5G Update December 2018 – Telstra leading the race to 5G

Q4 2018 has been a busy time for 5G players with the government auctioning valuable spectrum bands and an update on Telstra’s progress on 5G

Australia is tracking well to have initial 5G services in 2019. This will enable strong growth in devices and mobile data consumption.

Respondent willingness to move to 5G

Venture Insights attended the Telstra 5G analyst briefing on December 5 where the company provided an overview of Telstra’s 5G progress. Telstra is a clear leader in 5G development in Australia and is expected to launch their first 5G services in the first half of 2019. Achievements so far on 5G has included the launch of the first 5G enabled base stations in Launceston, first live 5G connection using a Qualcomm chipset and Ericsson software on Gold Coast and a world first demonstration of a live voice call using a 5G mid-band device.

In contrast, Optus and Vodafone have not made major announcements regarding their 5G progress with the exception of Optus’ earlier fixed wireless service announcement which stated a launch date of January 2019. We expect that the limited public announcements from Optus and Vodafone are due to (a) the effective Government ban on Huawei and ZTE 5G infrastructure and (b) the ongoing merger process between VHA and TPG – both of which have allowed Telstra to position itself as an early market leader.

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