Telstra, an Australian telecommunications company, and Ericsson, a leading provider of 5G network equipment in the US, have successfully tested a data call made on a 5G as far as 100 kilometers away from the tower, with the test showing Telstra can deliver 5G in a range of 15km to a maximum of 100km.
Given how far the connection went, the test’s data speed of 89 Mbps—which may seem a little slow in comparison to the 700 or so megabits per second you might find on some 5G connections—is nevertheless quite fast.
There are limitations to how this technology and approach currently operate, including the requirement for a direct line of sight to the antenna where 5G is connected. As a result, it won’t function if there are trees or other vegetation in the way.
Although there won’t be many circumstances when this test will span the entire 100 kilometers, Telstra notes that 5G coverage can now extend beyond the 15 km mark overall, which implies Australia will soon have more 5G coverage not just in the cities.
“We have a responsibility to deliver the very best connectivity to regional customers including the benefits and the experience of 5G,” said Telstra’s Nikos Katinakis.
Katinakis said that they are working hard and making sure they invest in the world’s best technology to make sure all Australians have access to the largest and most reliable network now and in the future.
As to when Australians outside the city can expect 5G connections utilizing this technology, Telstra says it’s coming after more testing, with selective deployments in the field starting “later this year”.
In December 2022, Telstra and Ericsson have also collaborated to announce the first Ericsson Cloud RAN 5G data call on Telstra’s commercial network. The landmark technology trial that took place on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, is the first time Ericsson’s Cloud RAN Radio Access Network (RAN) virtualization technology has been trialed in a commercial network in the southern hemisphere.