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OZ Consumers To Face Higher Costs As 5G Rolls Out

The rollout of 5G mobile networks across Australia will need to see current networks retrofitted to accommodate the emerging technology, according to a new report from Infrastructure Australia.

The report estimates that a “new wave of infrastructure investment” over the next five years will be needed to meet cost, planning and security challenges.

It also indicates the transition to 5G services could see consumers being hit with higher network costs, suggesting the big telecommunications companies are upgrading their current 4G networks while also managing the evolution of 5G.

However, the report adds that Australia is “well positioned” to roll out 5G, despite the ban on Chinese telco giant Huawei from participating in the system. Telstra, Optus and Vodafone all plan to launch 5G networks this year.

However the report casts some doubt on whether NBN Co will be abe to achieve a forecast internal rate of return of 3.2 percent, and notes that there could be complications from the potential privatisation of the NBN network when rollout is complete.

“A major contributor to this cost is the need for more physical infrastructure than 3G and 4G,” the report said. “5G requires higher densities of towers and cells to address higher traffic loads and enable the use of higher radio frequencies.”

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