Australian mobile network operator (MNO) Optus has announced that it has achieved early access to a ‘substantial portion’ of 900MHz spectrum that it acquired at auction back in December 2021, while saying it is using these new frequencies to boost 5G coverage. Optus’s 20-year 900MHz concession is due to commence in July 2024, but it reports that it has secured early access to part of the spectrum to deploy for 5G connectivity.

To that end, according to Optus it has already activated ‘close to 1,000 sites’ with 900MHz spectrum, while additional sites are being progressively rolled out across the country. Further, the cellco claims this development has allowed it to instantly increase its 5G population coverage by up to 20% on a per-site basis. However, Optus notes that at present the 5G low band coverage is only available on select devices and subscription plans, although it says more devices and tariffs are expected to be activated ‘this year’.

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