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Telstra just tested a 5G mobile network 100 times faster than NBN … theoretically

Photo: Getty Images.

Many Australians are now anticipating fast internet access at home when the NBN arrives in their neighbourhood. But what about mobile networks?

The next generation of mobile broadband is reportedly heading into incredible speeds, far faster than anything come down wires, with Telstra announcing today that it has tested “one of the world’s first” 5G radio test beds in Melbourne, in conjunction with Ericsson.

“During the outdoor trial we saw total download speeds (to two mobiles) of greater than 20Gbps, so there’s no doubt 5G is going to be a lot faster than today’s mobile networks,” said Telstra networks group managing director Mike Wright.

As a comparison, that is 200 times faster than the maximum speed of the NBN. However, practical speeds once many thousands of devices start using the network is anyone’s guess.

Telstra didn’t want to take a stab. A spokesperson for the company told Business Insider: “When shared between many users we’d expect speeds will be lower than the peak speeds.”

The current 4G LTE standard has an on-paper max speed of 300Mbps, which is still 3 times faster than the NBN, but you would struggle to find any Australian getting anywhere near that sort of web browsing.

Wright said the extra capacity on 5G would be needed as more and more machines join the mobile network — internet of things, such as refrigerators and kettles that are connected online.

The carrier has previously stated it aims to conduct full trials of 5G at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast. Actual deployment of 5G networks is not expected to occur until 2020.

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