5G networks are getting more oomph this week, with first Telstra announcing plans to trial mmWave 5G, and now Optus has announced they’ve launched the worlds first dual-band 5G network.

The Optus 5G dual-band network has launched in Sydney, with Optus planning to roll it out in Melbourne in the coming weeks.

So what is a dual-band 5G network? Put simply it allows Optus to offer customers in these markets using a compatible device the option to connect to either of the two bands to access their network – basically like having a 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wifi network on your home router. In this case Optus and Ericsson are using their licensed 3500MHz ‘mid-band’ 5G spectrum as well as the 2300MHz spectrum Optus gained by purchasing Vivid Wireless back in 2012.

Optus holds licenses for the spectrum in Sydney and Melbourne, but also in Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane and Canberra so we could see future rollouts in these cities.

The benefit to customers of using a dual-band network is seen in increased 5G capacity, coverage and reliability, so in laymans terms that’s more data flowing to more places.

Kent Wu, Optus Head of Network Access Planning and Quality said ‘Our 5G customers are already enjoying higher average speeds, quicker time to download content and a consistent high definition video experience. The implementation of a dual-band 5G network will enhance these elements to ensure experiences are more reliable, particularly during peak usage times.

Optus has been testing the new dual-band 5G network with Samsung Galaxy S20 5G devices which launch in Australia on March 6th. Garry McGregor, Vice President, IT and Mobile, Samsung Electronics Australia said ‘The Galaxy S20 range delivers the best in Samsung device performance. It is optimised to power our customers with the latest network capability around Australia.

A more reliable, faster network? Sounds great. We’re seeing a lot of movement in 5G networks in Australia, as well as new devices like the Galaxy S20 which support them. We’ll be seeing more of this in the coming year, so the question now whether your next phone will be 5G or do you wait?