Optus expands commercial 5G services

5G Home Broadband offering to be available in more suburbs

Optus says that by the end of the month customers in parts of the western Sydney suburbs of Bonnyrigg and Minchinbury, Niagara Park on the NSW Central Coast, Cook in the ACT and the Brisbane suburb of Kenmore will be able to order 5G services.

Optus in January revealed its first commercial service based on 5G. At its January launch in the ACT, Optus positioned the service — ‘Optus 5G Home Broadband’ — as an alternative to fixed-line broadband.

The telco is using equipment from both Ericsson and Nokia in its rollout of 5G. Earlier this month it detailed 50 5G sites that will be built by Ericsson over the coming months. Twenty of those sites will be in NSW and 30 will be in Victoria.

Optus Networks managing director Dennis Wong said that its first commercial 5G service in the Sydney suburb of Glendenning had achieved peak download speeds of 295 megabits per second and an average speed of 100Mbps.

“Our peak download speed achieved at our launch in the ACT in January demonstrated download speeds of 170MBps, so a 50 per cent increase in peak speeds in just a few months shows the rapid evolution and advancement of the 5G ecosystem, which is exciting news for Optus customers,” Wong said in a statement.

The Singtel subsidiary said it is testing five end user devices: Two handsets and three CPEs.

Last month Optus’ chief executive, Allen Lew, said the company believed 5G could help deliver a wireless ‘last mile’ connection for NBN services.

In a speech to a CommsDay event, Lew said that the experience of the NBN had been “underwhelming” for customers.

“To ensure we do not fall further behind our international peers, the government and NBN will have to face up to the challenge of upgrading large parts of the network where speeds are limited by the underlying copper or cable,” the Optus CEO said. 

“This upgrade will have to be done in a way that minimises costs to maintain affordability.”

5G fixed wireless access “delivers a real and credible technology option that must be considered,” he said.

“Rather than spending billions of dollars to invest in more fibre or newer copper, 5G technology can be deployed quickly and cost effectively to bring gigabit speeds to households.”