Samsung's Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus are the first two smartphones to have managed to break 1Gbps download speeds on a commercial wireless network in Australia, with the test allowing them to do so recently being conducted by Telstra. The telecom giant's mobile chief Kevin Teoh said the average speeds experienced by Galaxy S9 owners on the company's 4GX network are still likely to range between 300Mbps and 500Mbps but a lack of infrastructural loads may enable significantly better performance in certain areas covered by the firm's gigabit technology. The industry veteran described the latest development as a milestone that signals the advent of 5G, the next generation of wireless networks promising to deliver unprecedented latencies and capacities, as well as higher perceived speeds.
The Melbourne-based company already vowed to aggressively pursue 5G buildouts going forward and pioneer the mobile service revolution in Australia, with its Chief Executive Officer Andy Penn arriving at this year's iteration of Mobile World Congress to highlight the importance of an early 5G push for Telstra's overall business strategy. Improved infrastructure is just one part of the 5G equation, with contemporary smartphones capable of taking advantage of such speeds being the other one. While Samsung's Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus aren't 5G-enabled, their ability to break the 1Gbps mark should allow them to leverage transitional, 4.5G technologies in all parts of the world. Telstra is presently offering gigabit-rated wireless speeds in central business districts of Melbourne and Sydney where they span a 3km radius, as well as Brisbane and Adelaide where their reach has a 2km diameter. Select high-traffic locations in the country are also serviced by the same infrastructure, whereas the central business district of Perth will soon be able to benefit from identical technologies, Telstra said.
The Australian mobile service provider held a 2Gbps demonstration at MWC last month, albeit the setup it used didn't involve commercial equipment or smartphones. Telstra should begin large-scale 5G buildouts by next year, much like the largest wireless carriers in the United States and certain Far Eastern countries. Samsung is likely to commercialize its first 5G devices early next year, being expected to unveil them in the form of the Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10 Plus, though both may end up being rebranded, as recently hinted by its mobile head DJ Koh.