Telstra claims it will have 5G handsets before other telcos

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Telstra claims it will have 5G handsets before other telcos

'Exclusive' deals struck.

Telstra has struck agreements with handset makers for what it says will be “exclusive” access to 5G commercial smartphones in the first half of this year.

The announcement was made by CEO Andy Penn at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

Penn confirmed the partnerships, saying that 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,” Penn said.

Under the partnerships, the smartphones will be available exclusively through Telstra “before any other Australian mobile operator” when they are released in the first half of 2019.

No detail was provided on the devices nor their particular capabilities.

Telstra went into CES this week promising "5G news" in a blog post.

"5G is expected to dominate this year’s CES, for good reason. 2019 is the year when all the talk becomes reality," CTO Hakan Eriksson said.

Telstra is planning to deploy its 5G network in three tranches with “full commercial deployment” expected in FY20.

The telco recently paid out $386 million for 5G spectrum with the regional corridor between NSW and Queensland proving particularly in-demand.

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