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Telstra customers will be using 5G smartphones, including LG and HTC devices, in the first half of 2019

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Telstra customers will be able to access the 5G network with commercial smartphones from the world’s biggest vendors, including devices from LG and HTC, in the first half of 2019 according to Telstra CEO Andy Penn who is attending the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Under the partnerships, these devices will be available exclusively through Telstra ahead of any other Australian telco.

LG made no secret of the fact they would be one of the first smartphone vendors to release a 5G handset in 2019 during its CES press conference which includes representative from Qualcomm.

LG hasn’t confirmed a model number not released specs or a screen size for the device.

Tech Guide has confirmed HTC will also be offering a 5G device. HTC is already a partner with Telstra after co-operating with Telstra on a 5G mobile broadband device.

But Telstra wouldn’t name the other exclusive smartphone partners.

Tech Guide believes the other companies to supply 5G phones for the Telstra network will be Oppo and Samsung.

Apple is unlikely to be one of the partners considering it won’t be releasing a new iPhone before September at the earliest.

Our sources say Samsung will also be part of the first wave of phones to work on the Telstra 5G network.

But it won’t be the Samsung Galaxy S10 due in late February/early March with rumours suggesting this will be a 4G LTE device and will not contain the 5G radios and chipset.

“The 5G revolution is now very real. More than 200 Telstra 5G mobile base stations are now online across the nation and our customers will very soon be among the first in the world to experience the possibilities this revolutionary technology can deliver,” Mr Penn said.

“Much faster downloads, high resolution video streaming with less buffering and mobile gaming on the go are just the start of what 5G is capable of delivering.

“This is the year of 5G and, as a world leader in the testing and development of 5G, we have been working closely with numerous global manufacturing and industry partners to make this revolutionary 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 the nation’s largest and fastest mobile network, and other devices will also soon hit our stores.”

This latest announcement caps a number national and global 5G firsts including:

– Unveiling the world’s first connection of a 5G mid-band commercial device

– Australia’s first 5G video call

– The world’s first precinct of 5G-enabled WiFi hotspots

– Australia’s first 5G Connected Car

– The world’s first end-to-end 5G non-standalone data call on a commercial mobile network,

– Launching more than 200 5G-enabled sites around the country, including all major cities and some regional centres.

Telstra also recently announced that Ericsson will be its key 5G partner in its network rollout – the culmination of an $8bn investment over the five years to June 2019.

* Tech Guide travelled to Las Vegas with support from LG, Samsung and Hisense.