It’s been only a few days since I started using the Nokia 5G Home Broadband modem from Optus but I am already impressed with the Optus 5G speed, low pings (13-19ms) and low latency.
Setup is super easy and the quick start guide written well. The Nokia modem has a clever design with LED lights around the edge of the top that blink as it searches for signal in each direction. The LED helps you place it in the best position in your home/office. This will generally be wherever the Nokia can sit as high as possible next to a glass window or balcony door that faces an Optus 5G tower. If you have a multi-level apartment or house then the best place is probably on the top floor, it was for me.
Do not put this modem in a cupboard or any other enclosed area under furniture and expect to get strong signal strength from your local 5G tower:
When good friend of Ausdroid Alex Choros tested Optus 5G Home Broadband for Whistleout a few months ago he was too far away from the tower to get full signal strength. However where I’m testing it for Ausdroid is within a few hundred metres — line of sight — to an Optus 5G tower near Green Square Station in Sydney so I’m getting a solid green indicator for signal.
Those clever Scandinavians designed the bottom of the modem to make it easy to plug in 4 network cables and power cable.
The Nokia FastMile 5G Gateway supplied by Optus is owned by Optus and needs to be returned when you cancel their 5G Home Broadband service so take care of it. For a single Wi-Fi access point though it does a much better job than any ISP supplied router I’ve tested in the past. It’s Wi-Fi specs are: 3×3 802.11b/g/n, 4×4 802.11ac MU-MIMO. Some drawbacks for Ausdroid readers who like high end routers is that you cannot set custom DNS servers and cannot edit the DHCP range but that’s not surprising for a big brand ISP.
Download syncing about 60GB from OneDrive to a local PC during the weekend the speed varied between about 50-220mbit down which is more than acceptable. Part of the issue is OneDrive doesn’t multi thread downloads well so if you’re syncing lots of small files the transfer speed slows down compared to syncing big files like audio books where the 5G modem could sustain 200mbit plus.
All other speed tests have been between 150-low 300 megabits down and around 80 megabits up. Streaming video from various providers including STAN and SBS on Demand has worked fine as well as recording IPTV channels on my Fetch Mighty box.
There is a catch to the Optus 5G Home Broadband service though and it’s why I said in this article that the service is a speed demon*. If the wired NBN (Fibre, HFC, FTTN, FTTC) is congested in your area during a peak time eg: evenings or school holidays the speed drops a bit but you don’t lose your connection altogether.
In comparison with a wireless service like this it will be interesting to see if Optus can make the service stay as fast and reliable if a lot of customers hear about it and sign up. Sure the 5G tower near me has a lot of capacity but I live in a very highly populated area and if a few thousand people sign up to use the service at the same tower they would likely experience a lot slower speeds and regular connection drop outs.
Optus 5G Home Broadband is currently priced at $75/month but to keep getting unlimited speeds you’ll soon have to spend $90/month.