Australia’s largest telecom provider Telstra has revealed a uniquely “Aussie” issue could delay the rollout of the nation’s 5G network expected to come in 2020, with gumtrees set to offer resistance to the technology’s radio waves.
The company’s managing director of networks Mike Wright said similar issues arose with previous versions of mobile networks such as 3G and 4G, and that Telstra would be “modifying” the network before the rollout to decrease the chance of delay.
He told Fairfax Media that Australia’s vast landscapes and unique flora could disrupt the 5G signals, which are reportedly on a higher frequency than previous networks, meaning they couldn’t travel as far from the signal towers.
“Our approach (to 5G) is to get in earlier and try to have it modified so it’s more suitable to Australia when it arrives, rather than us have to try to modify it when it gets here,” Wright said in comments published in Tuesday’s newspapers.
“Something that seems to be unique to Australia, and we found with earlier standards, is how gumtrees impact those radio signals and the way they get from the radio tower to the end user.”
Wright said Telstra had already received approval from the network’s creators to gain early access to best determine how to handle the uniquely Australian issue.
“We discovered that the way (5G) was being written, we were going to be limited to tens of kilometers for some features, and we’ve been able to get some of those distance limits changed,” he said.
Trials for the network will reportedly begin in Australia during the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in 2018.
5G networks are expected to deliver users speeds which could theoretically allow them to download hundreds of hours of video within minutes. Enditem