Telstra takes wraps off 5G fixed wireless service

Telco also returns to selling 100Mbps plans on copper-based NBN technologies.
Written by Chris Duckett, Contributor
Image: Asha Barbaschow/ZDNet

Telstra has announced that it will launch its 5G fixed wireless service from Wednesday, with the initial glut of customers to be invited to take part.

Customers are set to pay AU$85 each month for 500GB of data and a connection speed that sits between 50Mbps and 300Mbps. Telstra has said it will waive the payment for the first month, and will not charge for the 5G modem.

The telco said over the next year, it would be "scaling up" the service and taking on more customers.

At the same time, the telco said it was returning to selling 100Mbps plans on NBN copper-based technologies -- which include fibre to the node (FttN), fibre to the basement (FttB), and fibre to the curb (FttC) -- after binning the plans earlier this year.

"Since we paused selling these plans earlier in the year, we've done a lot of work behind the scenes to ensure customers have a better experience with us when purchasing this plan," Telstra connected home and business executive Michele Garra said.

"We've upgraded our systems and set up processes that put customers first, and we're now confident we can provide a better all-round experience

"If a customer on FttN, FttB or FttC can't reach the maximum speeds of the premium internet plan or premium add-on, we'll let them know and provide them with options in accordance with our regulatory commitments."

Telstra also said it has begun selling NBN's Superfast and Ultrafast plans. Telstra said the typically 215Mbps Superfast plan would be a AU$30 a month addition to its premium internet plans, while Ultrafast would cost an extra AU$70 a month and provide typical speeds of 250Mbps.

The telco also repeated its claim that the mandated 15% overprovisioning on NBN connections under 1GBps was a speed boost for its customers.

Also on Tuesday, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) released its latest Measuring Broadband Australia report, saying that speeds across all telcos and speed tiers increased for the period of May to June, reversing most of the previous drop.

The report said the number of underperforming connections dropped from 9.6% to 8.1%, with FttN making up 97% of all underperforming connections.

"Within the 50/20Mbps tier, fibre to the node services had an average download speed around 5Mbps lower than other technologies," the report said.

"Within the 100/40Mbps tier, fibre to the node services had an average download speed around 11Mbps lower than other technologies.

Aussie Broadband took out the latency test in this instalment of the report, followed by Vodafone, Exetel, Telstra, TPG, and iiNet clumped together. Bringing up the rear were Dodo and iPrimus, and reporting over twice the latency of the leaders was MyRepublic.

Last week, NBN announced it would spend AU$4.5 billion to allow 75% of its fixed-line network to access 1Gbps speeds by the end of 2023 by upgrading FttN connections on-demand to full-fibre.

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