Telstra hit 100,000 5G devices using its network

Australian telco now has 800 sites capable of serving up 5G.

Telstra has provided an update on its 5G rollout at CES 2020, saying it now has 100,000 5G devices connected to its network.

It added that its network now has 800 sites capable of serving up 5G, and would be extended to hit 35 cities in the first half of 2020.

The telco switched on its 5G network in October 2018, but took until May 2019 to begin selling the first devices capable of using the network. It is now selling six 5G devices.

In November the company said one quarter of its Android phones sold since July was 5G capable, and users were skewing towards pricier plans. The telco said at the time that 5G users typically do 60% of their downloads on the new network.

At CES, Telstra also said it had finished extending the reach of its narrowband IoT network sites from 100kms to 120kms, which sees its total footprint approach 4 million square kilometres.

The telco also announced that it would be the global connectivity partner for Damon Motorcycles, which showed off a 200mph-capable, 200 mile range electric bike. Telstra said it will be using an eSim to connect the bike to a mobile network in the rider's home country.

Telstra added it was creating a "gaming-optimised broadband product".

Last week, the telco announced it would be providing covering the mobile bills of Australian firefighting volunteers across December and January. Vodafone also offered the same to volunteers.

"We have hundreds of Telstra employees working closely with emergency services to support the response to these disasters and to ensure our teams have access to areas of need as soon as they are deemed safe to enter, or under escort," Telstra CEO Andy Penn said at the time.

"We are doing everything we can to get these communities back up and connected as quickly as possible but given the horrific conditions we have seen over the past few days, this may take some time. This is our highest priority and our thoughts are with all of those who have had to endure such terrible conditions and loss."

Those impacted by the fires have had free use of Telstra payphones and Air hotspots, as well as free call diversion to another number.

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