The carrier aims to launch 5G fixed wireless in the country in the first half of 2019

Australian carrier Optus said it has successfully completed a 5G data call using 3.5 GHz spectrum and 60 megahertz of channel bandwidth.

The call was made from an Optus 5G site in Dickson, Canberra, utilizing a commercial grade 5G radio network and customer premises equipment (CPE) developed in partnership with Nokia, the carrier said.

Optus said that this call was made using the 3GPP Release 15 September specification, using a standard commercial chipset.

“We are on the cusp of delivering this next generation technology into the hands of our customers and hitting this milestone is an important step towards our commercial 5G launch planned for the first half of this year,” said Dennis Wong, Optus managing director, networks.

Wong said that using 60 megahertz of the 3.5 GHz band “means that we will be able to deliver greater capacity compared to 4G, enabling the use of multiple devices as well ultra-high definition video streaming which is expected to be key for our customers when 5G begins rolling out this year.

“This is the first time in Australia that a data call has been made using 60 MHz channel bandwidth on an Optus live network and a 5G device,” the executive added.

Optus said that it aims to begin switching on its 5G network across a number of capital cities in the first half of this year, with the aim of providing this technology through fixed wireless

“Our fixed wireless access product, combined with our ambitious roll out plan, means customers will be able to experience 5G soon,” the operator said.

Optus’ multi-year 5G network build plan includes upgrading and adding new mobile sites while densifying the network with small cell solutions which will increase capacity and speed in highly populated inner-city locations.

In November last year, Optus had said it was expecting to launch its 5G fixed-wireless services in the cities of Canberra and Brisbane in January 2019. The carrier, owned by Singapore´s Singtel, said that other major Australian cities will have 5G coverage in March next year.

During 2018, the carrier successfully completed live 5G trials in Sydney.

Rival operator Telstra began switching on 5G technology in August 2018. Since then, the telco has enabled 5G sites in Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Hobart, Launceston, Toowoomba and the Gold Coast. At the beginning of 2018, Telstra opened a 5G Innovation Center on the Gold Coast, with the main aim of testing next-generation technologies to support the early commercial deployment of 5G mobile services in Australia. Telstra aims to launch commercial 5G services in 2019. Telstra has previously said that it would work with Ericsson on key 5G technologies including massive multiple-input, multiple-output (Massive MIMO), adaptive beamforming and beam tracking, and OFDM-based waveforms in its Gold Coast center.

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