Optus switches on first Australian 5G sites (and it'll cost you $70 a month)

Optus has announced its big plans for 5G, confirming the first sites across Australia to be switched on and announcing pricing for home broadband customers.

Claire Reilly Former Principal Video Producer
Claire Reilly was a video host, journalist and producer covering all things space, futurism, science and culture. Whether she's covering breaking news, explaining complex science topics or exploring the weirder sides of tech culture, Claire gets to the heart of why technology matters to everyone. She's been a regular commentator on broadcast news, and in her spare time, she's a cabaret enthusiast, Simpsons aficionado and closet country music lover. She originally hails from Sydney but now calls San Francisco home.
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Claire Reilly
2 min read

Australia: It's time to gird your loins for the arrival of 5G .

The next generation of mobile connectivity is hitting milestone after milestone as it rolls out across the world, ready to bring super fast speeds, low ping times and ubiquitous connectivity to devices around the world. 

The latest milestone comes from Optus , which on Thursday announced its big plans for the technology, confirming the first live sites alongside plan pricing for its rollout of 5G. 


Optus' new 5G Home Broadband device.


The company confirmed it's sent two sites live in Canberra (in Manuka and Dickson in central and northern Canberra) and one in New South Wales (Glendenning, in Sydney's west). Optus also plans to get a further 47 sites online by March. From there, the telco says it will roll out a total of 1,200 5G sites across the ACT, Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia by March 2020. The company has hinted that these sites will include residential areas as well as busy locations such as airports, train stations, stadiums and CBD locations. 

Optus has also planted its flag in terms of consumer prices. Rival telcos, including Telstra, which has been bullish about 5G plans, have hitherto been cagey about 5G pricing. 

The telco says it will charge $70 per month for its Optus 5G Home Broadband, which will include unlimited data and a "50Mbps Satisfaction Guarantee." Users in connected areas will be able to sign up as part of an "expression of interest" campaign to get access. 

You won't be able to get Optus 5G on your phone just yet -- there are no 5G smartphones currently on the market, though companies like Verizon in the US and Chinese telco giant Huawei are working to get their devices to market (and you can expect other big brands to follow suit). 

In the first instance, Optus customers will access 5G Home Broadband through an "off-the-shelf product," manufactured by Nokia , which will be available "in the coming months," according to the company.