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Optus launches 4.5G in Sydney’s tech hub


In a move towards 5G, Optus has launched 4.5G in Sydney’s technology hub, Macquarie Park. The telco provider considers this a trial for the full rollout, which is expected to take place in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth over the next 12 months.

According to Optus, the network reached speeds of 1.03Gbps in tests at the company’s Macquarie Park headquarters earlier this week. The network is also expected to increase the upload and download speed of a 4G LTE phone by up to four times, and current 4G users with a recent handset will experience less congestion in crowded places.

The company’s managing director of networks, Dennis Wong, said 4.5G was a key area of investment in Optus’ transition to 5G.

According to Wong, Macquarie Park was chosen as the testbed for the network as it is not only one of the largest business districts in Sydney and home to Optus’ headquarters, but it also has a university, shopping centre, transport hubs and a strong cross-section of residential and business customers.

The 4.5G launch is the result of a partnership between Optus and Huawei, with Huawei expected to announce 4.5G-enabled equipment (potentially a modem/router and handset) at the Mobile World Congress event in Spain next week.

While customers already have access to faster internet speeds, they do not yet have access to faster upload and download speeds due to a lack of 4.5G-compatible equipment.

5G is expected to be rolled out in Australia and the rest of the world by 2020.

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