Optus testing 5G mmWave technology with Ericsson

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Optus confirms it is testing 5G millimetreWave (mmWave) technology, which includes making Optus’ first mmWave data call together with technology partner Ericsson.

With its extremely high bandwidth, mmWave will enable higher speed and reduced latency for customers, especially in highly dense areas with large and concurrent demand for the Optus mobile network.

Optus has approval from the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) to operate and test mmWave technology using the 26GHz band at four locations in Sydney, including its Macquarie Park headquarters where the initial data call was made this week incorporating a Casa Systems mmWave CPE. The data call comes on the back of extensive testing at its lab facility in Sydney.

“Technology innovation and use case development is a critical component of the work that we do and with mmWave technology expected to become available for 5G in 2021 it’s important that we start testing this technology now so that we can begin to understand how we can best harness its capabilities for our consumer and enterprise customers,” said Lambo Kanagaratnam, Optus Managing Director Networks.

“MillimetreWave 5G is the next step in unlocking mass productivity gains through a high-speed wireless communication layer. The enterprise market in particular is expected to gain from mmWave, with sectors such as autonomous manufacturing, mining and port operations all examples of industries that will considerably benefit from mmWave 5G and its capability to offer higher speeds.”

Together with its dual-band 5G network, mmWave will further increase Optus’ 5G network capability offering our customers high-bandwidth and high-speed services.

Martin Wiktorin, Head of Ericsson Singapore, Brunei and Philippines and Global Customer Unit Singtel, says “With the mmWave spectrum auction scheduled for early next year, today’s announcement is another critical milestone in ensuring that all Australians can benefit from the full potential of mmWave technology. Here at Ericsson, we’re really excited to partner with Optus in its 5G rollout.”

As customer data consumption continues to rise, additional high bandwidth 5G spectrum assets will be required to meet user demand. mmWave provides enormous bandwidth and, when available, is expected to deliver significantly increased speeds and lower latency for users.