Australian interest for 5G heats up

Australian interest for 5G heats up

One in three households found to be interested in subscribing to 5G internet services

The eSIM public consultation lays the groundwork for a commercial rollout of Singapore's 5G network in less than 2 years time.

The eSIM public consultation lays the groundwork for a commercial rollout of Singapore's 5G network in less than 2 years time.

Credit: Dreamstime

As the buzz around the impending arrival of 5G continues, new research has found a growing interest among consumers to bring the technology into the household.

According to analyst firm Telsyte, a third of Australian households have expressed interest in bringing 5G internet services into their homes, with demand notably higher among those aged between 16 and 34.

Expectations are that 5G broadband services will be available in metro areas as early as next year from both Telstra and Optus.

Although the report suggested demand could see three million households potentially using 5G either as a primary or additional access technology by 2021, it noted interest for full 5G broadband was highest among those currently just using mobile broadband.

According to Telsyte, only around 15 per cent of Australian households (1.4 million in total) are currently mobile only. Growing data usage and high costs of fixed-line internet could lead to a rise in consumers going mobile-only, the report added.

However, the analyst firm claimed there were promising opportunities for carriers to provide a hybrid experience using NBN and 5G, building on the approach already used by Telstra and Vodafone.

“Fixed and wireless technologies such as 5G can work hand-in-hand,” said Alvin Lee, senior analyst at Telsyte. “Most consumers don’t want to think about what technologies are behind their internet access, they just want it to be fast, good value and work seamlessly.”

Earlier this month, Spirit Telecom claimed it is already using technology that has been ratified as part of 5G since 2017.

However, the telco’s comments were roundly dismissed by Optus, with the company's vice president of regulatory and public affairs, Andrew Sheridan, maintaining ‘full 5G’ would only come in early 2019.

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