Telstra has unveiled a prototype 5G smartphone that is the size of a regular smartphone, which it is testing on its live 5G commercial production network, as well as on an HTC 5G smart hub powered by Qualcomm technology.

The 5G smart hub will be launching sometime in the next calendar year, with Telstra network engineering executive Channa Seneviratne calling it a world first to have a commercial device running on a sub-6GHz 5G network.

Telstra has been working on the smart hub alongside Qualcomm and HTC, Seneviratne said. He added that the telco is also working with a number of handset manufacturers on other 5G smartphone prototypes.

Seneviratne told ZDNet that these handset manufacturers include HTC, ZTE, and Inseego.

"We want to work with all of them, but in terms of what we can say we can only talk about the handset manufacturers you see up here today," he told ZDNet.

"But rest assured we'll be working with all of them."

Seneviratne said that Telstra now has 130 5G towers on air out of its planned 200 5G sites for 2018, with the latest ones being in Hobart and Launceston. All of these upgraded sites have been enabled with gigabit LTE for consumers to use with their current devices in the meantime.

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