Telstra CEO Andy Penn has announced it’s secured exclusive access to 5G smartphones from the “world’s biggest brands” for the first half of the year.

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While manufacturer names are not provided, the deal assumes Telstra customers will be among the nation’s first to access 5G smartphones.

Despite this, exclusivity remains timed, with other telcos seemingly receiving access to various smartphones after a certain point.

“… I am excited to announce our customers will soon be at the forefront of 5G device technology, including exclusive access to 5G commercial devices, thanks to a series of partnerships with some of the world’s biggest brands,” declared Penn at CES 2019.

“Under the partnerships, the devices will be available exclusively through Telstra before any other Australian mobile operator when they are released in the first half of 2019.”

As previously reported, Samsung is tipped to unveil a 5G version of its Galaxy S10 this year, rivalled by 5G devices from the likes of Huawei.

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“These [5G] smartphones and devices are coming soon and we will provide further details closer to their release,” adds Penn.

“Once on the market, these 5G-enabled devices will connect to Australia’s first 5G-ready network – our customers’ first opportunity to experience this revolutionary technology.”

Attributing many “strategic partnerships” for the exclusivity, Penn adds it’s also amidst discussions with other device manufacturers.

Concerning 5G pricing, Penn remains vague, whilst flagging the “enormous” investment forked out can sometimes lead to price increases.

As part of his CES address, Mr Penn has confirmed the telco delivered on its commitment to roll-out 200 5G enabled mobile sites in Australia by the end of 2018.

The telco now has 207 sites online, expanding across every major Australian city and some regional centres.

Further information on Telstra’s CES 2019 address is available here.

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