Optus has hit a couple of 5G related milestones today with the announcement that their first six mmWave 5G sites across Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane are now live, they’ve also clocked up a million 5G devices using their network.

There are four sites live in Sydney, in Kings Cross, Surry Hills, North Ryde and the Optus Sydney Campus, with one in Melbourne at Huntingdale, and one in Brisbane at Strathpine, though Optus says that more sites will be activated in the coming weeks.

The 5G mmWave site will use 800MHz of bandwidth that Optus picked up in the ACMA auction of the 26GHz spectrum last month

Optus currently uses sub-6GHz 5G at their 1200 Optus 5G sites around Australia, with the lower band offering superior coverage, while mmWave 5G offers high capacity and speed over shorter distances. The mmWave 5G solution is suited more for large events like the Sydney New Years Fireworks or sporting events, while sub-6GHz 5G offers a geographically more accessible solution. 

Lambo Kanagaratnam, Managing Director Network Optus said, 

We’ve been testing mmWave for many months, harnessing and pushing its capabilities so that once commercial devices enter the market our customers will truly be able to benefit from the capacity and speeds that this incredible technology delivers. In fact, mmWave is set to blow current mobile and home internet speeds out of the water, with the potential for multi-gigabit speeds which is much faster than what Australians are used to getting today.”

The uptake of 5G has surged in recent months, said Matt Williams, Managing Director Marketing and Revenue Optus who noted that ‘eight out of 10 handsets that we sell today now 5G enabled’. The range of devices including 5G has obviously contributed to Optus now having 1 million 5G capable devices connected to their network. 

Another factor in the rollout for mmWave 5G is device support, with most handsets supporting sub-6GHz 5G but not mmWave. As we see the mmWave sites go live on Optus and other telcos here in Australia we’ll definitely see more handsets picking up that broader 5G support.