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Tests show 5G wireless potentially 60 times faster than NBN



My office had 1 Gpbs just outside the Melbourne CBD in 2009. In the late 1980s I had 1.5 Mbps (a T1 in the terminology of the day) in the US.

Fancy and reality sometimes meet, and sometimes do not.


From the link, it touts ‘5 Gbps radios’ as backhaul. That is a very small percentage of what fibre delivers, and an even smaller part of what fibre can deliver.


2004-ish my ‘office’ had multiple gig and a couple of fddi connections into a fully meshed core of Cisco 7600’s …

98-ish I had a Cisco 1003 at home with bri running dov at 128kbp/s … it was early 90’s when 2400bps was the go and mid-80’s when my modem was a wooden box with sound deadening foam on the inside and rubber cups you’d sit the phone handset in - luckily the pdp/11’s I was accessing at work weren’t fast anyway :slight_smile:

Not sure I ever had a 2400 baud modem - 2400 bp/s yes, but from memory the symbol rate was half or quarter that, so 600 or 1200 baud gave 2400 bp/s … don’t recall specifics.


I had one of those around 1980 (in the US). The hosts included a pair of CDC 176’s and a 205 plus some smaller systems as their front ends. I had a 176 as my personal computer for about 6 months at one point :slight_smile:


yes, BBG You are correct, I think I may have got the date wrong.
I started using 300 baud dial up(late 70s) and progressed slowly from there to fibre but I am now unsure of the dates.
I am using ADSL2+ on this PC and the speed is less than half that of the fibre connection however it is stable and more than adequate for my needs.

Regarding the NYSE yes the back haul is 5 Gbps but that was two years ago. You will also notice that it references that telcos use microwave for backhaul because it is cheaper and quicker to install.
If you search the same magazine you will find reference to a paper on 60 Gps mobile technology out of Japan.

More than 50 % of internet use is via mobiles (52% here on our own web site) about the same number of our new customers do not have a fixed phone line connection so I think with 4G and later, as 5G becomes available more and more people will choose to disconnect their fixed line service because they will not be able to justify or afford the cost of both services.
You may have also noticed that Telstra is rolling out a WIFI service. They started by using public phone booths as access points and that would have been a couple of years ago now. ( you will need to look up the date as I am not good with dates) Mobile phone companies overseas sometimes have a WIFI service in parallel with their mobile service and it is part of your monthly phone fee, same ID and password for both systems.
So as time passes the NBN will only be required or used by schools, businesses, hospitals and those who do not own a mobile phone.



Regardless that the NBN is not much, wireless spectrum is shared by everyone using it. A 5G tower with one user - wow. The same 5G tower with lots of users - very much like how it works sharing a cable (HFC). The more users the slower you go.

Also as with any of our mobile/wireless services we have weak spots and black spots all over the place. So AnyG is not something I am going to get excited about. If I am sitting at my computer with my mobile in my pocket it will not ring although I get a missed call message - <1 bar but with a signal of sorts. Data? The mobile servers are often not much and both inside and outside of major centres we have found the 3G and 4G to often be functionally unusable even with 5 bar signals. FWIW if I put my mobile on the computer table no problem and >1 bar, if that makes the point.

Fibre and ethernet cables remain and will remain the gold standard in my opinion. If only the people responsible for making that happen had a clue. Guess what the 5G towers will use for their backbones? Clue: Not 5G.

The hype is like a drag race from point to point, even though you start and end at different points than the drag race track.


The problem with wireless is that there’s only one radio-frequency (RF) spectrum, We split it up to sell it, but that doesn’t increase the amount available. A single optical fibre has around 10,000 times the data-carrying capacity of the entire RF spectrum. If our needs exceed the capacity of a single fibre, then we can use more than one. With RF spectrum we don’t have that option.

Demand for data continues to rise steeply. There’s no reason to suppose that the rise will level off much before the limits of optical fibre are reached. The day when wireless cannot meet the demand are not terribly far off. Wireless has its place, but that place is as an adjunct to fibre; it can’t realistically compete.

For what it’s worth, here’s my response from the mid 1990s. (Yes, I know I got a lot wrong. I was relatively new to the game.)

Profits from the NBN were always forecast to be too low for the private sector. That’s why the public sector had to step in. It’s called “market failure”.

The anticipated service life of optical fibre is a century or more. Contracts for supply commonly guarantee 60 years, but most commentators regard that as a risk-minimising underestimate. If your planning horizon is ten years, then you need a new planner.


If ‘your’ planning horizon is to the next poll or next election, you need a new government. Sadly one side tries to put things in motion and the other dependably stops them at first opportunity. And so it goes.


There’s evidence of planning? I think, to we observers, the only horizon NBN has is causing them to appear more and more redshifted as they ‘never quite get there’ … of course they perceive everything still in ‘proper time’, hence the problem …


As others have noted above Wireless Internet/Data transmission can be fast, but it suffers contention at the towers ie too many users for a limited bandwidth/reception thus some miss out when trying to connect. So as more take up the Wireless option the more contention will occur at the towers and more will complain and then they will want the fibre connection and more towers built. Also as the bandwidth at a tower is shared the more users using that tower the less speed each user gets (aside from those who miss out on a connection).

Every Wireless connection relies on a fixed line circuit (nowadays almost entirely fibre based) somewhere in it’s journey and most probably for the vast majority of that journey. As I mentioned in a post above the limit of data transmission in a single optical fibre is northwards of a Petabit per second (1 Petabit = 1000 Terabits = 1 million Gigabits = (close to but not exactly) 130000 Gigabytes = 130 Terabytes). That’s the capacity of roughly seventy 2TB drives a second and currently it is about thirty 2TB drives a second in experimental speeds. Wireless just can’t do that.

Now I am not against Wireless, in fact far from it, but I do realise it’s limitations and if a house could have a fixed line connection of fibre (which mine does for the sake of disclosure) instead of relying on a wireless one then a user would be better served by that fibre connection. In the house some of that bandwidth can be made available to devices not plugged in by a cable by using some of the RF spectrum to transmit data (home Wifi). This helps avoid contention at the towers, the loss of signal over the distance to the tower and thus the rate at which data can be transmitted, and reduces the overall cost of that data. I see Wireless as a complementary technology working with fibre to achieve a better overall experience for everyone.

Why then is Wireless/Mobile data pushed so hard? Well some reasons are it is convenient when out and about, it is useful when you can’t get a fixed line, & Telcos make lots of money from it.

So I don’t think in the future it will just be [quote=“trevor3, post:25, topic:14678”]
the NBN will only be required or used by schools, businesses, hospitals and those who do not own a mobile phone.
[/quote] But the current MTM NBN is a limiting factor and the sooner the non-essential non-fibre components eg HFC, FTTN, & FTTC (some satellite and Fixed Wireless will be needed for some time) are replaced by fibre the better it will be for all.

What you are referring to I think is Telstra Air. This also heavily relies on home users making some of their home bandwidth available for passing Wifi devices to use. This means the Telstra Air mobile wireless service also depends on the cable that supplies those homes.

From Telstra

“You can use Telstra Air at over 1 million hotspots across Australia at public payphones, local council areas, residential areas and business centres.Telstra Air customers can access over 19 million hotspots across the world through our partnership with Fon.”


"With Telstra Air, your home broadband can be used to create a home hotspot. Your Telstra Air compatible gateway will broadcast separate Wi-Fi signals for other Telstra Air customers to use.

To help protect your home broadband experience we limit the number of people who can use your home hotspot at the one time, the bandwidth available to them and the maximum speed we allow. However, there are times when you may notice a small reduction in speed if you’re using your home broadband service at the same time as Telstra Air hotspot users. Fon coverage maps will indicate the location of your Telstra Air hotspot."


This item on 5G starts almost like an advertisement and slowly and subtly descends into reality, while tip toeing. It is almost as if they do not want to get in the way of 5G customers with grand expectations meeting with reality. As I have posted many times, even in metro areas mobile data can be unusable even with 5 bars strength because of the servers and back haul limitations. Then go into the regions or bush! Mobile service?


There is a lot of spectrum to be freed up when ‘ Free to Air’ TV migrates to digital online only!
There will always be as others have explained limits to how many concurrent users a tower can support in any one direction. But the spectrum needed is there but for that one simple decision.

5G is a handy distraction from the real issues of poor NBN design.

Whether 5G is used by the NBN Co as an upgrade or it becomes a competitive alternative to the NBN in regional areas it will appear?


Probably not as signal range of 5G is less than 3/4G. Regional/rural areas, range (reliable connection) may be more important than the 5G offerings.

This website summaries 5G:

Will it compete with NBN for customers, the simple answer is (where it is available and connection is reliable) yes. Irrespective of wired NBN connection type, even NBN Co has acknowledged this. It is no different to 3/4G competing with the copper landlines for customers.



Is this a surprise when government consciously forced their MTM ‘not a solution’ to replace FTTP?

Didn’t Turnbull himself say something to the effect all we need is second rate since nobody needs it anyway?



“ re 5G not necessarily having the range to be suuitable for rural areas”

A reasonable statement, excepting one circumstance that may be very common. Only the NBN Co and it’s minders will know the size of the opportunity.

Some or many rural communities may have enough customers within the magic 800 to 1100m copper distance of their local exchange.

‘Hey presto’ they are now getting a fixed line solution courtesy of a FTTN magic box at the exchange.
Or does it just need a swap out in the racks where all the DSLAM’s live? Excuse the technical ignorance if this is not correct.

Everyone else gets the all serving Fixed Wireless NBN. It appears that NBN Co in back filling the outer areas with FW will have bypassed numerous little pockets of perhaps a hundred or so customers. It doesn’t need that many small clusters of customers scattered around a smaller town to overload the local FW solution.

Does 5G offer then a cost effective opportunity to run a single fibre to a small local 5G tower for each pocket? Possibly just a single cell or two?
How would that scale against a full fibre upgrade or mini-node?

Given the NBN Co is a non competitive monopoly, it would be so much better if all of their washing, sorry technical reviews and costings were public and current. In the interim I can only assume my ignorance will be rewarded by the trust I need to put in the NBN Co to do the best for me!

In the interim I have Optus 4G and even though it defaults to 3G due to distance still hits 20mb/s using my iPhone for data in the worst room in the house.[quote=“phbriggs2000, post:34, topic:14678”]
Probably not as signal range of 5G is less than 3/4G. Regional/rural areas, range (reliable connection) may be more important than the 5G offerings.


It is a challenge to get policy setting correct, especially when replacing a 50+ old network with one based on beliefs at a particular time.

As one moves towards more mobile connections, the domestic utilisation of the nbn may reduce. S&P indicated that this is evidenced from the number no-landline active connection (copper, fttp, fttp, hfc etc) residences and that the percentage of such residences is increasing, even when high speed network/connection to the residence is possible. The nbn doesn’t offer what these customers are after.

It will be interesting how time pans out with future wireless competion to the nbn. A good friend who is a professor in planning technology infrastructure has indicated that work has begun on the next generation after 5G…which it is expected with have speed significantly greater than 5G. I suppose the distance limitation will still come into play, but it may be cheaper to have closer receiver/transmitter nodes than having fttp/mtm to the premise.

I expect the anti-EMF groups will also have a field day or will be ordering their lead lined head protection in advance.


The only people I believe who thought the coalition’s version of the NBN was a good answer were the coalition election strategists. Every technical expert dissed it. From memory a Liberal Party accountant in Perth thought it was a fine idea, or was that a different election? Oh yes, one Malcolm Turnbull is on record that nobody needs 100mbps…

At some point the government might legislate the telcos have to use the NBN backbone for their wireless towers to keep revenue flowing! :open_mouth:

A prime issue is that wireless spectrum is shared among all users just as HFC is shared. As data is used more and more each individual will eventually increase their data use although maybe not as quickly as the transmission speeds evolve, but there will be many ‘opportunities’ for congestion from spectrum to tower capacities, to back-end equipment and back haul capacity as well as the inevitable black and grey spots.

My view is that wireless is good although expensive and has an important place, but for national use it is and will remain essentially a somewhat random residential bandaid for the NBN’s deficiencies as ‘houses’, not just individual devices, depend more and more on connectivity. Evidence? Take your phone/tablet/PC out and about and try to use internet services via 3G/4G. The word ‘pathetic’ is the one that normally comes to mind almost as often as ‘unusable’ or ‘no service’.

Backhaul is where 4G, 5G or whatever-G needs fibre. Funny that. It usually gets back to fibre to make ‘it’ work. Who would have guessed?


Some telcos already use a fibre backbone network independently of the nbn…run by government or GOCs (government owned corporations). I suspect that tower connections could rely on the nbn, but to replace the existing fibre backbone would be taking money out of the government hand and giving it to someone else. I am not sure if this will ever occur.

(Note. Nbn tried to access/acquire the fibre back bone but this was keenly hit on the head due to its existing government revenue rasing ability).