Sunday 18 November 2018

Optus launching commercial 5G Fixed Wireless Access services in January 2019

Optus is the second largest telecommunications company in Australia. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of SingTel (a company headquartered in Singapore) since 2001.

As of 31 October 2018, Optus’ 4G network population coverage was 97.2% in Australia, with 7,011 sites upgraded to 4G of which over 5,990 have been upgraded to 700 MHz spectrum. The total 4G customer base reached 6.39 million (Including Enterprise customers, Optus’ total number of 4G customers reached 6.48 million) as of 30 September 2018. They believe that all Australians deserve high quality mobile coverage are committed to relentless improvement, especially to the roll-out of 5G.

During this quarter, Optus launched the 50th Federal Government Blackspot. In addition, Optus successfully concluded “live” 5G network trial in Sydney, paving the way for the commercial launch of Fixed Wireless Access services in Canberra and Brisbane in January 2019, and other capital cities by March 2019. 

Optus' road to 5G saw it begin switching on its 4.5G network in February last year, followed by the addition of Massive Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (Massive MIMO) and three-cell carrier aggregation to 4G at the end of last year.

According to chief executive officer Allen Lew, Optus has now finished trials at its HQ in Macquarie Park; its 5G Live centre in the Gold Coast is stage two of its 5G plan, as it will allow the telco to gather data on how consumers interact with and react to the low-latency, high-bandwidth capabilities of 5G and the technologies it enables.
Optus is also inviting "young entrepreneurs" to visit the showcase -- which utilises both indoor and outdoor 5G base stations -- and commercialise any ideas they come up with, which will also help Optus to decide who to partner with.
While according to Optus head of Networks Dennis Wong  5G is the final piece of the "industrialisation puzzle" -- due to its characteristics of low latency, high bandwidth, network slicing architecture, and massive machine type communications -- Wong said Optus is well positioned to deliver a 5G network thanks to its holdings in the 3.5GHz spectrum band.

To learn more about Fixed Wireless Access, see 3G4G Blog post here.

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