Australian mobile network operator (MNO) Optus claims to have broken the country’s record for real commercial 5G speeds, having delivered a downlink rate in excess of 2.5Gbps on a Samsung Galaxy S20 5G device. Working with technology partner Ericsson and Samsung, the MNO said it had utilised mid-band spectrum and 5G carrier aggregation to achieve these speeds at a live site in Sydney.
The announcement came as the cellco launched what it called ‘the first of its ultra-high-speed 5G sites earmarked for Sydney and Melbourne’. A further 150 ultra-high speed 5G sites will be deployed on existing Optus infrastructure by November, in selected areas of the two aforementioned cities. Meanwhile, it also expects its ‘5G Home Internet’ customers to benefit from faster speeds as part of its plans to unlock 100MHz of 3.5GHz mid-band spectrum in selected areas of Sydney and Melbourne ‘in the coming months’. With Optus’ ‘5G Home Internet’ service reported to be delivering average download speeds of 214Mbps currently, the operator has suggested the 60% increase in spectrum bandwidth will result in even faster average speeds for consumers.
Commenting, Optus Managing Director Networks Lambo Kanagaratnam was cited as saying: ‘As they roll out, these new ultra-high-speed sites will provide a real speed boost to Optus customers with capable 5G handsets and 5G SIM … The speeds we have achieved today are a real taste of what we are capable of delivering to Optus 5G Mobile customers in the coming months as we progressively roll out 5G ultra-high-speed sites in Sydney and Melbourne.’
According to Optus, it currently has more than 920 5G sites in operation, with its network footprint encompassing around 650,000 premises, with its infrastructure rollout ‘continuing at pace’.