It’s in the name really, Mobile World Congress kicks off today, and while it’s a more subdued event there’s still some news from both device manufacturers and networks. Telstra and network partner Ericsson are in attendance, albeit remotely, talking about what’s coming up in 5G, and on the network in general.

The big talk about 5G is of course range, and Telstra and Ericsson have announced they’ve completed the world’s longest 5G call. The 5G Standalone (5G SA) data call was made at  Gippsland Victoria on the Telstra 850MHz network and travelled 113km, an impressive stat that speaks well for the expansion of 5G into rural and regional Australia.

Telstra also spoke about improving their 5G service in cities and towns using a variety of strategies including combining their mid and low-band 5G spectrum to improve building penetration, as well as their implementation of mmWave 5G using Small Cells and repeaters.

The Small Cells are being deployed as 5G mmWave and will be used to fill gaps in 5G coverage around cities and town. Telstra will also use repeaters to extend coverage in some areas as well.

Telstra and Ericsson also announced a new initiative to promote startups working with 5G 5G use-cases including ‘enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB), entertainment, gaming, Augmented Reality (AR) / Virtual Reality, shopping and immersive communication, smart home, healthcare and education’.

Finally, there’s news on the shutdown of the Telstra 3G network, which has been slated for 2024. Telstra has announced they will be upgrading all their 3G-only sites to 4G, as well as improving 4G sites already in operation.