First taste of 5G not 5G at all

It seems that multiple media reports that Telstra was rolling out 5G throughout the Gold Coast in order to test it on the locals and CommGames goers and to evaluate the technology were all wrong.

Somehow, somewhere, the whole 5G thing was lost in translation. What Telstra actually said was that it would roll out 5G backhauled wifi hotspots.

“What’s backhauling?” you ask.

This means that Telstra set up a network of wifi hotspots using prototype 5G modems. So, although it was the first official use of 5G in the world, our first taste of 5G was actually still through wifi – not a direct 5G connection.

Okay, so the message was muddled. And The Sydney Morning Herald headline ‘Australians first in the world to try 5G network’ didn’t help matters. But hey, it had me clicking.

Fair play to Fairfax, Telstra’s press release may have been open to interpretation when Telstra’s Group Managing Director Networks Mike Wright said:

“We have said we intend to lead on 5G and with these 5G-enabled wifi hotspots Australian consumers will be among the first people in the world to try the technology. Taking 5G technology out of a lab and into the hands of consumers is another key milestone on Telstra’s roadmap to offering 5G services in 2019.”

It would take a techie to translate that statement.

So, as far as our first taste of 5G? Well, anyone who had the benefit of using the 5G backhauled wifi may have noticed a slight uptick in speed, but at the end of the day, it was just wifi.

Did you get to use the new ‘wifi’? Was it any quicker than your wifi at home?

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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