Just like the various ‘Gs before it, 5G has been a buzzword for quite some time now, but it’s getting to the point where 5G is almost a thing. So much so, in fact, that Optus has announced its plans to begin rolling out a 5G network in Australia in early 2019.

Don’t get too excited though, it won’t be for mobile handsets just yet. The new network will initially support fixed wireless terminals (like those pictured, above) for data services. Mobile and voice services will follow down the line, once the protocols and the like are ratified by the 3GPP.

Optus are rather excited about this announcement, and so they should be – with outdoor trials recently conducted using a live network, fixed terminals were able to achieve 2Gbps download speeds, an incredible increase over 4G capabilities.

People have been hearing about 5G for some time, and there is pent up expectation, but to date a lot of the talk has been highly theoretical.

Everyone has heard of concepts like self-driving cars, smart homes, AI and virtual reality however their full potential will require a fast and reliable network to deliver. Seeing 5G data speeds through our trial that are up to 15x faster than current technologies allows us to show the potential of this transformative technology to support a new eco-system of connected devices. in the home, the office, the paddock and in the wider community.

This is a technology and future we at Optus are extremely passionate about. This successful trial is a historical milestone in Optus’ journey to 5G.

When developing and testing new technologies, end customer experience remains our top priority. By successfully testing commercial grade customer equipment, we’re able to pave the way for Optus to begin testing 5G technologies from a consumer perspective. We continue to be involved in the fine tuning of the customer equipment with our partner – Huawei, to ensure that the equipment meets the standards as they are being endorsed.Dennis Wong, Managing Director of Networks at Optus

If you want to see what 5G will bring for you as a consumer, head to the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, where Optus will be hosting a 5G technology showcase, allowing visitors to Broadbeach the ability to experience what 5G will have to offer.

From being able to play sports real-time in virtual reality; to competing against machines in games, and to remotely controlling robots’ movements these use cases will provide a small glimpse into the capabilities of 5G and how it differs from current technologies.

We’re excited by the developments here, and looking forward to catching up on the latest on 5G implementation at MWC 2018. It’s not just about mobiles… it’s about how they work, too.

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Does anyone know what bands Optus are going to use for 5G to start with?