Telstra will offer 5G connectivity free to all customers with a compatible device for at least a year, marking its aggressive entry into the next-generation cellular space.
CEO Andy Penn revealed the free connectivity offer this morning, coinciding with the release of the telco’s first 5G-capable device, a HTC-made wireless hub.
The telco is planning to launch new, streamlined mobile plans in June as part of its ongoing T22 simplification effort.
These new plans will come with “a future bolt on for 5G”, the telco said today. That bolt-on will initially be free.
“To start with, when we launch our new plans in late June, we will make 5G available for free for a minimum of 12 months, so everyone with a compatible device has the opportunity to try 5G when they are in a 5G coverage area,” CEO Andy Penn said.
“Once this free trial period ends, customers on our top two plans will have 5G connectivity included in their plan at no extra charge, and customers on our other plans will have the option of adding 5G connectivity for $15 a month.
“Customer who buy a 5G enabled device before we launch our new plans, or are a part of the Samsung S10+ upgrade program, will receive 5G access for no additional charge for the life of their contract.”
The HTC hub plan pricing gives some indication of what it might cost to have a 4G/5G service on Telstra.
Personal plans start at $70 a month and small business plans at $60 a month, though both come with small amounts of included data.
Telstra is maintaining public maps of its 5G network construction efforts here.
The aggressive move by Telstra will put other Australian carriers on notice.
Optus is already touting a precursor 5G fixed wireless offering where it offers unlimited data and minimum 50Mbps speeds for $70 a month.
The free connectivity offer in some ways mimics an offer that TPG was planning to make on its own now-iced 4G network.
TPG had been hoping to give away six months of free connectivity to invited users.