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Optus 5G now available to mobile and broadband customers at speeds faster than the NBN

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Optus has launched a bold multi-billion dollar rollout plan to offer customers fast and reliable 5G coverage on their smartphones and in their homes with speeds far superior to the NBN.

The telco will increase the number of 5G sites from 290 today – located in Sydney, Canberra, Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and other regional locations – to more than 1,200 sites by March 2020.

Optus customers with a 5G handsets will now be able to access the network in capital cities and major airports around Australia with that footprint set to grow as more sites come online.

But the big play for Optus right now will be 5G Home Broadband which will offer customers in 5G coverage areas a minimum speed guarantee of 50Mbps for $70 a month.

The company has also announced content partnerships for 5G home broadband customers to experience streaming 4K Ultra High Definition content.

More than 200 customers have been trialling the service across the country and achieving speeds of more than 500Mbps – that’s five times faster than the NBN and more than 160Mbps in peak times.

Optus CEO Allan Lew at today’s 5G announcement

From today that service will now be available to more than 138,000 customers for purchase online and through more than 170 stores nationwide.

The Nokia 5G modem/router that is sold with the service has five lights on top of the unit which indicate coverage strength.

But Optus it will not sell a customer a 5G service unless they are well within a 5G area with 95 per cent coverage rating.

“It’s been an epic 10 months,” said Optus CEO Allen Lew referring to the switch-on of the first 5G base stations.

“This will augment our 4G network and will be the mainstay of the Optus 5G network and offer exponentially faster download speeds.

“We expect significant 5G customer growth as our 5G network expands and delivers customers a game changing, world-leading experience on their 5G home and mobile devices.”

Mr Lew also said the other benefit of 5G – lower latency – will be a 2021 target to enable uses like smart health, smart cities and autonomous driving.

Optus mobile customers will be able to access the telco’s 5G network with a 5G handset including the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ 5G, the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G and the Oppo Reno 5G.

“Australian’s are known for their passion for technology and there is huge anticipation around 5G,” Mr Lew said.

“For those wishing to experience 5G on the go first hand, or to make sure they are 5G ready, we have a fantastic  range of 5G mobile devices available on great value plans.”

Optus head of digital Clive Dickens presents the 4K content offering for 2020 and beyond

Mr Lew said there would be no additional plan charges for accessing the Optus 5G network now but he didn’t rule out a potential 5G tax – an additional monthly charge for accessing the 5G network from next year.

Another benefit for Optus 5G Home Broadband customers next year will be the ability to stream 4K ultra-high definition content through devices and Fetch set-top boxes.

Optus has partnered with video content partners like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Stan and catchup services like 10Play,7Plus and 9Now to ensure there is even more 4K UHD content for its customers to enjoy.

In June 2020, sports fans will be able to enjoy 4K UHD football on Optus Sports starting with the Euro 2020 tournament, the 2020/21 Champions League and the 2020/21 English Premier League.