Optus starts its own 5G standalone trials – Telco/ISP

Optus has started “limited trials” of 5G standalone services ahead of a planned commercial launch of the network in 2022.

The telco said in a statement that it had now connected its first customers to a multiband 5G standalone network”, with customers using an Oppo smartphone to test the network.

An Optus spokesperson told iTnews: “We have a small cohort of customers taking part in the trial in Sydney, with additional triallists in Melbourne joining shortly.”

Standalone refers to 5G networks that are capable of operating in pure 5G mode, instead of being aided by existing 4G infrastructure.

“When available commercially, the standalone network will provide increased coverage, lower latency, greater reliability for Optus 5G customers enabling real-time connectivity and faster speeds in the future,” Optus said.

As it matures, 5G standalone is going to play a critical role in enabling a multitude of use cases thanks to its incredible responsiveness and bandwidth,” Optus vice president of network Lambo Kanagaratnam said.

“For our enterprise customers, 5G standalone will provide the ability to slice the network into different virtual segments which will offer increased flexibility, maximum efficiency and importantly the opportunity for them to increase revenue through automation.”

Optus is working with Ericsson to roll out its 5G standalone core network.

TPG Telecom switched on standalone 5G services in a small part of its network in July before expanding access to more parts of the country earlier this month.

Telstra declared its own 5G network “standalone-ready” in May last year; that is, it was waiting at the time on the arrival of 5G standalone-capable devices before it could offer its services.