The rollout of 5G in Australia has been progressing with a series of firsts and today Optus has announced they’ve completed a 5G data call on 60 MHz using 3.5 GHz spectrum.
The data call was made right here in Canberra near Dickson using Nokia Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) and ‘a commercial grade 5G Radio Network’.
Dennis Wong, Optus Managing Director Networks explained the importance of the 3.5 GHz 60 MHz band to their 5G rollout saying:
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.
Telstra did manage to beat Optus to the punch with a 3.5GHz data call connection in November last year, however they didn’t define what part of the 3.5GHz spectrum they were utilising.
The rollout of 5G has been moving ahead more rapidly of late due to a number of factors including the 3GPP governing body ratifying the first set of 5G standards (excitingly referred to as ‘Release 15’) in September last year, as well as the ACMA (Australian Communications and Media Authority) completing the spectrum auctions required for carriers to move forward.
As with other Australian carriers, Optus intends to launch their 5G network this year as part of a multi-year 5G network build plan which involves upgrading and adding new mobile sites, as well as incorporating small cell solutions to boost capacity and speed in more populous urban areas in inner-city locations.