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Increased Interest In 5G Threatens NBN Rollout, Telyste Report

One in three Australian households are interested in subscribing to 5G wireless services for their home internet connection, says a report from Telyste. Further threatening NBN’s planned roll-out of fixed-line broadband. However, Telsyte says NBN and mobile service providers should see as an opportunity to offer hybrid services.

5G, the technology that is expected to replace the 4G networks at Telstra, Vodafone and Optus by 2021, is capable of speeds of up to 20Gbps, much faster than the 100Mbps that most NBN customers are currently limited to.

For younger people, who are potentially more aware of the 5G mobile phone technology and who are more likely to be renting their house, that figure is even more worrying for the NBN as 41% of households said they would use 5G wireless services to either replace or supplement their fixed broadband, according to the Telsyte report.

Telsyte suggests that NBN could offer dual-mode routers that uses the slower fixed line copper-based connections for larger files such as video streams, and then use 5G connections for transfers that need to be done quickly or with low latency.

Many home Wi-Fi routers, including Telstra and Vodafone, offer such hybrid functionality.

“Fixed and wireless technologies such as 5G can work hand in hand,” said Telsyte senior analyst Alvin Lee. “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.”

5G is expected to be of such interest to consumers with as many as 66% of Australian mobile phone users who are planning on upgrading their mobile phone see 5G as an “important” selection criterion, and 31% of people are waiting to upgrade until “5G models become available”, the Telsyte report says.

5G broadband services are expected to be available in metro areas as early as 2019 from both Telstra and Optus; however, the potential demand of these services is still subject to the cost of 5G Internet plans and contractual obligations carriers have with NBN.

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