Thursday, 22 October 2020 13:55

Telstra: new 5G coverage checker, new AR experience in MyTelstra app and new trade-ins

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A day ahead of Apple's iPhone 12 and 12 Pro arriving at retail tomorrow, Telstra has released information about its new 5G coverage checker, a new AR feature in the MyTelstra app delivering an AR experience around the iPhone 12, and its new trade-in offer for old devices.

As previously announced, Telstra's 5G coverage now covers 41% of the places people live, work or pass through, with that to grow to 75% of the population by mid-2021, so its rollout is well underway.

Indeed, there are now more than 2000 5G sites up and running, and with Telstra 5G rolling out in more than 60 cities and towns across Australia and in selected areas of more than 1,400 suburbs across the country, there's a good chance you already have 5G where you live, and if not, it's coming soon.

You can scroll down this page to find Telstra's 5G coverage checker, just enter in your address to see what Telstra says about your indoor and outdoor 5G coverage, while its 5G coverage maps are here

As Telstra notes, there are "a host of new 5G handsets about to hit the shelves and dozens of new 5G sites going up every week", so it built its new "mobile coverage checker to give customers the clearest view of the status of Telstra 5G in their area – and it’s built right into the online sales process" as well as being available at that link above.

All you need to do is to enter your service or billing address, and you'll see the predicted coverage for both indoor and outdoor use, which we're told can be an important differentiation "for 5G where factors like distance to the mobile base station and any structures in the way can affect the quality of your connection.

"This new tool supports our mobile coverage maps which show where we currently have 5G and where it will be coming soon, to help customers make an informed choice when shopping for a new handset".

Second is the new "augmented reality" experience inside the MyTelstra app to showcase the new iPhone 12.

This dovetails with the new iPhone 12 and 12 Pro going on retail sale at last, so on Friday 23 October, the MyTelstra app will feature this new AR experience. Telstra is billing it as "a new way to bring our products to life and help customers see what the device looks like in their hand, the quality of the finish, the glass screen and ceramic shield and the triple camera system on the iPhone 12 Pro in Pacific Blue.

"Customers will be able to click through the MyTelstra app to launch an AR version of the new device to see what it looks like in their hand and their surrounds without needing to hold the actual device".

The company says "it’s a new way we’re using technology to complement our in-store experience so customers can get that ‘touch and feel’ understanding from the comfort of their own home or before they visit one of our stores to grab one for themselves. For our Victorian customers, it’s also a way they can ‘test out’ the device while some restrictions are still in place.

"We know it won’t necessarily replace the feeling of holding the actual device in your hand but it’s a new, fun way we’re using AR technology to help customers get a look at the device close-up, see the newest colour and experience it for themselves".

Presumably Telstra will use this AR experience to showcase smartphones, tablets, accessories and more from a range of its partners, so Samsung, Google and others are surely next, but the iPhone 12 is certainly a great place to start that is sure to generate a lot of attention and usage.

The third of Telstra's announcements is its new trade-in offer for old and out-of-contract devices.

This is being done in partnership with Kingfisher Mobile Australia to "make trading in old and out-of-contract devices easier and help customers get the best in-market price for their old phones or tablets"

Here's Telstra's explanation: "Trade-in gives customers credit back to their Telstra bill in exchange for a device they’re no longer using. They can also use the credit to make purchasing a new device more affordable on a Telstra plan.

"Trade-ins are entirely online and self-service through the My Telstra app, so customers don’t have to visit a store or send their devices off to be assessed. In the My Telstra app, you’ll be asked a series of questions like the version of the device, its storage capacity, colour and condition.

"At the moment, Apple, Samsung and Google phones are eligible for trade-in, as are Apple and Samsung tablets. Every month we’ll review which devices can be traded, so if it isn’t on the portal, it might be in the future.

"There’s no limit to the number of devices a customer can trade in, and accessories don’t need to be returned, so customers can hang on to their old chargers and cables and re-use them, helping reduce electronic waste.

"There are environmental benefits to trading your phone in, too - the devices are reconditioned, resold or recycled rather than ending up as e-waste. That’s ever more important to us as we push to reduce our overall environmental emissions as a carbon neutral business". 

You can find out a bit more detail about this new trade-in offer at the Telstra Exchange blog in an article by Michael Ackland, the Group Executive of Consumer and Small Business at Telstra.


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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