Optus has revealed its first 5G residential internet product, which is set to offer speed and data that would challenge a large bulk of NBN’s current retail offerings.
Optus and longtime rival Telstra are in a race to be the first 5G network to go to the mass market in Australia, with the former laying down the gauntlet today with a $70 per month home internet plan with unlimited data and a 50Mbps speed guarantee.
The most popular NBN plans currently have a maximum speed of 25Mbps or 50Mbps.
The telco currently has two suburbs in Canberra and one in Sydney capable of receiving 5G signals, but today announced that it would have 50 sites operational nationwide by March (the list of the first suburbs are below).
Ultimately Optus plans to have 1,200 suburbs live on 5G by March 2020.
Chief executive Allen Lew said that it was a “historic day” for his company and that the new 5G home internet would allow people to smoothly binge-watch streaming, listen to music, play Fortnite or watch sport online.
“We will have more 5G sites going live across Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Perth and Sydney over the coming months giving a select group of customers the chance to get their hands on our 5G home broadband devices.”
Testing has indicated the new 5G mobile network would be capable of going at 30 times faster than the NBN and 60 times faster than current 4G mobile networks.
While both Optus and Telstra now have operational 5G zones, the next step is to get actual 5G-capable devices into consumers’ hands so that they can actually use the network.
Telstra seems to be concentrating on mobile phones, revealing earlier this month that it has exclusive agreements signed with manufacturers to be the first out with 5G smartphones. Meanwhile Optus, with today’s announcement, is focusing on winning the race to get 5G into the home internet market.
In addition to blinding speed, 5G networks will also provide capacity for ‘internet of things’ devices that are expected to proliferate in the coming years — everything from internet-connected toasters, industrial sensors to smart cars.
Below are the first suburbs to receive Optus’ 5G network. The telco has now opened expressions of interest from residents in those areas to be the first to try the new technology:
NSW: 22 suburbs
GLENDENNING (now live)
ST HUBERTS ISLAND
ST JOHNS PARK
WOY WOY BAY
ACT: 9 suburbs
MANUKA (now live)
DICKSON (now live)
QLD: 13 suburbs
SA: 3 suburbs
WA: 13 suburbs
WHITE GUM VALLEY
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