Optus completes 5G data call using 2300MHz spectrum

Singaporean-owned Australian telco claims the call is a world first.
Written by Chris Duckett, Contributor
(Image: Optus)

Optus is claiming to have made the world's first 5G data call using 2300MHz spectrum.

The trial was completed in Sydney using kit from Ericsson, with the company touting that it is the only Australian telco with holdings in the 2300MHz and 3500MHz spectrum bands in metro areas.

"With its lower frequency, the 2300MHz spectrum band will, in the future, ultimately offer our customers even greater speeds as well as providing greater coverage depth enabling even more customers to benefit from 5G services," Optus managing director of networks Dennis Wong said.

Wong added the telco was looking to turn on its 2300MHz spectrum "some time" in 2020.

Optus currently has 300 5G sites live across the country, and is intending to have 1,200 5G sites by March 2020.

Last month, the telco announced making its 5G Home fixed wireless service generally available across the 138,000 home footprint covered by its 5G network.

Customers can pay AU$70 per month for unlimited data at a 50Mbps minimum speed guarantee.

When launching the product in November, Optus CEO Allen Lew said the service is so far delivering close to half a gigabit peak speeds.

"The reality today in Australia, is that there are large numbers of homes that want faster broadband, despite the National Broadband Network," he said.

Lew said that setting up the service was a "plug and play" with lights on the modem, allowing users to position it inside their home for better performance.

"No need to take a day off to wait for a truck role," Lew said in another swipe at NBN.

From April 1 next year, Lew will be returning to the explicit Singtel fold, to fill the newly-created role of CEO of group strategy and business development, and country chief officer of Thailand.

Stepping into Lew's Optus CEO role will be Kelly Bayer Rosmarin, who is currently deputy CEO.

Lew joined Optus as CEO in 2014, after having been with Singtel since 1980, and previously had a stint as COO at AIS.

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