Wednesday, 22 February 2017 21:50

Optus says launch of 4.5G network paves way for 5G mobile services Featured


Australia’s second largest telco Optus has begun preparing the way for its eventual introduction of 5G mobile services, with the switching on of 4.5G network services across the suburb of Macquarie Park in Sydney’s hi-tech district north-west of the city.

Under its plan leading to 5G introduction, Optus says initially 4.5G will also be rolled out in selected capital cities and, in the next 12 months, it is expected to reach more than 70% of the Optus network in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.

Dennis Wong, managing director of Networks at Optus, says 4.5G is a key area of investment for the telco’s network evolution towards 5G.

“It is an important enabler for 5G and we are excited to be able to deliver this new initiative to our customers at Macquarie Park

“One of the largest business districts in Sydney and home to our Sydney headquarters, we chose Macquarie Park as it offers a wide range of infrastructure: a university, shopping centre, transport hubs and a strong cross-section of residential and business customers across 10 square kilometres.

“The precinct is Sydney’s technology hub and it is this diversity that will ensure we’re able to see how the network performs in a wide variety of scenarios.”

Optus claims speeds of 1.03Gbps were achieved in testing and the telco says the launch of 4.5G is set to offer immediate significant benefits for customers in the area, including improved customer experience during periods of high usage as a result of larger network capacity.

Wong says when commercial devices become available during 2017, customers in the area will experience higher throughput speeds than currently available on Optus’ 4G+ network.

The result of a partnership between Optus and Huawei, the launch follows a number of successful trials of the 4.5G technology in 2016.

“Ultimately, the launch is a step closer to Optus being able to deliver 5G network speeds to customers and (we) will continue to invest in R&D and our partnership with Huawei to achieve this,” Wong said.

The continued development of 4.5G technology leverages on the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on joint R&D that parent telco Singtel signed with Huawei in 2014.

Wong says that as Optus rolls out 4.5G across locations in Australia, it will “continue its journey towards 5G” and commence trials of massive MIMO 128T128R.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired in 2020. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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