The Australian carrier plans to deploy 1,200 5G sites across Australia’s main regions by March 2020
Australian carrier Optus has signed a partnership with Ericsson to deploy 50 5G sites across the cities of Sydney and Melbourne over the coming months as part of Optus’ multi-vendor rollout.
Optus also announced the recent activation of a 5G site in Kellyville, a northwestern Sydney suburb.
The site relies on Ericsson’s 5G Radio Access Network equipment, a third-party customer premise equipment test device and Optus’ 3.5 GHz spectrum with a channel bandwidth of 60 megahertz to achieve an end-to-end working solution in line with 3GPP standards, according to Optus.
“This is another significant milestone for Optus as we continue with our customer focused 5G roll-out plan. We are further demonstrating that our multi-vendor approach to Optus 5G will help to deliver a more dynamic and innovative 5G network for the benefit of our customers,” said Dennis Wong, Optus’ managing director of networks. “With our fourth live 5G site now live, we are building towards a truly game-changing year for Optus and our customers. Our next generation network build is now well and truly in full swing with site roll out planned over the coming months.”
Optus’ multi-year 5G network build is expected to include upgrading and adding new mobile sites and densifying the network with small cells to increase capacity and speed in highly populated inner-city locations.
Optus recently launched its 5G home broadband offering in certain areas of Canberra and Sydney. In partnership with Nokia, who is supplying the 5G RAN, and Fastmile for 5G customer premise equipment, Optus 5G sites are already live in two suburbs in Canberra, with an additional site live in Sydney and 47 more sites planned to be online by March 2019.
Optus plans to deliver 1,200 5G sites across the ACT, Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia by March 2020.
Rival operator Telstra announced in August 2018 the activation of its 5G network in selected areas on the Gold Coast. Telstra CEO Andrew Penn said this was just the beginning of Telstra’s roll out of 5G technology, with more than 200 5G-capable sites planned to be live around the country by the end of 2018.
Telstra’s 5G network in the Gold Coast uses Ericsson’s Baseband 6630, AIR 6488, and 4G/5G system software, a 5G platform provided by Intel as well as spectrum in the 3.5GHz and 2100MHz bands.
Telstra previously opened a 5G innovation centre in the Gold Coast region. Telstra said the main aim of the new 5G center will be to test next-generation technologies to support the early commercial deployment of 5G mobile services in Australia, which telco aims to launch commercial 5G services in Australia in 2019.
Huawei launches 5G testbed in Thailand
In other APAC news, the Thai government has reportedly launched a new 5G testbed in the country, developed by Chinese vendor Huawei, Asian press reported.
Under the project, Huawei plans to establish a 5G lab in Chonburi, in the $45 billion Eastern Economic Corridor project.
Other vendors including Nokia and Ericsson, as well as Thailand’s mobile carriers, have also established 5G labs at the site, the report stated.
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