What is 5G mobile broadband?

5G phones are here. They’re getting more affordable, and as the 5G network is rolled out across Australia, connection to the 5G network will become essential. But there’s something to be especially excited about with 5G – the broadband potential. The ability to hotspot your phone anywhere, and to get a super reliable connection to the internet. The endless scrolling on Facebook and Twitter in public, not held back by loading posts or videos that are slow to buffer.

5G internet will tackle these things head on, by one day becoming the premier phone network in Australia – but right now, we are in the early days.

What is 5G mobile broadband?

5G mobile broadband is the next generation on from 4G mobile broadband, which it will soon phase out. 5G mobile broadband is faster, and if you have the right plan and technology in a 5G area, 5G will replace your 4G mobile broadband connection. It makes a good NBN replacement, and should be great for use in your laptop, phone or portable modem.

What is 5G?

5G

5G offers the next generation of mobile network coverage, onward from 4G, the current standard, and 3G, the standard of about six years ago. It’s a mobile network that allows for faster speeds, reliable connections, and ultimately a big upgrade from the 4G network.

When will 5G broadband be available?

5G has only been switched on in some limited areas like in major cities by Telstra and Optus, and Vodafone has begun rolling out its network out this year. We’ve prepared an explainer on Telstra’s 5G network here, including maps of where 5G is in Brisbane, Sydney and Adelaide. We’ve also prepared an explainer on Optus’ 5G network, including the telco’s 5G home broadband solutions.

It’s tough to say when 5G will be available Australia-wide, although it is a priority of the big three to get Australia covered. The network is being rolled out across Australia by Optus, Vodafone and Telstra, and it’s been made a priority by all of them. Being connected and offering fast speeds is the goal, but right now most of Australia can’t actually jump on board the 5G bandwagon.

That said, it will be coming, and you should get ready — it’s just a matter of time when one of the big three telcos rolls its 5G network into your area and 5G-capable devices become the norm.

5G mobile broadband plans

Telstra offers 5G mobile broadband plans. To access 5G, you’ll need to combine your plan with Telstra’s 5G Wi-Fi Pro, which you’ll pay off over 24 months and you’ll then bundle with a month-to-month plan. Apart from this option, there isn’t many 5G mobile broadband plans on the market, and you might have to settle for a 5G mobile plan or a 5G home wireless plan. 5G network access is available with Telstra on Large and Extra Large plans, but not on Small or Medium plans – which only have 4G access.

Telstra Mobile Broadband Plans

The following table shows a selection of published Telstra mobile broadband plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Telstra Logo

Extra Small

  • SIM only plan – pay upfront via AutoPay
  • No excess data charges in Australia
  • No 5G access
  • Share your data with up to 10 plans across your account

min. cost $15 over one month

5GBMax Data**/billing period $15Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go to Site
Telstra Logo

Small

  • SIM only plan – pay upfront via AutoPay
  • No excess data charges in Australia
  • No 5G access
  • Share your data with up to 10 plans across your account

min. cost $25 over one month

30GBMax Data**/billing period $25Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go to Site
Telstra Logo

Medium

  • SIM only plan – pay upfront via AutoPay
  • No excess data charges in Australia
  • 5G access included
  • Share your data with up to 10 plans across your account

min. cost $55 over one month

75GBMax Data**/billing period $55Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go to Site
Telstra Logo

Large

  • SIM only plan – pay upfront via AutoPay
  • No excess data charges in Australia
  • 5G access included
  • Share your data with up to 10 plans across your account

min. cost $85 over one month

400GBMax Data**/billing period $85Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go to Site
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

Following Telstra’s lead, Optus has also opened up 5G access to customers on data SIM/mobile broadband plans – but only on its Large and Extra Large options. If you’re ready for Optus 5G mobile broadband, you may want to pair a 5G-ready plan with the new ZTE 5G Portable WiFi Modem, available to bundle with an Optus data plan on payment terms of 12, 24, or 36 months.

Optus Mobile Broadband Data SIM plans

The following table shows a selection of Optus mobile broadband plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of monthly cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest.

Brand Features Max Data/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
optus Logo

Small Data SIM Plan

  • SIM Only
  • Month-to-month plan (SIM plan price, inclusions & add-ons may change as notified)
  • Includes Optus Sport + OS Fitness
  • No excess data charges in Australia. Speed will be capped at max 1.5Mbps

min. cost $15 month to month

5GBMax Data**/billing period $15Advertised Cost^^/billing period Link to provider unavailable
Optus Logo

Medium Data SIM Plan

  • SIM Only
  • Month-to-month plan (SIM plan price, inclusions & add-ons may change as notified)
  • Includes Optus Sport + OS Fitness
  • No excess data charges in Australia. Speed will be capped at max 1.5Mbps

min. cost $25 month to month

30GBMax Data**/billing period $25Advertised Cost^^/billing period Link to provider unavailable
Optus Logo

Large Data SIM Plan

  • SIM Only
  • Month-to-month plan (SIM plan price, inclusions & add-ons may change as notified)
  • 5G network access
  • Includes Optus Sport + OS Fitness
  • No excess data charges in Australia. Speed will be capped at max 1.5Mbps

min. cost $45 month to month

60GBMax Data**/billing period $45Advertised Cost^^/billing period Link to provider unavailable
Optus Logo

Extra Large Data SIM Plan

  • SIM Only
  • Month-to-month plan (SIM plan price, inclusions & add-ons may change as notified)
  • 5G network access
  • Includes Optus Sport + OS Fitness
  • No excess data charges in Australia. Speed will be capped at max 1.5Mbps

min. cost $60 month to month

100GBMax Data**/billing period $60Advertised Cost^^/billing period Link to provider unavailable

Will 5G replace mobile broadband?

No, not for some time. As the new technology is phased in, the old technology is phased out. 3G will be the first to go before 4G, the current standard. 4G will stick around as more people upgrade and as 5G-ready phones become more affordable and mainstream.

Can I use 5G internet instead of NBN?

You can, but 5G is not an end to the NBN. Although 5G networks are much faster than the NBN, it’s likely that it will be more pricey. There are pros and cons to both the NBN and 5G, but overall it’s unlikely 5G networks will replace the NBN as a go-to broadband service.

If you are unhappy with your NBN speed or service, you can switch to a 5G home internet plan if you live in an eligible area. Here are a range of 5G home internet plans from Telstra, Optus, Vodafone and more:

The following table shows selected published 5G home internet plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
TPG Logo

5G Home Broadband Max

  • $74.99 per month for existing TPG customers
  • No speed restrictions
  • $0 setup fee with no lock-in contract
  • $0 modem when you stay connected for 36 months
  • Special offer: First month plan fees free. Terms apply.

min. cost $79.99 over one month

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $79.99Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go to Site
iiNet Logo

Home Broadband Max

  • No speed caps
  • $0 set up fees and no lock-in contract
  • $0 5G modem
  • Special offer: one month plan fees free. Terms apply.

min. cost $84.99 over one month

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $84.99Advertised Data^^/billing period Go to Site
Internode

Home Broadband Max

  • No speed caps
  • $0 set up fees and no lock-in contract
  • $0 5G modem
  • Special offer: one month plan fees free. Terms apply.

min. cost $84.99 over one month

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $84.99Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go to Site
Vodafone Logo

Ultimate 5G Home Broadband

  • $80 per month for existing Vodafone customers
  • No speed restrictions
  • $0 setup fee with no lock-in contract
  • $0 modem when you stay connected for 36 months
  • Special offer: First month plan fees free. Terms apply.

min. cost $85 over one month

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $85Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go to Site
Telstra Logo

5g Home Internet

  • 5G speeds
  • Speeds capped at 25Mbps after 1TB allowance exceeded
  • Includes Telstra 5G Home Modem ($0 when you stay connected for 24 months)
  • Special offer: first month free for new customers. Terms apply.
  • Special offer: 3 months free BINGE standard. Terms apply.

min. cost $85 over one month

1TBMax Data**/billing period $85Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go to Site
Spintel Logo

SpinTel 5G Unlimited

  • No speed cap
  • Nokia 5G modem included
  • Special offer: $80 per month for first 6 months, then $90 per month ongoing. Terms apply.

min. cost $90 over one month

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $90Advertised Cost^^/billing period Link to provider unavailable
Optus Logo

Optus 5G Internet Entertainer Superfast

  • No speed cap
  • 50Mbps satisfaction guarantee
  • Includes the Optus supplied Nokia FastMile 5G Gateway Modem ($576 modem cost)
  • Stay connected for 36 months and pay $0 for the modem
  • Includes standard Netflix subscription via SubHub
  • Special offer: $0 Start-up fee + 1 Month free
  • Intro offer: $89/mth for first 6 mths, then $99/mth T&Cs Apply

min. cost $675 over first month

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $99Advertised Cost^^/billing period Link to provider unavailable
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

The following table shows selected published 5G home internet plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Spintel Logo

SpinTel 5G Unlimited

  • Up to 100Mbps speeds
  • Nokia 5G modem included

min. cost $69 over one month

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $69Advertised Cost^^/billing period
TPG Logo

5G Home Broadband Premium

  • $64.99 per month for existing TPG customers
  • Up to 100Mbps speeds
  • $0 setup fee with no lock-in contract
  • $0 modem when you stay connected for 36 months
  • Special offer: First month plan fees free. Terms apply.

min. cost $69.99 over one month

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $69.99Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go to Site
iiNet Logo

Home Broadband Premium

  • Up to 100Mbps speeds
  • $0 set up fees and no lock-in contract
  • $0 5G modem
  • Special offer: one month plan fees free. Terms apply.

min. cost $74.99 over one month

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $74.99Advertised Data^^/billing period Go to Site
Internode

Home Broadband Premium

  • Up to 100Mbps speeds
  • $0 set up fees and no lock-in contract
  • $0 5G modem
  • Special offer: one month plan fees free. Terms apply.

min. cost $74.99 over one month

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $74.99Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go to Site
Vodafone Logo

Premium 5G Home Broadband

  • $70 per month for existing Vodafone customers
  • Up to 100Mbps speeds
  • $0 setup fee with no lock-in contract
  • $0 modem when you stay connected for 36 months
  • Special offer: First month plan fees free. Terms apply.

min. cost $75 over one month

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $75Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go to Site
Optus Logo

Optus 5G Internet Everyday

  • Speed capped at 100Mbps
  • 50Mbps satisfaction guarantee
  • Includes the Optus supplied Nokia FastMile 5G Gateway Modem ($576 modem cost)
  • Stay connected for 36 months and pay $0 for the modem
  • Special offer: $0 Start-up fee + 1 Month free

min. cost $655 over first month

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $79Advertised Cost^^/billing period Link to provider unavailable
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

How do I know if I can access 5G?

You won’t need to change your SIM card to access 5G coverage! It all comes down to what your device is – if it’s 5G-compatible, it will automatically connect to the faster network. Easy! It’s like when you go through a low-coverage area and you switch from 4G to 3G, or from 4G to SOS. You’ll be able to seamlessly access the network without any trouble.

We’ve put together a list of all of the 5G-ready phones you can use when the network is turned on across Australia. You might own one right now – essentially, more and more phones being released from here on out will most likely have 5G compatibility, as it’s becoming the international standard.

4G Mobile Broadband Plans

Not yet covered by Telstra or Optus’ 5G networks? 4G data is still widely available as an on-the-go alternative to fixed broadband. The following table shows a selection of published mobile broadband plans from leading providers on Canstar Blue’s database.

Telstra Mobile Broadband Plans

The following table shows a selection of published Telstra mobile broadband plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Telstra Logo

Extra Small

  • SIM only plan – pay upfront via AutoPay
  • No excess data charges in Australia
  • No 5G access
  • Share your data with up to 10 plans across your account

min. cost $15 over one month

5GBMax Data**/billing period $15Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go to Site
Telstra Logo

Small

  • SIM only plan – pay upfront via AutoPay
  • No excess data charges in Australia
  • No 5G access
  • Share your data with up to 10 plans across your account

min. cost $25 over one month

30GBMax Data**/billing period $25Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go to Site
Telstra Logo

Medium

  • SIM only plan – pay upfront via AutoPay
  • No excess data charges in Australia
  • 5G access included
  • Share your data with up to 10 plans across your account

min. cost $55 over one month

75GBMax Data**/billing period $55Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go to Site
Telstra Logo

Large

  • SIM only plan – pay upfront via AutoPay
  • No excess data charges in Australia
  • 5G access included
  • Share your data with up to 10 plans across your account

min. cost $85 over one month

400GBMax Data**/billing period $85Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go to Site
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

Vodafone Mobile Broadband Plans

The following table shows a selection of published Vodafone mobile broadband plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Vodafone Logo

10GB Mobile Broadband Plan

  • SIM Only plan

min. cost $20 over first month

10GBMax Data**/billing period $20Advertised Cost^^/billing period Link to provider unavailable
Vodafone Logo

40GB Mobile Broadband Plan

  • SIM Only plan

min. cost $40 over first month

40GBMax Data**/billing period $40Advertised Cost^^/billing period Link to provider unavailable
Vodafone Logo

100GB Mobile Broadband Plan

  • SIM Only plan

min. cost $60 over first month

100GBMax Data**/billing period $60Advertised Cost^^/billing period Link to provider unavailable
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

Amaysim Mobile Broadband Plans

The following table shows a selection of  published Amaysim mobile broadband plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Amaysim Logo

Sim Only 7GB

  • SIM Only

min. cost $15 over 28 day billing period

7GBMax Data**/billing period $15Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go to Site
Amaysim Logo

Sim Only 50GB

  • SIM Only

min. cost $40 over 28 day billing period

50GBMax Data**/billing period $40Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go to Site
Amaysim Logo

Sim Only 90GB

  • SIM Only

min. cost $60 over 28 day billing period

90GBMax Data**/billing period $60Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go to Site
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

Southern Phone Mobile Broadband Plans

The following table shows a selection of published Southern Phone mobile broadband plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Southern Phones Logo

Extra Small

  • SIM Only

min. cost $180 over 12 month plan period

7GBMax Data**/billing period $15Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go to Site
Southern Phones Logo

Small

  • SIM Only

min. cost $300 over 12 month plan period

15GBMax Data**/billing period $25Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go to Site
Southern Phones Logo

Medium

  • SIM Only

min. cost $480 over 12 month plan period

50GBMax Data**/billing period $40Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go to Site
Southern Phones Logo

Large

  • SIM Only

min. cost $780 over 12 month plan period

100GBMax Data**/billing period $65Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go to Site
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

What should I do to prepare for 5G?

There’s not a whole lot you can do until the network is ready! Until it is, you can make sure your device is compatible with 5G. Below is a list of 5G-ready phone plans for you to check out.

5G ready phone plans

The following table shows a selection of published 24-month plans for the 128GB iPhone 13 on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

The following table shows a selection of published 24-month plans for the 128GB Samsung Galaxy S21 5G on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

The following table shows a selection of published 24-month plans for the Google Pixel 6 on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

Share this article