Monday, 10 May 2021 14:10

Telstra bringing its 5G Home Internet to more Aussies in 2021 as the march of wireless continues Featured


If the Caesar that is NBN Co was always due to be stabbed in the back by the brute force of 5G, then the warning for NBN Co is clear: beware the ides of the march of wireless. 

If there’s one thing that has been a constant in my technological life, it has been that wired is always better than wireless, but that has always been for a very specific reason, which is that wireless technologies could not match the speeds or download limits that wired technologies could deliver.

Fast forward to 2021, with 4G able to deliver tens and hundreds of megabits per second, and 5G showing gigabit-plus speeds in various tests around the world, and the biggest advantage that wired retains over wireless in 2021 is the fact your wired NBN plan is likely to be an unlimited service, while 4G and 5G networks come with data caps of up to around 500GB, after which they slow down to 1.5Mbps speeds for unlimited usage on Telstra and, on the 500GB plan, 25Mbps speed capped for unlimited usage on Vodafone.

Felix Mobile also has an unlimited 4G plan that is speed capped to 20Mbps, but you’re only supposed to use it in your smartphone, and not a 4G Wi-Fi router, although people are doing that - with Vodafone and Felix Mobile not yet choosing to shut those customers down, or at least, that I’ve read.

Now, for many people, 5G is either not in their area yet, or it's just still too expensive, with data plans that are too small for home users, so for most home and business users, a fixed connection is still the best, but everyone knows the benefits of Wi-Fi, and many people are used to using personal hotspots from their phones.

Some even live a wireless life, with no fixed phone or other lines at all. Even Foxtel has gone satellite these days. Wireless is the future, but wired tech is the bridge to get there, and maybe by the time 6G rolls around in 2030, with what should be multi-gigabit connectivity as minimum speeds for all, wireless will truly be the first choice for many more people.

UPDATE: After this story was published, Telstra annouced 400GB of 4G and 5G data for $85 per month.

So, what is Telstra’s Group Executive of Product and Technology at Telstra, Kim Krogh Andersen announcing about 5G at the Telstra Exchange blog?

Here is Andersen’s blog post in full:

While many households have the right broadband connection to enjoy the ability to play games, stream movies to their TV, or conduct video meetings for work seamlessly, there are households who can’t get this great experience for a variety of reasons.

For these people, we’re excited to announce we’re expanding our fast 5G Home Internet to more places and doubling the data limit.

We first launched 5G Home Internet at the end of last year for select customers whose fixed connection might not have been capable of delivering to their needs. We’ve received some awesome feedback from these early customers and we’re committed to providing the best experience for customers’ home internet no matter the technology type.

Bringing 5G Home Internet to more homes this year

Throughout the coming months our 5G Home Internet service will be made available to even more places. We’re proud to have Australia’s largest 5G network, and especially pleased with the experience our customers are experiencing on it. Our 5G network is well on track to reach 75% of Aussies by the end of June.

We have enough users on the network now to get an accurate look at the performance customers can expect on 5G Home Internet. We have also been refining the service and network, bumping up average download speeds by 19%. Our typical evening speed, the speed which you can generally expect in peak streaming hours at night, sits at between 50Mbps – 600Mbps, and the average speed from our speed tests is at around 378Mbps*.

Based on feedback from our early 5G Home Internet customers, we’re also doubling the included data each month on these plans from 500GB to a huge 1000GB, so you can download, video chat and stream without stress.

We speak to many of our current 5G Home Internet customers regularly, and feedback has been extremely positive – they are able to work from home more easily, streaming video is a lot faster, and things just work more smoothly.

This will only get better too, as we begin implementing the latest 5G technologies powered by new 5G bands such as mmWave.

Boosting 5G Home internet with mmWave

We recently announced that we have acquired the mmWave spectrum we need across Australia to power the next evolution of our 5G network. This represents our continued commitment to support enhanced experiences for everyone at home.

We have already begun deploying 5G mmWave in selected sites in 5 capital cities and have achieved record-breaking download speeds using this technology in testing earlier this year.

Implementing mmWave on our 5G network will be like adding more lanes to a freeway, making it even faster while allowing more people on the network at the same time.

As part of building out our 5G Home Internet portfolio, we are working with Casa Systems, a global leader in network technology, on the next evolution of our 5G fixed wireless using mmWave technology.

5G mmWave gives us unparalleled opportunity to provide a home broadband service over

5G which will meet the performance and capacity as everyone’s data and internet needs continue to grow. I look forward to sharing more details soon.

We also continue to work with closely with NBN Co to improve the overall nbn experience for our broadband customers. Today’s announcement is one of many ways that we are working to improve your connectivity experience, as we know having a fast, secure, and reliable internet connection is super important.

Our goal is very simply to offer the right internet connection to deliver the best experience for our customers – one that is based on their needs, their location, and what technology is available to connect them.

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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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