Monday, 10 December 2018 11:37

Optus prepares for 5G expansion with spectrum acquisition Featured

By
Optus Managing Director Dennis Wong Optus Managing Director Dennis Wong

Australia’s second largest telco Optus has acquired new regional licences for its customers in the 3.6 GHz spectrum band, earmarking them for the delivery of its 5G telecommunications services.

The Singtel-owned Optus won 47 regional lots for a total amount of $185.1 million across North and Central Queensland, South East Queensland/Northern NSW, regional Victoria and South Australia, Tasmania and Southern/Western NSW.

Optus joins both Telstra and Vodafone Hutchison in successfully buying up spectrum to underpin 5G services.

The company says the new regional spectrum licences add to its existing large holdings of metropolitan 3.4 GHz spectrum and will enable it to offer 5G services to customers across Australia.

Optus Networks managing director Dennis Wong said, “The additional spectrum positions Optus strongly to deliver 5G services in cities, regions and holiday locations. We are committed to commercially launching Fixed Wireless Access services early in 2019 and we can now extend these services to regional Australia.”

“Optus continues to invest in our network where it matters most to people, where they live, work and play. Whether you live in the cities, regional centres or smaller remote towns, we are expanding our premium national mobile network and improving customer experience.”

Wong says Optus has delivered live trials and shared 5G proof of concepts in its network and in test environments including a “world class 5G Live! Showcase” during the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games which featured 8K video streaming on-the-go on Optus’s live 5G trial indoor and outdoor network, in which speeds of 16Gbps were achieved.

As reported by iTWire on Monday, Australia’s biggest telco Telstra has picked up the largest number of lots in the 5G spectrum auction organised by the Australian Communication and Media Authority in the 3.6 GHz band.

Telstra paid just over $386 million to acquire 143 lots in the auction and now has 60 MHz of contiguous spectrum in all major capital cities and between 50-80 MHz of contiguous 5G spectrum in all regional areas.

And Vodafone Hutchison has made a "significant spectrum investment" in spectrum, along with TPG Telecom, to deliver what it says it is one of the key pieces in its 5G preparations.

Mobile JV, the joint venture company between subsidiaries of the two telcos, picked up 131 lots in the 3.6 GHz band for $263 million.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year 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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