Optus pitches 5G as the speed boost NBN can't catch

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Optus pitches 5G as the speed boost NBN can't catch

Optus has officially launched a 5G home broadband product.

The telco has conducted a limited release of 5G as an NBN substitute, but today announced that up to 138,000 homes can now buy 5G Home fixed wireless bundles and , with more on the way.That footprint's been achieved with 290 working 5G base stations, The carrier has promised to have 1,200 sites live by March 2020, when it will presumably be able to service several hundred thousand more customers.

The carrier's retail channel has a big role to play in this launch, as it has promised 170 of its stores will offer "a walk-out working option for customers."

The launch comes after Optus trialed its in-home 5G offering to 200 customers, who purchased a $70 per month plan with guaranteed 50Mbps download speeds.

Optus CEO Allen Lew told media that customers were receiving average speeds during peak time of 164Mbps, with the fastest connection reaching 400Mbps.

The company’s executives stressed that Optus is “all in” with 5G.

CRN asked what that commitment means for the telco’s customers on the NBN, which competes with Optus 5G Home. Lew told CRN that there was still a place for NBN for customers that don’t require the same high speeds that 5G offers.

“The reality today in Australia is that there are a large number of homes that want faster broadband despite the National Broadband Network,” said Lew.

Another Optus exec told CRN that there were plans to bring 5G plans to business customers, though with the rollout of residential services, any business that’s eligible for Optus 5G Home can sign up until SMB plans are released.

Optus currently offers two 5G Home plans. Both cost $70 per and come with unlimited data and 50Mbps download speeds, though one requires a 24-month contract, while the other is month-to-month but requires a $200 start-up fee.

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