CHART OF THE DAY: 5G will be ludicrously fast

Picture: Getty Images

How fast can 5G be? This fast:

Image: Australian Competition and Consumer Commission/GMSA Intelligence

You might have noted the source on that image – Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. The chart was released late last week in the ACCC’s final report on the communication sector.

It also suggested the NBN Co be split up before it is privatised, and called for the government not to throttle competition with regulation.

But the chart it provided above shows why NBN providers could be facing a hard sell, and soon.

The ACCC admits the 10,000 Mbps figure is theoretical and depends on a lot of things falling into line, including telcos being prepared to invest heavily in the new standard.

Also, mobile data allowances are “significantly smaller” than those offered in home broadband plans. June 2017 figures from the ABS showed that the average Australian household was using around 380GB per month, up 33% on the year before.

So by 2020, when both 5G and the NBN rollouts are expected to be completed, you’ll be calling for around 600GB per month in your home.

At the current rate, that makes substituting a home plan for mobile data a very poor financial decision.

But competition can do wonderful things to prices for consumers, and the ACCC couldn’t ignore the theoretical figure. It wrote:

“Although 5G networks are yet to be deployed, we consider there is potential for this new technology to disrupt fixed broadband services, as they have the capacity to provide comparable speeds to fixed networks with the added advantage of portability.”

Gold Coast residents are already feeling the future. In time for the start of the Commonwealth Games, Telstra recently turned on “the first precinct of 5G-enabled wifi hotspots in the world“.

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