Why is it that Optus only ask those that are in a very limited coverage area (only three suburbs in SA) of their interest in 5G?
Surely it would be advantageous to get anyone's interest in 5G, including those that are not yet in 5G coverage areas (the vast majority).
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Trial suburbs were picked with certain requirements, once things like site installation processes, provisioning processes and support processes are worked out then the network will move to a more retail ready state.
Im sure many people are interested in 5g, but its a costly excercise to roll out at this stage so both Optus and Telstra are taking it slow (Telstra released their coverage maps for 5g and thats a tiny area).
Optus has taken the (strange IMO) approach of asking for volunteers to test 5G but also asking them to pay for the priviledge. They can leave anytime without penalty but its essentially a plan Optus are offering. As such unless Optus are pretty sure they can provide the 50Mbps minimum its likely testers will be unhappy paying for a bad service.
IMO the Telstra approach of just offering it as a freebie at the moment makes much more sense. They can collect data and do tests and get feedback as they go. People getting something for free can't really complain if its not great. They're not even losing any money by waiting as a person paying $100 a month for 4G at the moment would just switch that over for 5G access anyway.
As another issue, Optus has been hit heavily by the Hauwei Ban on 5G. Its likely whatever plans they had to roll out 1000's of sites has been put back at least a year as they have to integrate and test new 5G equipment that is also considerably more expensive and less capable than Hauwei's offering.
Trials are done in several stages, due to NDA specifics cannot be released but trials done by several existing users have been done in the past with no cost to the end user. $70 is the expected plan cost for a retail release.
The Huawei ban was not as major as most think (except for TPG who knew that the ban was happening tgen chucked its toys out of the cot when the ban was set) sure equipment from the likes of Ericsson and Nokia would cost more - Optus has several vendors such as Nokia for tgeir 5g home product router and that was announced before the Huawei ban on 5g.
1200 sites by March 2020 is what was publicised via media release - each tower would also need backhaul upgrades to go along with the new equupment.
Speaking of requirements, I live in Flagstaff Hill SA (suburb of Adelaide) bordering the Sturt (Creek) Gorge and my NBN is a joke because I am the futrtherest in the street away from their closest node. I pay $79.95 per month and can't get enough for consistant streaming (have to hotspot my phone). NBN had a solution, that I to paid $660 to get a quote for three months later - their solution involved me getting FTTP at a cost of $33,500. I am outside line of sight for the other wireless options available, and am just preying that the new 5G will solve my problems, otherwise I am screwed.
Yeah, the NBN upgrade path at the moment is a joke. Obiously you paying $33,000 is stupid and they should have made the amount would be in the thousands before taking your $660. If you did take the offer up for some reason then everyone in your street could then just pay a few $100 to use the FTTP line you installed past their door. There really needs to be a better effort to allow something like a whole street to share the costs of an upgrade. Which by the way is being trialed by the NBN now. Figers crossed.
FWIW if you aren't getting 4G now, 5G is even less likely to get to where you are (much lower ability to penetrate to blocked areas).
Don't get me wrong @Paddylee , I think the Hauwei Ban is a pretty good excuse for things now taking a bit longer than first expected. It will be interesting to see what "1200 towers" actually equates to in reality as 5G will take many more 'towers' to cover the same footprint as 4G (both for penetration from different angles and simple reach). Do you know the ratio of 4G to 5G?
I'm still a bit confused on the expression of interest approach as the blog announcement seems to roll the $70 cost into the process. $70 doesn't seem a very sustainable price point IMO? Be interesting to see what happens in 2020 though
$70 is where you dont have to pay a wholesaler for netwprk access, margin on $70 5g is way higher then a $85 NBN plan.
I think Optus has 7000+ towers so 1200 is a tiny fraction - still have to wait for regional spectrum from Auction so that delays regional areas.
4g was not a fast rollout either, so 1200 sites by May 2020 sounds pretty good to me.
I was lucky to get fttc but others are not soo fortunate and this product will be well received.