Optus launches 5G network
Today marks the official "Commercial Launch" of Optus' 5G mobile network with all manner of exciting new possibilities - but there's a catch.
The 5G network is the next big thing for mobile operators and looks set to offer faster speeds, shorter response times and a range of new capabilities we probably don't yet know we need.
However, like Telstra, Optus is stuck between the launch of a network and the completion of a network, and today just short of 140,000 Aussie homes will get access.
While the company hopes to have 1200 locations for 5G coverage by early next year, right now it's more like 300, so there's likely to be a disappointment for many people looking to be at the forefront of this technology.
Optus has taken a split approach to their 5G roll-out, looking toward home users as a core part of its business.
The Optus home 5G modem will deliver speeds faster than the NBN to users without the need for any installation or delays from ordering - simply walk into an Optus store and walk out with a working modem ready to plug into power.
That modem - if you live in the right place, will connect to 5G, deliver fast speeds via WIFI throughout your home.
Coverage wise, Optus appear to have Telstra's measure.
In all capital cities, Optus have many more "sites". These are towers that will provide 5G to the residents who live around them.
Telstra has some additional regional areas, while Optus has looked to Victoria's Geelong and Mornington Peninsula to expand outside the capital city, and in New South Wales the Central Coast, Newcastle and Lake Macquarie areas.
While this is all very exciting for Optus, their CEO Allen Lew made it clear that the Optus 5G network wouldn't reach as far and wide as the 4G network for three, four or maybe five years.
At the same time today Optus announced they would be the first to live stream in 4K with the Euro 2020 football championship being broadcast on Optus Sport in 4K.
Later in 2020 selected English Premier League and Champions League games would also be available in 4K. However that higher definition stream would only work if you are connected to the Optus 5G network.
Not even an Optus home broadband customer with the fastest NBN can connect to the higher quality stream.
This is to allow Optus to control the full network and broadcast experience, something that they could not do during the recent Football World Cup - and that didn't end well for Optus, handing back the rights to SBS to ensure all Australians could watch the games reliably.