Technology research firm Omdia has ranked Australia 12th out of the 22 countries it analysed for deployment of 5G technology. Australia may have been well down the list, but importantly – we beat the Kiwis.
Omdia based its rankings on operator launches, network coverage, subscriber uptake, 5G spectrum availability and “regulatory eco-system”. South Korea was deemed the market leader for 5G technology deployment; having racked up 4.67 million subscribers at the end of December, around seven per cent of wireless services in the market. Approximately 90% population coverage had been achieved in South Korea by the end of last year.
The report notes all three major telcos in Australia having launched commercial 5G services, but their challenge now is to scale up 5G coverage across the country. Comparing South Korea with Australia in that regard would be an apple to oranges comparison given the tyranny of distance in this country.
Anyway, here’s how Omdia’s rankings look:
It’s important to bear in mind the rankings are based on performance at the end of last year – and there’s been significant progress on 5G in Australia since that time (but elsewhere too).
“Australia is a particularly interesting market for 5G given the speculation that exists around the competition that 5G Fixed Wireless will deliver to fixed-broadband services delivered over the NBN network,” said Omdia Principal Analyst Stephen Myers. “We have already seen some Australian operators target that segment with 5G Fixed Wireless services and we expect that trend to continue given the ability that 5G has to offer high-speed services to households.”
Federal Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts Paul Fletcher has previously stated he believes 5G is unlikely to present a significant threat to the NBN business plan.
There has been a lot of buzz about 5G and the major Australian telecommunication players over the last year, but a number of smaller companies have been quiet achievers in the space, launching services utilising 5G well before the Big Three (Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone).
For example, while many ISPs were still contemplating the impacts of and how to implement 5G technology, Lightning Broadband was already embracing it for business and residential fixed wireless broadband services back in 2018.
Related: 5G Fixed Wireless Internet – What Is It, Why Is It Good And Where Can You Get It?