iOS 14.3 or higher installed.

Fletcher added Telstra, as the operator of Triple Zero, had been working with Apple and Google, as well as with other mobile carriers and emergency services, to ensure the system was working.

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