Telstra are not backward in coming forward about their plans to be a market if not global leader in 5G and they are on the ground here in Barcelona to prove it.

To show their stuff, they’ve locked in several exclusive handset partnerships to bring devices to Australia first – essentially locking out the other telcos.

Speaking in Barcelona, CEO Andy Penn said “Telstra is 5G-ready now” going on to say their roll out began in August.

Last week Telstra confirmed they would make the 5G version of the Galaxy S10 available in Australia first via a free upgrade if customers buy the Galaxy S10+, but their handset range has expanded further here at MWC.

Following Oppo’s news yesterday that they were working on a 5G handset, Telstra have confirmed they will launch it first in Australia.

Additionally, the much talked about LG V50 ThinQ handset will also be available through Telstra. The 5G 6.4inch smartphone will feature a 4,000 mAh battery and again – will be exclusive to Telstra at launch.

Those handsets join the HTC 5G Hub which was showcased recently and is due to be formally announced here in Barcelona any day now.

5G is available in “selected areas” of Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Hobart, Launceston, the Gold Coast and Toowoomba.

“There are two key components to bringing 5G to life – you need the network technology and you need compatible devices. Our network has been ready for some time, and we’re now even closer to having 5G compatible devices available for our customers.” said Andy Penn.

The race is on, and while Telstra is lengths ahead – we’re yet to truely see how strong consumer demand is for these next generation handsets. Time will tell.