Nokia and TPG Telecom launch 'world’s first' 5G service in Sydney

The companies say it is the first time a 700MHz standalone network has been launched

Nokia and TPG Telecom have switched on a live 5G standalone network in “parts of Sydney” on the 700MHz spectrum band, which the companies claim is a world first.

The two companies stated that low band 5G “goes further outdoor[s] and deeper into buildings than existing 5G deployment” which will allow the operator to reach more customers. Standalone refers to 5G networks that are capable of operating in pure 5G mode, without being aided by existing 4G infrastructure.

“We’re excited to be the first network in the world to realise the true potential of low band 5G SA at 700MHz,” said Barry Kezik, executive general manager of Mobile and Fixed Networks at TPG Telecom.

“TPG Telecom’s low band 5G will expand our 5G coverage, supporting our goal of reaching 85% of the population in Australia’s top six cities by the end of the year and changing the way people and things connect to the TPG Telecom 5G network.”

Through the partnership, Nokia will supply equipment from its latest ReefShark-based AirScale range including its triple-band remote radio unit that supports 700, 850 and 900MHz bands. The unit also supports 3G, 4G and 5G simultaneously across all of TPG Telecom’s low-band frequencies.

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“Nokia is proud to support another 5G world first,” said Robert Joyce, CTO at Nokia Oceania. “We have a long-standing partnership with TPG Telecom, and we have jointly developed our unique triple-band radio solution specifically for them.

"Today we get to see the result of that joint effort and collaboration which will deliver premium wide area 5G SA coverage for TPG Telecom and its customers.”

The announcement comes as Australia is aiming to become a leading digital economy by 2030. In May, the government allocated $1.2 billion AUD (£670 million) to invest in its digital future. This includes over $100 million to support digital skills and a $124.1 million National Artificial Intelligence Centre. $35.7 million will be spent to support emerging aviation tech like dones, while $50 million will be invested in enhancing cyber security in government, data centres, and future telecommunication networks.

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