Friday, 23 April 2021 11:49

Optus secures ‘golden GHz’ and unlocks ultra-fast 5G future with 26GHz spectrum acquisition Featured


Optus states it is continuing to build a world-class 5G network which will be made even better with the acquisition of a range of new licences in the 26GHz spectrum band.

With a claim of the "fastest 5G network in Sydney and Melbourne", Optus says the additional spectrum will support an even faster network and enable state-of-the-art mmWave technology.

Optus acquired 800MHz of 26GHz spectrum in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Canberra and a range of regional areas, and 600MHz in Hobart and Margaret River in WA for a total of A$226.2 million, with the full results of which company acquired what spectrum here.

We're told these new spectrum assets "will support a wide range of new 5G use cases and continue to drive innovation opportunities to deliver leading 5G speeds and the expansion of Optus’ 5G network in metropolitan and regional Australia.

"The improved capacity and speed of mmWave will be critical in delivering enhanced video experiences such as AR/VR as well as next generation cloud gaming services. It will also support massive simultaneous usage at transport hubs and major events."

"Importantly," says Optus, it has "secured the best and most highly valued position at the top of the spectrum band in most of the capital cities and regions, which include “golden GHz” segment supported by both the 28GHz range enabled in US and the 26GHz range to be enabled in Australia.

"This allows early access to compatible smart phone devices which are already available more widely in the world. In addition, Optus’ customers can benefit from synergies with Singtel’s similar spectrum holdings to drive the user equipment ecosystem for this spectrum band across Singtel Group."

Optus Networks MD Lambo Kanagaratnam said, “We understand how important our role is in connecting people. What is truly exciting about this spectrum is the ability to really deliver on the future potential of 5G and ultra-fast speeds.

“Imagine you are at a major sporting event or concert with tens of thousands of connected spectators enjoying HD content or video - streamed to your device or an AR/VR/XR headset - and viewing real time stats and updates, profiles and video without interruption or lag. Or enjoying connectivity at home in a multi-dwelling high-rise apartment tower close to the CBD wirelessly and at scale. This is what this spectrum technology allows.

“For enterprise, this spectrum could support remote controlled automation for example robotics in a warehouse or factory, or the creation of a secured private network at a university campus to support thousands of students and academics.

“In short, we are armed with the ability to build and expand our 5G network and deliver on the future of 5G in the home, office or on-the-go."

Kanagaratnam added that Optus would "continue to focus on delivering the best network experience for customers and raise the bar on value and service.

“The world-class Optus network is our biggest and best yet and we will continue to invest to ensure wherever our customers live, work and play they get a fantastic network experience without paying a premium.”

Optus reminds us its 4G mobile network reaches 98.3% of the Australian population.

Licences won at auction will come into force later this year, for a 15-year term ending in 2036.

Finally, it’s important to note that mmWave 5G is the version of 5G that can really deliver ultra fast speeds, with Verizon in the US able to offer an app with five live streams of the same football match at different angles, so people at home, or in the stadiums, or anywhere they get 5G mmWave connectivity, can enjoy true digital multimedia.

An advertisement featuring Chris Rock explaining the benefits of mmWave 5G (which Verizon called Ultra Wideband) with an iPhone 12 on the US Verizon network is embedded below, which shows the 5 live streams scenario. Australians will be able to do the same things with mmWave 5G, so if you haven't seen the ad, take a look below!

It’s also important to note that the iPhone 12 in Australia doesn’t support mmWave spectrum as yet, we’ll presumably have to wait for the iPhone 13 later this year for Australian iPhones to support mmWave.


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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