Optus takes step towards dual-band 5G network

Uses 2300MHz spectrum in 5G test

5G mobile wireless network technology
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Optus says it is the first telco in the world to complete an end-to-end 5G data call using spectrum in the 2300MHz band.

The telco partnered with Ericsson for the Sydney-based test (Optus is working with both Ericsson and Nokia on its 5G rollout).

Optus said that the successful use of 2300MHz marks a significant step towards delivering 5G over multiple bands. The first wave of Australian 5G services use spectrum in the 3.5GHz band, which was auctioned off by the government in late 2018. Optus spent some $185 million to pick up spectrum in the band.

Optus currently uses the 2300MHz band to deliver LTE (4G) services (along with spectrum in the 700MHz, 1800MHz, 2100MHz and 2600MHz bands).

(NBN Co employs the 2300MHz band to deliver its fixed wireless service.)

“There is strong industry interest in the use of the 2300MHz band for 5G and as the only telecommunications operator in Australia to currently have access to this band in metro capital cities, it’s great to be leading the way with testing and trialing this for future 5G deployment,” Optus managing director networks Dennis Wong said in a statement.

“With its lower frequency the 2300MHz spectrum band will, in the future, ultimately offer our customers even greater speeds as well as providing greater coverage depth enabling even more customers to benefit from 5G services.”

Wong said that Optus has more than 300 sites supporting 3.5GHz 5G services, with the telco expecting to begin delivering 5G using 2300MHz “some time during 2020”.

The Singtel subsidiary expects to have 1200 5G-enabled mobile sites by March next year.

Optus in January began offering a 5G-based home broadband service to a limited number of households.

Last month the telco announced it had begun offering 5G mobile services.

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