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Optus begins testing millimeter wave 5G technology

01 July 2020

Optus has started testing its 5G millimeter wave (mmWave) technology, making the first mmWave data call with its network partner Ericsson.

Reportedly, mmWave technology promises to increase download speed, low latency and high bandwidth compared to sub-6 GHz 5G technology. While most of the deployments for 5G have been sub-6 GHz, other telecoms are deploying both technologies simultaneously and others are just deploying mmWave to be prepared for when the technology goes mainstream.

Optus said it has approval from the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) to operate and test mmWave technology using the 26 GHz band at four locations in Sydney. The data call was made at Optus’ Macquarie Park headquarters using a Casa Systems mmWave CPE.

Optus expects to deploy its mmWave technology in 2021, but intends to test it now so that it can learn how to best use the technology for consumers and enterprise customers.

“mmWave 5G is the next step in unlocking mass productivity gains through a high-speed wireless communication layer,” said Lambo Kanagaratnam, Optus managing director of Networks. “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.”

An additional benefit to mmWave, Optus said, is that as customer data consumption continues to rise, 5G will provide the tools to meet demand, providing higher bandwidth, increased speeds and lower latency for such applications as augmented and virtual reality, autonomous driving, the internet of things, fixed wireless access, robotics and more.

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