NBN Co trials have succeeded in delivering speeds of up to 1.1Gbps.
Originally announced with speeds of 12Mbps (download) and 1Mbps (upload), the NBN’s fixed wireless service was ramped up to 25/5Mbps in 2013, with the 50/20Mbps tier following in 2015. Now the stage has been set for the release of even higher speeds to service providers and their customers.
Trials conducted by NBN Co, Ericsson, NetComm Wireless and Qualcomm in Ballarat showed that 1.1Gbps/165Mbps is achievable by combining a total of 11 carriers (most of us would think of them as channels, though that's not technically accurate) and using three network termination devices at the customer's premises.
With a single network termination device, peak speeds of 400/55Mbps, 250/50Mbps and 100/40Mbps were achieved using a range of carriers.
The trial involved the installation of additional radio equipment on an existing fixed wireless tower, and the use of next-generation network termination devices.
NBN Co intends to launch a 100Mbps fixed wireless service – aimed particularly at businesses in regional areas – during 2018.
“Our ability to deliver gigabit speeds on fixed wireless demonstrates our continued focus on identifying and implementing tech advancements as and when they are needed, across all technologies,” said NBN Co CEO Bill Morrow.
“It's particularly exciting to be able to reaffirm our commitment to delivering a great experience to the 600,000 premises in regional Australia that will be served by the fixed wireless network.
“Our fixed wireless network has already been recognised as a world leader and we are determined to maintain that position by making sure regional Australians get access to the same high speed broadband available in our cities.
Regional Australia Institute CEO Jack Archer said: “Plenty of Australians would love the chance to move away from the big cities and have an improved quality of life in regional Australia.
“However, one of the main impediments to doing this is being able to stay connected to your workplace unless you have access to good quality broadband.
“That's why it is great to see NBN trialling higher speed services on its fixed wireless network – this will help make the regional dream possible in the future for a lot more Australians in a lot more places.”