What is 5G mobile broadband?

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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 broadband 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 in 2020 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

If you’re lucky enough to be covered by Telstra’s 5G network, you can sign up for a 5G mobile broadband plan now. 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.

The below table features all published Telstra mobile broadband plans from Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost from lowest to highest and then by data allowance.  These prices do not include the cost of the 5G Wi-Fi Pro modem. These are products with links to a referral partner.

Postpaid plans on the Telstra network

The table below shows a selection of postpaid plans from Canstar Blue’s database for $50 or under, listed in order of standard advertised monthly cost, lowest cost first, then by data allowance. Use our comparison tool to see a wider range of plans from other providers. These are products which may contain links to referral partners.

Prepaid plans on the Telstra network

The table below shows a selection of comparable prepaid plans from Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of standard advertised monthly cost, lowest cost first, then by data allowance. Use our comparison tool to see a wider range of plans from other providers. These are products which may contain links to referral partners.

 

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. Optus even offers 5G home broadband now in select areas. We’ve done a brilliant article comparing the NBN and 5G you can read here.

Here are the plans Optus is offering with 5G home broadband.

The following table shows selected published Optus 5G home 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.

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

Optus 5G Home Broadband (24 months)

  • 50Mbps satisfaction guarantee
  • Includes the Optus supplied Nokia modem
  • Special offer: one month free

min. cost $1,680 over 24 months

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $70Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Optus Logo

Optus 5G Home Broadband (month-to-month)

  • 50Mbps satisfaction guarantee
  • Includes the Optus supplied Nokia modem
  • $200 setup fee
  • Special offer: one month free

min. cost $270 over first month

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $70Advertised Cost^^/billing period
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.

Mobile Broadband Plans Compared: 100GB+

The following table shows a selection of published 100GB and over 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

100GB Mobile Broadband Plan

  • SIM Only plan

min. cost $720 over 12 months

100GBMax Data**/billing period $60Advertised 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
Telstra Logo

Large

  • SIM only plan
  • No excess data charges in Australia
  • Includes data-free sports and music streaming
  • 5G access included

min. cost $75 over one month

200GBMax Data**/billing period $75Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go To Site
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

Mobile Broadband Plans Compared: Over 50GB

The following table shows a selection of published mobile broadband plans with 50GB – 100GB of data 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 50GB

  • SIM Only

min. cost $40 over 28 day billing period

50GBMax Data**/billing period $40Advertised 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
Vodafone Logo

60GB Mobile Broadband Plan

  • SIM Only plan

min. cost $540 over 12 months

60GBMax Data**/billing period $45Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go To Site
Telstra Logo

Medium

  • SIM only plan
  • No excess data charges in Australia
  • Includes data-free sports and music streaming
  • 5G access included

min. cost $50 over one month

60GBMax Data**/billing period $50Advertised 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

Mobile Broadband Plans Compared: Under 50GB

The following table shows a selection of published mobile broadband plans with less than 50GB of data 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
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
Telstra Logo

Extra Small

  • SIM only plan
  • No excess data charges in Australia
  • Includes data-free sports and music streaming
  • No 5G access

min. cost $15 over one month

5GBMax Data**/billing period $15Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go To Site
Vodafone Logo

5GB Mobile Broadband Plan

  • SIM Only plan

min. cost $180 over 12 months

5GBMax 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
Telstra Logo

Small

  • SIM only plan
  • No excess data charges in Australia
  • Includes data-free sports and music streaming
  • No 5G access

min. cost $25 over one month

20GBMax Data**/billing period $25Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go To Site
Vodafone Logo

25GB Mobile Broadband Plan

  • SIM Only plan

min. cost $360 over 12 months

25GBMax Data**/billing period $30Advertised 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 Telstra, Vodafone, Optus and Woolworths Mobile phone plans for the Samsung Galaxy S20 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 Telstra, Vodafone, Optus and Woolworths Mobile phone plans for the Samsung Galaxy S20+ 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 Telstra and Optus phone plans for the Samsung Galaxy A90 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.


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