Telstra has promised its first 5G handsets will be available by June 2019 after signing an "exclusive" deal with multiple manufacturers.
Telstra 5G TV advertisement
Telstra determined to have first 5G handsets
Telstra CEO, Andy Penn, announced the breakthrough at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January.
While he was not willing to divulge who the manufacturers were citing commercial sensitivity, he reiterated the agreements would be “exclusive” and “before any other Australian mobile operator”
"Telstra has been working closely with numerous global manufacturing and industry partners to make [5G] technology real-world ready.”
“These strategic relationships are now paying off directly for our customers, who will soon have exclusive access to 5G enabled devices on our network, and other devices will also soon hit our stores."
Prototype 5G handsets on display
Leading manufacturer, Samsung, was displaying a prototype 5G smartphone prototype at the event. The device has been designed with the help of chip maker Qualcomm.
“If you’re bringing out a 5G phone in 2020, you’ll be too late,” a Qualcomm exec said in a thinly veiled jab at Apple, which is expected to be late to the 5G party.
LG Electronics also announced it will have a 5G capable smartphone on the market in the first half of 2019.
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