Australian operator Optus said it has successfully trialed 5G technology in Sydney, and plans to roll out a fixed-wireless 5G service in key metro areas by early 2019.
The outdoor trial – conducted at Optus’ headquarters in Macquarie Park last month – used dual-band 5G NR equipment and commercial grade CPEs for both C-band (3.5 GHz) and millimeter-wave band frequencies. The fixed-wireless trial achieved downlink speeds of 2 Gbps. The devices were provided by Huawei Technologies.
Optus Managing director of networks Dennis Wong said that concepts like self-driving cars, smart homes, AI and virtual reality will require a fast and reliable network to deliver their full potential, and that the trial shows the potential of 5G to support a new ecosystem of connected devices in “the home, the office, the paddock” and beyond.
“By successfully testing commercial grade customer equipment, we’re able to pave the way for Optus to begin testing 5G technologies from a consumer perspective,” Wong said. “We continue to be involved in the fine tuning of the customer equipment with our partner Huawei to ensure that the equipment meets the standards as they are being endorsed.”
As it prepares for its 5G rollout, Optus will also be hosting a 5G technology showcase during the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, allowing visitors to Broadbeach the ability to experience what 5G will have to offer.
“As we continue to develop Optus 5G technologies and prepare for deployment in 2019, it is also important to ensure people understand the capabilities it can offer, and how it is able to benefit their day-to-day lives” said Wong.
Use cases to be demoed include playing sports real-time in virtual reality, competing against machines in games, and remotely controlling robots’ movements.
Wong said Optus has been building up its network throughout 2017 towards an eventual 5G rollout, from the launch of 4.5G to a trial of 3CC CA Massive MIMO.
Optus also secured a variety of new metropolitan licenses in the 2.3-GHz and 3.5-GHz spectrum bands during last year’s spectrum auctions.