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Telstra, Optus Escalate 5G Speed Wars

Telstra has hit back at Optus’ claim yesterday that it achieved “record” 5G speeds at a mmWave test in Brisbane.

Optus, working with Nokia, broke the 10Gbps barrier by aggregating mmWave spectrum with existing 5G and 4G bands. However, a Telstra spokesperson, while “congratulating” Optus, said it was not a new speed record as its rival claimed.

“Our competitors weren’t to know that tests we carried out over the weekend showed a potential site throughput of more than 20Gbps on Telstra’s 5G network,” the spokesperson said.

Telstra conducted 5G MU-MIMO tests in South Australia’s Barossa Valley over the weekend, which it says achieved 5.1Gbps throughput on a single sector using 5G only, without mmWave. The telco says that, using Optus’ methodology of three sectors per site and aggregating 4G capacity, the test showed it could achieve the stated 20Gbps speeds.

Telstra also took a swipe at Optus over network coverage, saying speeds “don’t matter much” without it.

“Coverage matters, which is why we have built three times more sites than our competitors and why, this week, we passed another new coverage milestone with 60 per cent of Australians living in Telstra’s 5G footprint,” the spokesperson said.

In a statement to ChannelNews, an Optus spokesperson said the company’s own test had been completed before the Easter long weekend.

“For Optus, the beauty of driving competition and customer choice is pushing the innovation envelope for the benefit of consumers,” the spokesperson said.

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