The Australian carrier recently carried out a large 5G trial in Sidney
Australian carrier Optus said it will launch its 5G fixed-wireless services in the cities of Canberra and Brisbane in January 2019, Australian press reported. The carrier, owned by Singapore´s Singtel, said that other major Australian cities will have 5G coverage in March next year.
“After successfully concluding live 5G trials in Sydney, we are on track to commercially launch fixed wireless access services in January 2019,” Optus CEO Allen Lew said on Thursday. “Customer experience remains our top priority, and we are focused on removing customer pain-points across the entire business.”
Optus’ 4G population coverage reached 97.2% as of October 31, with 7,011 of its mobile sites upgraded to 4G and 5,990 of these upgraded to support 700 MHz spectrum.
In August, rival mobile operator Telstra announced it had activated its 5G network in selected areas on the Gold Coast.
Telstra CEO Andrew Penn said this was just the beginning of Telstra’s roll out of 5G technology, with more than 200 5G-capable sites planned to be live around the country by the end of 2018.
Telstra’s 5G network in the Gold Coast uses Ericsson’s Baseband 6630, AIR 6488, and 4G/5G system software, a 5G platform provided by Intel as well as spectrum in the 3.5GHz and 2100MHz bands.
Telstra had previously opened a 5G innovation centre in the Gold Coast region. Telstra said the main aim of the new 5G center will be to test next-generation technologies to support the early commercial deployment of 5G mobile services in Australia, which telco aims to launch commercial 5G services in Australia in 2019.
The 5G center is central to a $58 million investment Telstra has made to upgrade infrastructure on the Gold Coast to support growing demand and major events in the area. Telstra carried out extensive 5G trials on the Gold Coast during the Commonwealth Games, which took place April this year.
Also in August, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) announced it will award spectrum in the 3.6 GHz band for the provision of 5G services in November.
The regulator confirmed that it will be auctioning off 125 megahertz of spectrum in the 3.6 GHz band. The spectrum will be divided into 350 lots across 14 regions of Australia.
Last year, the government of Australia developed a paper outlining a 5G policy for the country, including the establishment of a working group to drive the deployment of 5G mobile technology in Australia.
The government said this working group will support the timely rollout of 5G technology in the country with the primary goal of fostering the growth of the digital economy.