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Optus beats Telstra for 5G download speeds as tests show Australia has some of the fastest 5G speeds in the world

Australia was one of the first countries in the world to launch customer-facing 5G networks and the progress of the rollout has not slowed. Not only have we seen the number of 5G towers multiply but also the 5G speeds that customers are seeing. Now Australia sits among the world’s fastest 5G speeds available to consumers.

Speedtest.net has today published results on their blog that show the various 5G speeds throughout the world, and Australia compares very favourably. Our median 5G download speed was 283.56Mbps during Q1 of 2021 which is close enough to double the global average of 142.05Mbps.

As you can see in the graph below our speeds only sit below China and South Korea in those countries included in the survey, a lot better than the speeds from the UK or the USA. The result showed that although Australia’s speeds decreased over the year due to more devices accessing the 5G networks, the speeds experienced were still far better than the world median.

Even taking 5G out of the equation and just overall mobile download speeds, Australia ranked seventh fastest in the world during March 2021 with a median download speed of 109.33Mbps for mobile devices.

Interestingly, Speedtest.net had Optus ranked as the fastest median 5G download speed out of all of our carriers supporting 5G — slightly edging out Telstra. Although the difference between Optus and Telstra download speeds was minimal (309.86Mbps versus 295Mbps) it shows that Optus have a high quality 5G network — even if it doesn’t have quite the coverage of Telstra’s just yet. Vodafone was third at 184.98Mbps.

Telstra topped our 5G upload speeds fairly comfortably with an upload speed of 28.27Mbps compared to Optus with 21.56Mbps and Vodafone with 16.70Mbps. As expected, Telstra had the best 5G availability — the proportion of users spending the majority of their time on 5G connections — with 32.8% compared to 13.6% for Optus and just 3.4% for Vodafone.

Melbourne beat out Sydney once again with the fastest median 5G download speed in Australia at 316.66Mbps (with Victoria only very slightly behind QLD for 5G availability — NSW was miles behind). The capital cities fared the best, as you would expect, in 5G availability with Brisbane and Canberra topping the list.

With Telstra aiming for a 75% 5G coverage of the Australian population by June this year and Optus and Vodafone looking to accelerate their rollouts we will hopefully see this only improve in the coming months and years. It’s great that one of our Internet technologies is improving and among the world’s best — maybe we are the lucky country after all.

Optus beats Telstra for 5G download speeds as tests show Australia has some of the fastest 5G speeds in the world
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