Optus shows off 5G at the Commonwealth Games
If you want to get your hands on the next generation of mobile technology early, head to the Gold Coast where Optus is flexing its 5G muscles.
Optus has launched live demonstrations of its 5G network in the Gold Coast, with a 5G technology showcase at Kurrawa Park, Broadbeach. The showcase centre will be open throughout the duration of the 2018 Commonwealth Games for members of the public to engage in a range of activities powered by Optus's 5G network.
"For people to be able to walk off the street and interact with real 5G technology is an incredibly exciting development as we continue towards leading in the delivery of the first phase of 5G technology in 2019," said Dennis Wong, Optus's Managing Director of Networks.
Activities range from AI-based rock, paper, scissors, pulling a football up with a 5G-connected robot arm, VR driving or cycling, or simply walking through a 360-degree dome showcasing events from the Commonwealth Games in real time.
While the majority of Optus's demonstrations are within its showcase centre, it has also used its prototype 5G network to demonstrate 8K video streaming to a van carrying a mobile Optus 5G device. That's a device acting as a router, rather than an actual 5G handset, because they simply don't exist yet.
Optus's early pitch for 5G is undeniably designed to generate hype for the launch of its full 5G network, which is already announced for early next year. While it lacks the direct tie-up with the Commonwealth Games, rival Telstra is also active in the 5G space on the Gold Coast right now, offering free Wi-Fi based on its own 5G network to consumers in Southport.
So what does that mean for consumers keen to get on the 5G bandwagon for real? You've still got a wait ahead of you until next year, although it will possibly be quite early in the year.
According to reports from CNET, Optus will launch its fixed 5G router product in January 2019, with service pricing still to be determined.