- Optus announced that it is reallocating its 2100MHz spectrum assets away from 3G.
- In the last 12 months, Optus customers have embraced 5G technology with take-up of 5G enabled devices growing significantly.
- Optus is set to commence customer-specific communications to those impacted by the change over the coming months.
To provide a better 4G network experience and support the growth of 5G, Optus announced that it is reallocating its 2100MHz spectrum assets away from 3G. In this case, after April 2022, the telco will no longer offer a dual-band 3G network. Nevertheless, it will still offer 3G services via its 900MHz spectrum band.
Because of the proposal of the Department of Communications to set aside 10MHz each for Optus and TPG in an attempt to protect service continuity, the shift was made possible. The proposal is part of the 850/900MHz spectrum auction later this year.
In the metro areas, Optus owns 2x20MHz of 2100MHz spectrum. The telco is using only a portion of it on existing 3G services. The rest of the spectrum portion is shared for 4G and 5G technologies using Dynamic Spectrum Sharing.
Optus managing director networks Lambo Kanagaratnam said that “In the last 12 months we have really seen our customers embrace 5G technology with take-up of 5G enabled devices growing significantly”.
“It’s important that our spectrum assets are working well for customers, enabling them to truly benefit from innovative and emerging technologies on our world-class networks as they move to new and more advanced 4G and 5G devices.”
“We know that our customers are using more data than ever. They’re downloading, sharing, and streaming content, using apps, and connecting with friends and colleagues virtually. In order to support this thirst for connectivity it’s vital that we evolve our network and redeploying our 2100MHz spectrum assets to better accommodate next-generation technologies is an important step in achieving this,” he added.
Also, according to Kanagaratnam, “This 5G 2100MHz layer helps us to achieve better 5G coverage as compared to the other 5G spectrum such as 3500MHz, and the exact percentage of coverage extension depends on a range of factors like tower height, local terrain and so on.”
Rest assured that the company is providing an early warning to its subscribers. “Importantly we are providing 12 months’ notice to ensure affected customers are aware of our plans and have sufficient time to upgrade to newer devices that can support 4G or 5G,” Kanagaratnam said. “We will also ensure customers have access to the latest information on this technology refresh via the Optus website,” he added. For this, Optus is set to commence customer-specific communications to those impacted by the change over the coming months. This includes contacting customers that may have very old SIM cards to assist with an upgrade of their SIM card if required.