Optus is opening the service up to 138,000 homes in select locations

In January, Optus, Australia’s second largest telecommunications company, began a campaign to gauge interest in a 5G fixed wireless service among its customers and ended up providing services to over 200 users. Now, the company is opening the service up to 138,000 homes.

The initial offer was reserved for those living in Bonnyrigg and Minchinbury in Sydney’s west, Niagara Park on the NSW Central Coast, Cook in the ACT and Kenmore outside of Brisbane.

According to Optus, the 5G Home service will now be available to up to 138,000 homes in selected areas for purchase online, as well as through more than 170 stores as a walk-out  option.

CEO Allan Lew described the early trials as a “great learning process,” adding that the company has “adapted to insights generated from real paying customers about their 5G experience.”

In May, the 5G Home service network speeds were averaging 100 Mbps. The latest tests, however, show that the average peak period speeds had increased to 164 Mbps “with the top speed achieved over 5G of 400 Mbps at this point in time,” said Lew.

With its monthly $70 price tag for unlimited data use, Optus’s service is being viewed by many as an attractive alternative to signing up with the National Broadband Network, which has raised its wholesale prices in recent years.

From the Australian government’s perspective, wireless is still not equivalent to fixed-line broadband services, mainly due to the data limits, or quotas, being less. However, Optus Home offers an unlimited data quota. If the operator can consistently deliver on its promised speeds, the gap between wireless and fixed line will be substantially narrowed.

In February, Optus revealed plans to offer high-speed fixed wireless services in key metro areas based on 5G technology. The operator also plans to deliver 1,200 5G sites across the ACT, Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia by March 2020.


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