Telstra doubles down on 'best 5G' claims in Australia

Optus recently took a not-so-subtle swipe at Telstra, requesting “one carrier to formally remove their 5G advertising that claims it is ‘Australia’s best 5G’” – but it appears that Australia’s largest provider is not backing down.

The two telcos have been locked in a battle over who has the better 5G network for some time, and following the release of an independent audit by consulting firm Umlaut, Telstra is doubling down on its claims.

“We lead in 5G coverage by a country mile,” wrote Telstra’s engineering executive, Sri Amirthalingam, in a company blog post, “as well as having faster average and maximum 5G speeds in more places.”

Umlaut’s report does support Telstra’s claim of having the widest 5G availability – it leads in each of the nine cities surveyed, and is the only provider currently offering 5G in Hobart and the regional city of Toowoomba.

Graph showing 5G availability in Australia

(Image credit: Umlaut)

The audit also found Telstra to have the highest download speeds throughput, both on average and at its maximum, in all but one of the testing locations. In real terms, Amirthalingam explained that, “as tested, our average and maximum 5G speeds are higher than our competitors across the board in the vast majority of locations included.”

The one city where Optus edged ahead was Adelaide, where the average 5G speed throughput was marginally higher.

Graph showing 5G throughput in Australia

(Image credit: Umlaut)

These findings differ from a separate report, conducted by telecommunications company Systemics-PAB late last year which found Optus to have 22% faster average 5G download speed than Telstra across Sydney and Melbourne during testing.

Telstra has its sights set on expanding its 5G network, and reiterated a statement that it’s working towards covering 75% of the Australian population by June 2021. You can see what 5G coverage is available in your area from each of the providers here: Telstra, Optus and Vodafone

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