Telstra emerged as the leading operator in Australia in terms of 5G download rates, according to a report by Opensignal.
The carrier recorded an average download speed of 231.8 Mbps, beating rival carrier Optus by 61.9 Mbps (36.4%).
“This highlights the impressive jump in speeds that can be obtained with a 5G connection, given that in our latest Australian mobile network experience report the fastest average 4G download speeds that our users observed at the operator level were just above 50Mbps,” the report stated.
The report also showed that Telstra and Optus had similar 5G availability. “The two Australian operators are statistically tied on 5G availability — the percentage of time that our 5G users spent connected to 5G services. Both obtained percentage scores that are below 9% — not surprising given that the first 5G commercial launch in the country was in May 2019 and rolling out a new generation of mobile network technology across a country as vast as Australia is the work of years, not months,” Opensignal said. “5G availability typically rises as operators’ rollouts progress, but we also expect it to rise once the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic diminishes as that would increase the proportion of time that our users spend in urban centers where the initial 5G deployments are concentrated.”
For overall speed, Opensignal reported that Telstra obtained the first place, with a score of 52.5 Mbps, which has beaten Optus’ score of 46.7 Mbps by 5.8 Mbps (12.3%). A key factor in Telstra’s lead for this measure of the mobile network experience is the high 4G speeds users have seen while using its network, Opensignal said.
“As Australia’s operators continue to roll out their 5G networks, the Download Speed Experience – 5G Users result will gradually become more influenced by average 5G speeds than 4G speeds. However, for our Australian 5G Users to spend the majority of their time connected to a 5G service the reach of 5G networks must be much greater, perhaps with the launch of 5G services on low-band sub 1GHz spectrum or through the launch of standalone 5G services which do not rely on 4G connections.”
The results covered 578.1 million measurements carried on about 119,040 5G devices from May 1 to July 29 across various indoor and outdoor locations.
Australian carrier Telstra expects its 5G network to cover 75% of the country’s population by June 2021, the company’s CEO Andrew Penn said in a blog post.
Penn noted that Telstra’s 5G network already covers around one-third of the population.
The telco is already offering commercial 5G services in 53 cities and regional towns across the country.
Some of the cities in which Telstra offers its 5G service are Canberra, Central Coast, Brisbane, Sidney, Cairns, Gold Coast, Adelaide, Hamilton, Melbourne and Perth.
Penn also said that more than 210,000 5G service lines are already connected to the Telstra network.
The telco, which had launched 5G in May last year, is currently using its spectrum in the 3.6 GHz band to provide 5G technology across Australia.
Rival operator Optus launched commercial mobile 5G operations in 2019, while Vodafone Hutchison Australia is still in the process of deploying its 5G network.