Just days after NBN boss Bill Morrow speculated that a lack of demand for superfast broadband was the reason retailers didn’t sell the NBN’s 1Gbps service for, Optus as launched its 4.5G network in north-western Sydney, with speeds of up to 1.03Gbps.
Optus rolled out the service across a 10 square kilometre area surrounding its HQ in Macquarie Park. The area has around 400 businesses, including a university, and 95,000 residents.
The telco labelled it the next evolution towards 5G, and the speeds match its bigger rival, Telstra, which last month revealed its 4G LTE network, which also has 1Gpbs download speeds.
Of course 1.03Gbps was a test speed and the theoretical maximum, so most of the time the Optus 4.5G will operate well below that level, but networks managing director Dennis Wong said 4.5G’s larger network capacity will offer an improved experience for customers during periods of high usage.
The telco partnered with Huawei to trial 4.5G technology in 2016.
“Ultimately, the launch is a step closer to Optus being able to deliver 5G network speeds to customers and will continue to invest in R&D and our partnership with Huawei to achieve this,” Wong said.
Optus says 4.5G will also be rolled out first in some capital cities and with 12 months, should reach 70% of the Optus network in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.