Optus expanding 5G fixed wireless service

21 May 2019

Australia's Optus has announced plans to expand its 5G fixed wireless service to more areas of the country by the end of the month.

The wholly-owned Singtel subsidiary announced that by the end of the month, it will deploy 5G in three more communities in the state of New South Wales, one in the Australian Capital Territory and one in Brisbane.

One of Optus' early 5G fixed wireless areas, in a suburb of New South Wales capital Sydney, has recorded peak download speeds of 295Mbps and is achieving average speeds of 100Mbps, Optus said. This is an improvement on the 170Mbps peak speed achieved during a launch in January.

The operator currently has more than 70 5G-ready sites nationwide, and has earmarked the first of its planned 30 5G sites in the state of Victoria, which will be switched on within the next few months.

Optus Networks managing director Dennis Wong said the early adopters of its 5G service are providing insights into the initial expected use cases for 5G. Analysis shows that customers are currently using 5G fixed wireless for traditional purposes.

“Our first customers are currently using 5G for video downloads, internet connectivity and browsing, but we see exciting 5G consumer applications in the future including a much richer AR and VR gaming experience and improved in-home device connectivity,” he said.

“Despite being in its infancy, we are already gaining valuable insights into the new 5G technology [including] a better understanding of how to best tune the technology to improve performance. We are also gaining valuable insights around how to adjust our network and its technical features to support interoperability of multiple devices.”

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