Optus has unveiled full details of its 5G home broadband plans, with 1,200 sites expected to be delivered by March 2020.
As part of its two-year partnership with Nokia, the telco turned on 5G in two Canberra suburbs in Canberra - Dickson and Manuka - and at one site in Glendenning, Sydney on 31 January.
A further 47 sites across ACT, Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia are set to go live in by March 2019. The first 50 Optus 5G sites will cover 60 suburbs.
Following the roll-out, select Optus customers will be offered 5G home broadband with unlimited data for $70 per month with a 50Mbps. As reported by sister publications Computerworld, the offer represents a serious challenge to the NBN, which offers unlimited downloads and typical evening speeds of 40Mbps for the same price.
Optus has been working with Nokia, which supplies the 5G RAN (radio access network) and Fastmile 5G CPEs (customer-premises equipment), since October 2016, when the two inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU).
The telco’s CEO Allen Lew told ZDNet in April 2018 that it was working with Ericsson, Huawei, Nokia, Samsung and ZTE during its 5G trials last year.
Following Australia’s ban of Huawei from participating in building its 5G networks, the Chinese giant is no longer part of Optus’ vendor roaster, a spokeswoman confirmed to ARN.
The telco declined to divulge details of who else would be supplying network equipment. However, Lew said Optus would continue to adopt a “multi-vendor approach” on Optus' network technology infrastructure.
“We currently have three live in-network 5G cells, but we will be turbo-charging our roll-out over the next 12 months to deliver 5G cells on the Optus Mobile Network across Australia with the goal of putting this exciting technology into the hands of our customers as soon as possible," Lew said.
According to Lew, the upgraded network will benefit consumers who are streaming, including in 4k-resolution, and gaming.
Further expansion will include upgrading and adding new mobile sites, increasing network density with small cell solutions in highly-populated locations and adding sites at airports, train stations, sports stadiums and CBD locations.
Optus now has advised consumers wishing to adopt 5G home broadband to register their interest on its website and search to see if their suburb is eligible.
Earlier this month, Optus made its first 5G data call in Australia using 60 MHz with 3.5 GHz spectrum from its 5G site in Dickson.