THE first sites of Telstra’s 5G network on the Mornington Peninsula are now up and running.
The switch-on follows completion in March to upgrades of the telecommunication company’s mobile sites.
Sorrento, Blairgowrie and Rye join parts of Melbourne, and several regional locations, where the 5G rollout has started.
“Not all of the peninsula is covered at this stage,” a company spokesperson said, adding that work was under way in other parts of Rye, Tootgarook, Rosebud, Fingal, Boneo and Dromana.
“The rollout has begun and we’ll continue to expand it as we keep building the new network across the country.”
Telstra regional general manager Loretta Willaton said the roll-out was a “game-changer for locals and businesses”.
“It will provide Telstra customers using 5G devices with higher speeds, lower latency [the time it takes to send and receive a signal which is important for things like real-time activities, such as driverless cars and gaming], and greater capacity, especially in peak times when the network can be at its busiest,” she said.
“There’ll also be flow-on benefits to our 4G users with upgrades to our mobile network on the peninsula, improving capacity for all our mobile customers.”
To use 5G, users will need a 5G-enabled phone, 5G coverage and a 5G mobile plan. If they move to an area where there is no 5G access, their phones will revert to the next fastest technology: 4GX or 4G.
“In recent testing in Victoria we’ve been reaching speeds around 728 megabits per second – that’s up to seven times faster than 4G,” company spokesperson said, adding “real world experiences and speeds may differ from location-to-location”.
The roll-out of 5G has not pleased one group on the peninsula which wants a global moratorium “until the system is proven safe”.
“Banning asbestos and the use of thalidomide took years after the symptoms appeared, as did the use of cigarettes and lead in petrol and paints, so let’s not wait for this one,” spokesperson Judy O’Donnell said. “No proof of harm is not proof of no harm.”
The federal government announced in January that it would spend $9 millon building public confidence in the system (Govt to spend $9m on ‘5G is safe’ message” The News 29/1/20).
The anti-5G group held public meetings at Mt Eliza attended by about 100 people and about 60 people at a meeting at the Rosebud public hall mid-last year.
“The general mood was a big ‘no until proven safe’,” Ms O’Donnell said. “It hasn’t been proven safe and we have proof of that now [because] ARPANSA (Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency) has still not done tests. Yet [we’re told] it’s safe. How can that be?”
Ms O’Donnell sent a petition containing 800 signatures to Mornington Peninsula Shire calling on a moratorium to the 5G roll out “until further testing proves it is safe”. It was tabled in November.
She said plans to meet with councillors to discuss the roll out before the end of February were postponed because of COVID-19.
“Scientists worldwide have real concerns about the adverse effects on people’s health and the environment of 5G. The telecommunications industry has not shown it to be safe for our health or privacy and thousands of independent peer reviewed studies show the risks it presents.”
Customers can get more information on Telstra 5G and see the latest devices at Telstra.com/5G or at their nearest Telstra store.