Telstra launches Australia’s first 5G mobile device

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It’s been a long wait, but the next big thing in tech is finally here. Telstra has officially launched the HTC 5G Hub: Australia’s first-ever 5G mobile device, and the next step in ultra-fast mobile and home broadband.

The HTC 5G Hub is a world-first 5G and 4GX mobile hotspot and smart hub, ideal for both at-home use and for connecting while on-the-go. With the ability to support up to 20 Wi-Fi enabled devices and a one gigabit Ethernet connection, HTC’s Hub offers fast media streaming and low latency, and up to 24 hours of active battery life on a single charge.

As a 5G-compatible device, the Hub will give customers access to the fastest mobile speeds in Australia. This includes 5G coverage where available, as well as access to Telstra’s nationwide 4GX network. The best news of all? You can buy it right now.

Telstra 5G mobile broadband plans

The HTC 5G Hub, Australia’s first 5G-capable device, is now available to buy from Telstra on a 24-month or 36-month mobile broadband plan.

The below table features all published Telstra mobile broadband plans from Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost from lowest to highest and then by data allowance. These do not include device payments for the HTC 5G Hub. These are products with links to a referral partner.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Telstra Logo

Extra Small

  • Unlimited data capped at 1.5Mbps
  • Free 5G access until 30 June 2020

min. cost $15 over one month

5GBMax Data**/billing period $15Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Telstra Logo

Small

  • Unlimited data capped at 1.5Mbps
  • Free 5G access until 30 June 2020

min. cost $25 over one month

10GBMax Data**/billing period $25Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Telstra Logo

Medium

  • Unlimited data capped at 1.5Mbps
  • Includes 5G network access

min. cost $50 over one month

50GBMax Data**/billing period $50Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Telstra Logo

Large

  • Unlimited data capped at 1.5Mbps
  • Includes 5G network access

min. cost $75 over one month

100GBMax Data**/billing period $75Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

Whether you’re looking for home internet backup, a way to connect while travelling, or a flexible broadband option outside of fixed-line NBN, the HTC 5G Hub promises fast responses and super-smooth streaming and downloading. You’ll be able to use the device to stream in 4K, control other smart devices in your home, and work remotely without interruption.

Telstra CEO Andrew Penn has called the telco’s 5G rollout and HTC partnership ‘a game changer’. “Our launch of the HTC 5G Hub is the moment 5G becomes a reality for Australian consumers,” he said. “Since 2016, we have been working with some of the world’s leading technology brands to ensure Australians are among the first in the world to be able to access 5G.”

When can I access Telstra 5G?

We’ve talked at length about the benefits of 5G, both for everyday internet users and for businesses. While it may not be an immediate ‘NBN killer’, it’s a huge upgrade to current 4G network speeds, and will support more data and users than existing mobile networks.

Although Telstra’s 5G network has been switched on, it’s still very much in its infancy – and very much in the early stages of its rollout. So far, Telstra’s ‘anticipated coverage areas’ – scheduled to be live by June 30, 2019 – include selected suburbs and regions of the following cities and towns.

  • Adelaide
  • Brisbane
  • Canberra
  • Gold Coast
  • Hobart
  • Launceston
  • Melbourne
  • Perth
  • Sydney
  • Toowoomba

Currently, all of the above locations enjoy robust 4G coverage, but  5G is only available in limited areas. If your city is listed above, you’ll still need to check Telstra’s 5G coverage maps before assuming you’ll have 5G access today, or by the end of June.

Despite the limited 5G footprint so far, Mr Penn is optimistic about the 5G Hub launch. “The rollout of 5G coverage is ongoing and, as 5G develops, there will be more devices and more technologies to come,” said Mr Penn. “But this is an important step we take today, as the first Australian network to offer mobile 5G.”

5G broadband: Telstra vs. Optus

Telstra may be the first Australian telco to offer a commercially available 5G device, but it’s not the first to unveil 5G broadband plans. Optus announced its soon-to-go-live 5G home broadband plan at the end of January, and will offer customers unlimited 5G data for just $70 per month on a 24-month contract.

However, this price doesn’t include what you’ll pay for a 5G-capable device – and although Optus has announced a partnership with Nokia to bring 5G devices to customers, there’s been no news as to when these will be available. However, if you’re interested in 5G as a home-only internet solution, and want more than 100GB of data each month, it may be worth waiting to see what Optus brings to the table.

5G mobile phone plans: coming soon

In addition to unveiling 5G mobile broadband, Telstra has launched a range of new mobile phone plans which can be bundled with its selection of 5G devices (including the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G) which includes free 5G connectivity for the first 12 months. After the initial period, only Telstra’s top two plans will continue to offer 5G at no extra cost; customers on lower-priced plans can either drop 5G connectivity from their service, or continue enjoying 5G access for an additional $15 per month.

In addition to the new Samsung device, the OPPO Reno 5G and the LG V50 ThinQ 5G devices have been released in partnership with Telstra, which you can pick up from the telco over 24 or 36-month payment plans in conjunction with a postpaid phone plan.

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