The carrier said the 5G offering will be supported by 1,200 sites by March 2020
Australian telecom operator Optus has launched its 5G home broadband offering in certain areas of Canberra and Sydney.
In partnership with Nokia, who is supplying the 5G Radio Access Network and Fastmile 5G customer premise equipment, Optus 5G sites are already live in two suburbs in Canberra, with an additional site live in Sydney and 47 more sites planned to be online by March 2019.
Optus also announced plans to deliver 1,200 5G sites by March 2020. The 1,200 sites will include residential locations and other key customer hotspots surrounding airports, train stations and sports stadiums.
“This is an historic day for Optus as we begin our exciting 5G journey with the announcement of Optus’ 5G Home Broadband service,” Optus Chief Executive Allen Lew said. “We will have more 5G sites going live across Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Perth and Sydney over the coming months giving a select group of customers the chance to get their hands on our 5G Home Broadband devices in areas of selected suburbs.”
Optus plans to deliver 5G sites across Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia by March 2020.
“We will continue to adopt a multi-vendor approach to our network technology infrastructure that will drive innovation and competition, which is critical to Optus’ DNA,” Lew added.
The executive also said that Optus’ multi-year 5G network build would include upgrading and adding new mobile sites, while densifying the network with small cells to increase capacity and speed in highly populated inner-city locations.
“When Optus customers have 5G compatible handsets in areas with Optus 5G network coverage they will also be able to experience 5G services on-the-go. We are working with a range of smartphone manufacturers and will announce details about 5G smartphone handset availability and plans in the future,” Lew said.
Other Australian telcos are also accelerating their 5G strategies. In August, rival mobile operator Telstra announced the activation of its 5G network in selected areas on the Gold Coast. Telstra CEO Andrew Penn said this was just the beginning of Telstra’s roll out of 5G technology, with more than 200 5G-capable sites planned to be live around the country by the end of 2018.
Telstra’s 5G network in the Gold Coast uses Ericsson’s Baseband 6630, AIR 6488, and 4G/5G system software, a 5G platform provided by Intel as well as spectrum in the 3.5GHz and 2100MHz bands.
Telstra had previously opened a 5G innovation centre in the Gold Coast region. Telstra said the main aim of the new 5G center will be to test next-generation technologies to support the early commercial deployment of 5G mobile services in Australia, which telco aims to launch commercial 5G services in Australia in 2019.
However, Australian carrier TPG Telecom has decided to cease rollout of its mobile network infrastructure in Australia, after the local government prohibited the use of Chinese vendor Huawei Technologies in 5G networks.
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