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5G Broadband

What We Know So Far

5G will be the fifth, and next iteration of the mobile data network. It is the successor to the current 4G network that our mobile phones currently run on in Australia. The 5G architecture will vastly improve the network speeds which will allow for the next generation of mobile devices to obtain even faster internet speeds.

Unlike the 4G network, and the previous iterations before it such as 3G and 2G, the fifth-generation network will be able to unlock new possibilities for the state of the internet moving forward. While 5G will only run on mobile data, it will be able to achieve the high speeds that greatly outweigh the maximum speeds of home broadband connections.

This then opens the door for the major telecommunication companies in Australia, such as Telstra, Optus and Vodafone to invest heavily in launching their 5G networks, and possibly use the improved network to rival broadband, and possibly even take over as the main preference for home internet in the years to come.

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What benefits will 5G bring?

Faster Speeds

Can theoretically reach peak speeds of 20Gbps - while it's minimum speed of 1Gbps is still ten times faster than the what the NBN is offering at their maximum speed, which is 100Mbps.

Lower Latency

Expected to be as quick as 1 millisecond - an almost instant response to issued commands. No more waiting for that video to "buffer" or gamers having significant lag. This will pave the way for safer self-driving cars, as they will have quicker reaction times. For comparisons, 4G has an average of 50 milliseconds latency. 

Smart Homes

While voice-commandeered hubs are the beginning, 5G will allow for many devices to be connected to the same network - allowing for the true 'Smart Home' experience, with a sophisticated technological ecosystem.

When will 5G be released?
Telstra announced that their 5G network rollout will be split into three phases. Beginning in the middle of 2019, the first phase will focus on connecting households who are in the fixed-wireless market. Then in late 2019 to early 2020, Phase Two will focus on connecting mobile phone users to the 5G network. The third phase will then look beyond 2020, as Telstra will seek new opportunities to form many different technological connections to the 5G network to benefit you.

Optus has also announced that they are aiming for a 2019 release window for their 5G network rollout, but they have not yet divulged further information than that.

Vodafone has not publicly committed to a release schedule for their 5G network. However, they have recently launched their 4.9G network in New South Wales. While this is still in a “trial” period and is not yet available for commercial release, Vodafone are confident that the 4.9G network will help to bridge the gap between 4G and 5G and make the transition less noticeable for customers.


Telstra and Optus are planning to release the first 5g services in 2019. Vodafone is also testing 5g but at the time of writing had not commented on when it would be available.

The theoretical speeds of 5g are much faster than the current fastest NBN plan. And that includes FTTP broadband connections as well.

5g can handle speeds up to 20gbps, but with 1000's users on the network at the same time very few users will get that kind of speed.

Early estimates by the major telcos are saying that 5G network would cover more than 1 million homes and businesses.

5G theoretical speeds of up to 20Gbps. It's is anticipated that speeds of 10gbps will be highly achievable with spikes of faster speeds if the network congestion is not an issue.

Telstra & Optus started working on 5g networks. Telstra is aiming to launch its 5g network in 2019. Optus is aiming for 2019 - 2020.

Not at this stage. Some telcos are still phasing out the 2g network, so 4g is here to stay for some time. The 4g network will continue to be upgraded with Telstra stating to rollout 2Gbps enabled 4G in high mobile traffic areas during 2018.

5G Broadband
With 4G internet, Telstra has been experimenting with the Nighthawk M1 mobile router device, that basically works as a form of home internet. Instead of requiring a fixed-broadband connection, the Nighthawk instead provides wireless-home internet through the mobile phone towers. Working in the same way as your mobile phone, the Nighthawk router accepts a SIM card, with your monthly data limit dependant on the type of plan that you have purchased.

When 5G reaches the final phase of its rollout in 2020, and it becomes accessible for commercial use, these mobile hotspot devices will become more important in shaping the future of the internet ecosystem in Australia.
Can my mobile phone run on 5G?
This year’s release of mobile phones and any device that has come out before this year will not be able to run on and take advantage of the 5G network. From 2019 onwards, you will find that manufacturer’s will be releasing mobile phones that may have the 5G capabilities. However, Telstra are not expecting the “full commercial deployment” of 5G until 2020. That means you won’t have to rush out and buy a new mobile phone.

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