Monday, 14 January 2019 10:53

Optus moves step closer to 5G commercial launch Featured

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Australia’s second largest telco, the Singtel-owned Optus, says it has taken another significant step towards its commercial launch of 5G by making a 5G data call on 60 MHz using 3.5 GHz spectrum.

Announced on Monday, Optus made the call as part of pre-launch testing, from its 5G site in Dickson, Canberra utilising a commercial grade 5G Radio Network and customer premises equipment (CPE) developed in partnership with Nokia.

The indoor Nokia 5G CPE has a high-gain antenna which will deliver a 5G connection in residential areas, and the call was made using the 3GPP Release 15 September specification using a standard commercial chipset.

“We are on the cusp of delivering this next generation technology into the hands of our customers and hitting this milestone is an important step towards our commercial 5G launch planned for the first half of this year,” said Dennis Wong, Optus managing director, Networks.

“Using the 5G 3.5 GHz 60 MHz band means that we will be able to deliver greater capacity compared to 4G, enabling the use of multiple devices as well ultra-high definition video streaming which is expected to be key for our customers when 5G begins rolling out this year. This is the first time in Australia that a data call has been made using 60 MHz channel bandwidth on an Optus live network and a 5G device.”

Optus says that when it begins switching on its 5G network across a number of capital cities in the first half of this year, the CPE will facilitate a 5G fixed wireless access experience for Australian consumers.

“For Optus, 5G is a fundamental part of building a smart network that keeps our customers connected. It’s important that customers experience the benefit of this next generation network from the outset,” Wong said.

“Our fixed wireless access product, combined with our ambitious roll out plan, means customers will be able to experience 5G soon.”

Wong said 5G is a “game-changer” and that Optus was working tirelessly to deliver customers a meaningful 5G experience at launch.

“This is an incredibly exciting time for us as we gear up to put next-generation fixed wireless technology into the hands of consumers and businesses that will change how they live, work and play.

Wong notes that Optus’ multi-year 5G network build plan includes upgrading and adding new mobile sites while densifying the network with innovative small cell solutions which will increase capacity and speed in highly populated inner-city locations.


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired and is a "volunteer" writer for iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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