Telstra has revealed the first 5G smartphone to be released in Australia, the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, will be given out for free to people that hand back their S10+.
Samsung overnight launched its latest S10 range of smartphones, with the premium variant, S10+, going on sale in March in Australia from $1,499 up to $2,399 for the 1TB model.
But Telstra customers keen to be first on the new 5G mobile network can upgrade for free from a S10+ to a Samsung Galaxy S10 5G when that device comes to Australia later in the year.
The country’s two largest telecommunications companies, Telstra and Optus, have been locked in an intense battle for the first customers on their new 5G mobile networks.
Testing has indicated the new 5G mobile network would be capable of going at 30 times faster than the National Broadband Network and 60 times faster than current 4G mobile networks.
Optus has concentrated on being the first out with home internet, last month revealing that it would sell a $70 unlimited data home internet plan with a 50Mbps speed guarantee, to directly challenge the wired NBN connections.
Meanwhile Telstra has focused on pioneering the mobile phone market in 5G, last month hinting that it had “exclusive” agreements with unnamed handset manufacturers for the first 5G devices in Australia.
Today’s announcement with Samsung revealed the first of these deals. No precise release date was announced for the Galaxy S10 5G, with both Telstra and Samsung only saying it would be available in the first half of the year.
Telstra consumer segment executive Kevin Teoh, who was in San Francisco for the Samsung S10 launch event, said that its customers with Samsung S10 5G phones would be among the first in the world to experience 5G.
“5G-enabled devices are the next step towards customers experiencing the potential of this revolutionary technology with faster downloads, high resolution video streaming with less buffering and better mobile gaming on the go on their new 5G device just the start of its capabilities.”
Telstra has already has 200 locations around the country receiving 5G reception, while Optus is aiming to have 50 suburbs ready by next month.
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