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New 5G download speed record set on a commercial network

20 Jan 2021

A new record for the fastest 5G download speed on a commercial network has been set — 5Gbps for a single user.

That’s according to an announcement today from Telstra in collaboration with Ericsson and Qualcomm, after a 5G NR data call was performed at the 5G Innovation Centre on the Gold Coast in Australia.

“We’re pleased to have yet again increased our existing network peak speed record as we deploy 5G and ready ourselves for this year’s upcoming mmWave spectrum auction,” says Telstra executive for networks and IT Nikos Katinakis.

“In an era of increased demand for flawless connectivity, it gives us great pleasure to provide our customers with enhanced network capabilities such as the use of mmWave and our other spectrum assets.”

Telstra, Ericsson and Qualcomm set the record using the commercial production network and an unspecified ‘smartphone form factor mobile test device’. It follows a previous record set in September last year, where a 4.2Gbps maximum download speed on a commercial 5G network was achieved.

Ericsson head of Australia and New Zealand Emilio Romeo says the milestone was a vast improvement on its own record set three years ago.

“Since achieving a world-first milestone with the 2Gbps LTE technology back in 2018, we have worked tirelessly with Telstra and Qualcomm Technologies to consistently innovate and provide Australians with the best 5G technology,” says Romeo. 

“This announcement today is a testament to that dedication, and we look forward to seeing Australians reap the benefits as we move into 2021.”

The new maximum speed was reached in the live network with the Ericsson Radio System complete base station for millimetre wave (mmWave), the Streetmacro 6701. 

The throughput was achieved via NR carrier aggregation (CA) of eight 100MHz n257 mmWave carriers combined with LTE CA of two 20MHz Band 7 carriers – in total 840MHz spectrum was used for a single user, which is a significant milestone for wireless communication. The smartphone was powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon X60 5G Modem-RF System with 3rd generation Qualcomm QTM535 mmWave antenna modules.

“We are proud to have been a part of this significant mmWave milestone of reaching download speeds of 5 Gbps,” says Qualcomm senior vice president and general manager for 4G/5G Durga Malladi.

“5G mmWave will enable many new use cases for consumers and businesses as well as enable many of today’s mobile devices to take advantage of its enhanced network capacity, multi-gigabit speeds and low latency. 

“We look forward to our close, ongoing collaboration with Telstra and Ericsson in driving commercial 5G mmWave in Australia in 2021.”