TPG Telecom triples 5G coverage as standalone core launches

Population coverage somewhere in the 60% range with the upper end at 85%, depending on how TPG measures it.
Written by Chris Duckett on
Image: TPG Telecom

TPG Telecom has thanked the launch of its 5G standalone core for tripling its 5G coverage.

By losing the need for a 4G connection, TPG said as well as a boost to coverage, standalone has improved latency by 30%, and provided a more consistent experience. The company said it has "around one million" 5G devices on its network, and expected standalone upgrade to "major 5G devices" in coming weeks.

The telco said it has over 85% population coverage in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Canberra, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Wollongong, and Central Coast areas. On an Australian-wide population coverage stat, TPG is keeping that one close to its chest. By contrast, Telstra boasts of 75% national population coverage.

"Two in three Australians are now covered by our 5G where they work and live, and with the first major device due to be upgraded to work with standalone 5G in just a few weeks, the new coverage is ready," TPG Telecom CEO Iñaki Berroeta said.

"The merger [between TPG and Vodafone] has enabled us to build a better and smarter 5G network faster than we otherwise would have, delivering one of the biggest and most tangible benefits for customers. Since the merger, we have integrated our spectrum, fibre and small cells to create our best ever mobile network."

One of new functionalities available to the telco will be network slicing, which TPG executive general manager mobile and fixed networks Barry Kezik said would allow enterprise customers to set "specific connectivity, speed, and capacity requirements for individual applications".

"Through cloud-based technologies, we will be able to manage the network more effectively and ultimately offer customers a better experience," he said.

In September, Ericsson said TPG has moved its entire 4G and 5G customer base onto a virtualised core, being the first Australian telco to do so.

Ericsson provided the core solution for TPG's standalone network, and Nokia provided subscriber data management, TPG said.

On Friday, TPG and Samsung completed a 5G virtualised RAN trial. 

"The trial resulted in speeds with a peak user throughput of 2.3Gbps using 400MHz of spectrum on 26GHz and demonstrated over 4Gbps in cell throughput with Samsung's Multi-User, Multiple-Input, Multiple Output (MU-MIMO) technology," the pair said.

"The trial also achieved a steady rate above 1Gbps user throughput in non-line-of-sight scenarios approximately 1km away."  

Elsewhere on Monday, Nokia and University of Technology Sydney (UTS) opened its 5G Futures Lab.

"Industry collaborations such as these allow our academics and students to work with state-of-the-art technology and real industry problems, in turn inspiring the creation of new applications and businesses," UTS deputy vice-chancellor of innovation and enterprise Professor Glenn Wightwick said.

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