Optus and Vodafone Both Announced 5G Breakthroughs This Week

Optus and Vodafone Both Announced 5G Breakthroughs This Week

This week, both Optus and Vodafone sent out media releases touting their respective 5G breakthroughs.

Optus has switched on its 900Mhz low band spectrum which it said will extend its 5G footprint, while Vodafone claimed a new 5G high-speed score.

Optus expands 5G footprint

Starting with Optus, and this week the telco, in partnership with Ericsson, switched on its 900Mhz low band spectrum, which it said will extend Optus’ 5G footprint and increases its 5G coverage by “20 per cent on a per-site basis”. That means that each tower that has 5G would increase its footprint by 20 per cent.

Optus said a total of close to 1,000 sites have been activated with 5G 900MHz to date with the rollout “progressively continuing”.

“It means we can now start providing coverage into regional and remote areas in a much better way,” said Optus VP of networks Lambo Kanagaratnam in a video explaining the telco’s 5G expansion.

Vodafone sets 5G speed record

Alongside its network equipment partner Nokia, Vodafone on Wednesday said it successfully beamed download speeds of close to 2Gbps over the Vodafone mobile network.

The test was performed at the Sydney Cricket Ground, which Vodafone said was “fully packed”.

The test used a Google Pixel device, which is millimetre wave (mmWave) capable. mmWave is a form of 5G that is super fast, much faster than standard 5G. 5G mmWave uses high-frequency spectrum that enables it to carry very large amounts of data over short distances. This makes it well-suited for high-traffic areas – like major transport hubs or sporting stadiums (hence the SCG test) – where lots of people use the mobile network at the same time.

Back in February last year, Telstra broke one of its own speed records using mmWave 5G. In the Telstra example, the telco reached a download speed record of 5.9Gbps on its own mobile network. That was using the Google Pixel 6 Pro.

Although not an Australian speed record, it was Vodafone’s record and one in a space where back in the day you would have no chance of even sending a text to a mate.