Optus’ 5G Max to boost sport, shopping and streaming services

A new 5G home internet service from Optus will offer multi-gigabit speeds, improving the user experience for sport and entertainment streaming on the network.

Following the Australian Communications and Media Authority’s announcement on the outcome of the 850/900 MHz band spectrum auction Optus has secured 2 x 25 MHz of 900 MHz spectrum nation-wide for a total of $1.476 billion. The 900 MHz boost will help Optus deliver a significant uplift of 5G coverage nation-wide, via its product 5G Max, which has clocked speeds of just over 4Gbps.

CEO Kelly Bayer Rosmarin said: “The auction result is a fantastic outcome for Australian consumers and businesses. Optus is building the network of the future for our customers and 900 MHz spectrum is its foundational layer. With this additional spectrum, and our existing mid and high band spectrum, we can continue to deliver great coverage and bring the benefits of our technology leadership to more Australians.

“We applaud the government for prioritising competition and consumer interests in ensuring a competitive auction process that has also delivered more equitable holdings of this critical low band spectrum.”


Kelly Bayer Rosmarin

This will likely be a great boost for sports fans, as Optus Sport looks to cement itself as the streaming home of the world’s best football locally, following the news that the telco had secured the Premier League broadcasts rights until 2028; that equates to 2,000 on the platform. Added to this is the acquisition of the women’s game, securing the Superleague until 2024 and the WWC 2023.

Optus Sport currently has more than one million active users and offers 100 hours of content per week. It is looking to boost its fitness video offering, but would not be drawn by Mumbrella on discussing its future sporting interests.

Clive Dickens, VP digital product development said: “Optus has never commented on our rights acquisitions. But when we began, we had 380 (football) games with no subscribers. Now we have 1,500 games with over one million active subscribers. Watch this space, we look at everything.”

Meanwhile, the streaming market has experienced strong Australian revenue growth, and is expected to continue to rise from $3 billion this year to $5.5 billion by 2024.

Optus’ SubHub paid subscription offering which launched in mid-August is where subscribers can find all their paid streaming services in one place. The company is looking to bring on Netflix,  Masterclass and Paramount+ soon. And said more advanced features would be announced later.

Optus will boost its business customer partnership with retailer Harvey Norman. It is in 29 stores nationally at present, but will boost this to 80 by 2023.

Bayer Rosmarin said this will benefit the local economy and offer significant advances across innovations such as augmented reality, web-based conferencing, and transmission of video.

Another new feature unveiled today – particularly relevant for journalists – is Optus Call Notes. It’s part of its Living Network offering where customers can transcribe mobile calls in real time and access the transcripts via the My Optus App. Transcripts are moved directly to the app after recording, so they are not kept with Optus to avoid any privacy issues.

There is a notification that requires all parties to confirm they agree to being recorded. It is currently in beta testing.


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