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 mobile broadband that utilities existing 5G networks across Australia to provide you with a 5G connection on the go. Much like with 4G mobile broadband, you can access 5G mobile broadband through the use of a compatible modem, phone or dongle, and can serve as a replacement for the NBN. In Australia, the only way you can get 5G mobile broadband is through Telstra, and their 5G HTC Hub.

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 total upgrade upon what 4G is.

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 it 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 this year 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 when the big three are going to start releasing their network as consumer ready, and when they start flicking the switches on for their networks across the country.

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 HTC 5G Hub, which is available to pay off over 24 or 36 months. More information on the Hub is available here, and Telstra’s 5G mobile broadband plans are listed below.

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 HTC 5G Hub. These are products with links to a referral partner.

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

Extra Small

  • SIM only plan
  • No excess data charges in Australia
  • Includes data-free sports and music streaming
  • Free 5G access until June 2020

min. cost $15 over one month

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

Small

  • SIM only plan
  • No excess data charges in Australia
  • Includes data-free sports and music streaming
  • Free 5G access until June 2020

min. cost $25 over one month

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

Medium

  • SIM only plan
  • No excess data charges in Australia
  • Includes data-free sports and music streaming
  • Free 5G access until June 2020

min. cost $50 over one month

60GBMax Data**/billing period $50Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Telstra Logo

Large

  • SIM only plan
  • No excess data charges in Australia
  • Includes data-free sports and music streaming
  • Free 5G access until June 2020

min. cost $75 over one month

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

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, both including a free month in the deals.

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 Data^^/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 Data^^/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, every phone being released from here on out will 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: Over 100GB

The following table shows a selection of published mobile broadband plans with over 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
Telstra Logo

Large

  • SIM only plan
  • No excess data charges in Australia
  • Includes data-free sports and music streaming
  • Free 5G access until June 2020

min. cost $75 over one month

200GBMax Data**/billing period $75Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Ovo Logo

OVOBoom XL

  • Unlimited sport and radio on OVOPlay
  • BYO modem option

min. cost $79.95 over 30 day billing period

250GBMax Data**/billing period $79.95Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Amaysim Logo

SIM Only 240GB

  • SIM Only

min. cost $60 over 28 day billing period

240GBMax Data**/billing period $80Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

Mobile Broadband Plans Compared: 100GB

The following table shows a selection of published 100GB 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 Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Ovo Logo

OVOBoom Large

  • Unlimited sport and radio on OVOPlay
  • BYO modem option

min. cost $64.95 over 30 day billing period

100GBMax Data**/billing period $64.95Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Southern Phones Logo

Large

  • SIM Only

min. cost $780 over 12 month plan period

100GBMax Data**/billing period $65Advertised Data^^/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 $25 over 28 day billing period

50GBMax Data**/billing period $25Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Southern Phones Logo

Medium

  • SIM Only

min. cost $480 over 12 month plan period

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

SIM Only 90GB

  • SIM Only

min. cost $45 over 28 day billing period

90GBMax Data**/billing period $45Advertised Data^^/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 Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Ovo Logo

OVOBoom Small

  • Unlimited sport and radio on OVOPlay
  • BYO modem option

min. cost $49.95 over 30 day billing period

50GBMax Data**/billing period $49.95Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Telstra Logo

Medium

  • SIM only plan
  • No excess data charges in Australia
  • Includes data-free sports and music streaming
  • Free 5G access until June 2020

min. cost $50 over one month

60GBMax Data**/billing period $50Advertised Data^^/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 Data^^/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 Data^^/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
  • Free 5G access until June 2020

min. cost $15 over one month

5GBMax Data**/billing period $15Advertised Data^^/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 Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Southern Phones Logo

Small

  • SIM Only

min. cost $300 over 12 month plan period

15GBMax Data**/billing period $25Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Telstra Logo

Small

  • SIM only plan
  • No excess data charges in Australia
  • Includes data-free sports and music streaming
  • Free 5G access until June 2020

min. cost $25 over one month

20GBMax Data**/billing period $25Advertised Data^^/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 Data^^/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 phone plans for Telstra and Optus 256GB Samsung Galaxy S10 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 OPPO Reno 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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