Opensginal, a mobile testing company, has released a new report (opens in new tab) on the current state of 5G in Australia, with Telstra and Optus vying for the position of best provider.
Vodafone was not included in the testing, as its availability is currently limited, but for the remaining two providers, Opensignal tested the average speed of the 5G connection when users have an active 5G link; the time users spend connected to 5G represented by 5G Availability; and the overall speed our 5G users experience across different generations of mobile technology, which the company calls ‘Download Speed Experience – 5G Users’.
“Telstra has won our Download Speed Experience – 5G Users award, with a score of 52.5 Mbps, which has beaten Optus’ score of 46.7 Mbps by 5.8 Mbps (12.3%),” explain senior analyst at Opensignal, Sam Fenwick. “A key factor in Telstra’s lead for this measure of the mobile network experience is the high 4G speeds our users have seen while using its network. In our Mobile Network Experience Report back in April, Telstra users observed 4G speeds that were on average at least 6.4 Mbps (14.6%) faster than that observed by their counterparts on Optus or Vodafone.”
mmWave is coming
According to this latest piece of 5G research, Australia’s operators have recently made a number of technical improvements. For example, in February Optus switched on dual-band support for 5G, for the 2.3 GHz and 3.5 GHz bands, and in early May, Telstra announced that its network can support 5G standalone (SA) access.
“This allows the latest generation of 5G smartphones to connect to 5G services without assistance from a 4G network,” the report says. “Telstra also has a great deal of ambition as far as coverage is concerned — the operator claims that it now covers a third of Australia’s population with 5G and is seeking to increase this to 75% by June 2021.”
The report points out that Australia is yet to auction mmWave spectrum, with The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) expected to do so in early 2021. And both Optus and Telstra have been testing mmWave technology, with Vodafone saying that it is part of its long-term strategy.