Optus claimed a world-first after conducting a non-standalone (NSA) 5G call using carrier aggregation of the 2300MHz and 3500MHz bands, a move it predicted would bring it closer to boosting its network capabilities.

In a statement, the Australian operator said it collaborated with Ericsson to make the call, using Samsung Galaxy S20 5G smartphones.

Optus explained the test showcased the advantages of simultaneous use of both spectrum frequencies, namely “a significant increase in the average and peak 5G speeds”. It plans to push this to customers on a dual-band 5G network in Sydney and Melbourne later this year.

Lambo Kanagaratnam, MD of networks, said carrier aggregation will deliver an “improved experience” to customers when “using data-hungry applications and services such as high-resolution video streaming, AR/VR and downloading large files”.

He noted the technique will be especially useful for ensuring seamless operations of applications in times of high demand, while also improving the coverage, speed and capacity of its 5G network.

Optus launched a dual-band 5G network in Sydney using the same bands in February.

The operator said it has now deployed 5G on more than 900 sites, with in excess of 426,000 households covered.