Telstra's hotspot device, the Nighthawk M1, as well as future iterations of it could be the one product that can shape the future of the internet in Australia. The Nighthawk M1 is a product that enables access to the internet by using the mobile network. This means that the device runs on the same internet technology as your mobile phones, which at the moment runs the current 4G network.
The 5G network will be the fifth and next generation of mobile internet. Telstra, Optus and Vodafone have made it known that their 5G networks will be aimed for a 2019-2020 release window. Making this new network so impressive is that it's maximum speeds are expected to be sixty times faster than the NBN.
The NBN is the next evolution of home broadband connections, with the national rollout across Australia promising to increase internet speeds up to 100Mbps, depending on the connection type. However, in the future, home internet does not have to necessarily be limited to a 'broadband' connection, especially as we draw nearer to 5G.
While there are benefits and disadvantages to having a home broadband connection or a home 5G connection, the lines between the two will get closer together. 5G will provider such high internet speeds and low latency, which will open up a new world of technological possibilities. While mobile phones will surely benefit from the advantages of the new 5G network, the faster network will also for driverless cars to react quicker to on-road obstacles or hazards. Building a smart home will also prove more beneficial when it is connected to the 5G network.
Most importantly however, the 5G network will allow for more people to use the network simultaneously. This means that there should be a reduced chance for having to wait for Youtube videos to buffer and the like. Being able to run a network that can contain a larger group of people is vital to 5G taking that next step, from mobile phones right into your household.
Telstra has already been testing these waters, with the previously mentioned Nighthawk M1. By acting as a hotspot as well as a router, the Nighthawk runs the mobile internet off of a SIM card, and disperses the network to the connected devices. While it does run on 4G at the moment, the introduction of the 5G network will make this 'broadband' alternative an even more salivating offer.
Especially if Telstra proves to have a lot of success on the Nighthawk, other telcos like Optus, Vodafone or even mobile specific providers may be keen to create their own 'hotspot' devices in order to provide a new offering to consumers who are after the fastest internet speeds possible. Regardless how this plays out, this area of the internet is a definite 'watch this space'.