Telstra and Optus seeing record 5G speeds

Telco utility towers

Telstra and Optus have seen 5G broadband speeds reaching upwards of 5Gbps in testing of millimitre-wave (mmWave) portions of their networks. The mmWave 5G, which relies on a different spectrum of frequency bands than traditional 5G, has begun to roll out in certain areas around Australia. 

The testing highlights increased speeds becoming available to customers across Australia, with both Telstra and Optus investing in increasing mmWave 5G coverage across the country. While still falling under the 5G banner, the mmWave technology has been touted as the “next wave” of 5G. 

With its standard 5G network already covering 75% of Australia, Telstra has expanded its mmWave 5G coverage to include 50 sites as of June 2021. Optus too has focused on expanding its mmWave reach, with both telcos among five companies that won licenses to use the spectrum at an auction earlier this year. 

Optus has seen its mmWave 5G technology reach speeds of 4.5Gbps in commercial environments, and over 5Gbps in lab testing using a fixed wireless modem. Telstra recorded speeds above 3.6Gbps when testing its own mmWave 5G infrastructure. 

Standard 5G speeds begin at around 100mbps, near the top-end of what was capable on 4G, with speeds capping out at a theoretical high of around 20Gbps. The top recorded 5G speeds that have been recorded in Australian cities are held by Telstra, who recorded over 1Gbps. 

As mmWave technology becomes more widespread, Australians will be able to access faster mobile broadband, both on their mobile devices or at home via fixed wireless.

Currently, Telstra’s only compatible device is the Telstra 5G Wifi Pro hotspot router, however it is working to make the technology more widely available. Optus is advertising the mmWave technology as ‘5G max’, and is beginning its rollout in major cities. 

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