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Will 5G Push Fibre Aside?


Not all families hotspot of one mobiles or only have one mobile for the whole family. Most families I know each family member (over 8-10 years old) has their own. The family outlined below each have their own smartphones but wifi when at home.

I was indicating the one set of eyes on the one person.

We have a close friend which has a family like the Brady bunch…two teenage kid aged families merged. They have up to 4 teenagers at any one time + two (step) parents.

They moved house to one that had fibre and took out a top tier NBN package as they had HFC at the previous house which caused a lot of problems (they all wanted to grab their own bandwidth which wasn’t possible).

Even with the top tier NBN, they were still having problems particularly with their home WIFI capacity causing significant lag/buffering problems when watching videos/intensive online gaming (4 kids on their devices and parents either sharing one or on their own).

My mate decided to see the setting on the video streaming apps and all were running at maximum resolution even though such wasn’t needed for hand held devices. Changing a few setting and re-educating (inc. turning off streaming when not in use) the kids paid dividends as the streaming is now more stable.

I understand that arguments still occur when the microwave goes on when signal inference occurs.

I have mentioned what happened to the ‘good old days’ when the family plonked itself down in front of the TV (show or movie) and enjoyed it together). In some families it seems that individualism has taken over familism.

Maybe we are old fashioned in our household, but we subscribe to familism.


So they’re not limited to mobile data. The cost of running the residence on multiple mobile data accounts would be prohibitive. There’s no sense pretending that mobile is a substitute for fixed line. There’s just no contest.


For a family maybe, but as most Australian households are either one or two occupants, financially only using mobile would stack up for these households. Having NBN + one/two smartphones would be more expensive than 2 unlimited/download limits to meet usage, unshaped data mobile phone packages.

There are many families that already have multiple mobile accounts as most parents and teens have one glued to their fingers. The packages may be cheaper or have data limitations though.

The households we know who are mobile only connections are those without a number of children (empty nesters, singles or childless newly weds). Some also hotspot their desktop/laptops when they need PC connectivity. They haven’t mentioned any problems.

It is possible to have only mobile, but may not suit everyone.


Expect that market to shrink.


That goes against current trends in Australia and in other countries. These trends have occurred with change in mobile platform usage and also increase in both fixed and mobile speeds (where we are today and will be in the future). I believe for this trend to change, there would need substantial trigger for this to occur. The NBN itself would not be one otherwise the trends would be going down in those countries (inc. Australia) where faster (high) speed fixed line networks have existed for some time.

I believe for it to shrink, there needs to be significant behaviour changes with users (less preference to mobile device usage) and also repricing of the communication industry (mobile data potentially becoming more expensive and/or NBN becoming substantially cheaper). Something which won’t happen overnight and its likelihood is unknown.


That is not always the case. I know many people here and the US who rely 100% on mobile data and their phones for ‘everything internet’. @phb point is valid that a segment of the market will be attracted to 5G, and they will be happy with it if we ignore drop outs, grey spots, black spots, no spots, and insufficient back end systems servicing it.


The trend will continue, until enough oldsters die and enough youngsters have families. Eventually, even most single-person households will find that their needs exceed the capacity of the mobile network. There will always be a market for mobile broadband, but the days of mobile as the only broadband access of premises are numbered.



A dose of reality, or a report from a cynic?


“You know 5G is going to be great, because it’s got 25 per cent more G.”


Book now for 6G.


Will 5G push fibre aside?

For the discussion so far - the answer still appears to be NO!
So far 5G appears to be complementary to a fibre service. For selected users it can be a better solution to their needs. Especially where the cost of fibre is excessive, or data needs are modest or mobility is a benefit.

A one or two user household with good mobile data service does not need a home data connection or modem. Many printers are capable of direct Bluetooth/wifi printing and other devices are able to wirelessly broadcast/display on smart TVs.

Ask a different question - is there a need for advanced wireless technologies such as 5G? If so what are the likely uses?

One significant change already started is how we can connect on the move. Many users now have access via Wifi to Telstra hotspots in busy public areas. QR offer wifi on trains and shopping centres exchange free wifi for your shopping sole. Currently wifi and mobile data over 4G connect in different ways. Will future public users accept the limited security of public networks based on existing technology?

Will future public wifi and future mobile data tech merge into one greater connected meshed network for data on the move? Does 5G enhance this capability or will it be a later step. It doubtless offers greater public security for connections?


oh dear …

Mr Sims said an interesting dynamic is developing between mobile networks and the NBN in Australia, because 5G networks will be the first generation of mobile technology capable of delivering broadband services comparable to fixed services in terms of speed and capacity.

More expert advice from the ACCC in the article …


They learned everything they know from Turnbull.


There is some contrary logic here?

If 5G takes competition to the NBN would it be mainly in high density urban areas? Areas with better fibre services.

The competition might reduce the number of NBN customers in these low cost high profit areas reducing revenues. Consider also a possible reaction from the NBN needing to provide services in these 5G areas at lower costs to stay in the game.

All this suggests if it came to pass is that the remainder of the NBN customers will need to foot more of the financial burden from the NBN. Yes, those customers with the poorest services could also see more expensive services to balance the books.:thinking:

Not an appealing result and not one that genuinely makes all NBN services cheaper, only some? This outcome does not make consumer sense?

It is also likely the users the NBN will not have due to competition will be the low volume users who also use less bandwidth. (IE higher margin customers?) This would leave the high volume higher speed users with the NBN for the obvious reasons the ACCC has ignored. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

The introduction of 5G data from mobile operators in other areas such as those of FW coverage or the limits of FTTN services is also likely to reduce the NBN customer base and income. Competition looks like the same pie sliced up to feed more! :zap:


Saw a bit of ‘contrary’, but its a bit light on what I’d call ‘logic’ :slight_smile:

I think people in positions of authority feel they need to chime in on something, regardless of the relevance or their knowledge/insight on the subject. I often find I am looking for the back-story - ‘motive’ you might call it … what am I missing that potentially was intended to miss … not sure this one is clear to me, but it feels like ‘positioning’ …


“I haven’t seen a killer app anywhere globally yet.”



As stated many times previously 5G will be a supplement to Fixed Line NBN not a replacement though many will choose to go that way just because they use mobile devices so much and don’t want or have a fixed line to their premises.

5G in the end relies on hardware in the ground ie copper, fibre to both send and receive data and calls. The speed for early adopters of 5G will probably be great until it becomes the main choice for most mobile users after which the bandwidth will become saturated in peak periods and speeds will decrease for every user and then 4G and 3G will supplement that overuse of 5G and help spread the load but with lower max speeds than 5G will entertain.

Want to get the best use of 5G then put a wireless modem/router in your house and use the fixed line and private Wifi to gain the advantage at home and save the 5G for when out and about. My AC band wifi at home allows me the best of both worlds and as Wifi progresses for in home services those speeds will increase even more. Currently I get on my AC band about 600 Mbps up and down with at least 4 devices getting similar using our MU-MIMO router. MU-MIMO means multi-user, multiple input, multiple output as distinct from non MU MIMO routers (sometimes called SU-MIMO but mostly just MIMO).


There is zero reason for me to replace my ageing 802.11n (300Mbps) router at the moment, and I suspect many people are in the same situation. Given that my maximum download speed is 6 or 7 Mbps, I would need to be using network attached storage (NAS) or something similar to get anywhere near the existing router’s capacity, let alone gaining benefits from 802.11ac when most devices (phones, IoT) still have not yet adopted it.

My phone will take advantage of AC, but my wife’s will not - and nor will our other devices.


I certainly agree with your point about lousy in home speeds. As the limit of current packages on NBN is 100 Mbps anything more than that to internet destinations are not served by any speed much greater than a n band wifi modem/router. Our usage also involves a home network of devices such as NASs, shared folders and shared printers. Some homes are also moving to home based storage and home theatre networks that can require decent speeds to a number of users at the same time and certainly I know others stream direct from the web.

Will 5G push fibre aside and my response is that it all relies on fibre for a good deal of the journey, so if you want internet in your home many are better off going with a wifi router/modem in the house and saving 3G/4G and soon 5G for when mobile. My experience is currently with a FTTP 100/40 package and a ac band wifi but that isn’t everybody’s need perhaps but the hope is that someone with enough smarts in Federal Govt will finally accept that FTTP is the only way to go and that 100 Mbps on that is paltry and embrace the much higher speeds such as 1 Gbps or even 10 Gbps. Those speeds will leave mobile data really for mobile use or those who prefer to only use their mobile data plans. Once everyone who gets a new 5G capable phone/tablet or similar device starts to heavily use that bandwidth, the currently perceived speed benefits will start to fail as contention & congestion of the band starts to bite so why not decrease that congestion & contention by using a fixed line connection to the home rather than straining a much more limited mobile network.


Future 5G bandwidth and capacity is less likely to be a concern if more spectrum is made available for it? Eg by shutting down FTA tv services. It’s a different topic.
The past 11 years of Federal Parliament have demonstrated how difficult it is to predict government outcomes and policy decisions.

It’s equally possible the NBN Co or their successor will provide for 5G to be the upgrade, sorry remedial path for FTTN customers as their last 1,000m copper fails?

Hence 5G will not push fibre aside, it will push copper aside and keep fibre out?:upside_down_face: