It’s been a long wait, but the next big thing in tech is finally here. Telstra has officially launched the HTC 5G Hub: Australia’s first-ever 5G mobile device, and the next step in ultra-fast mobile and home broadband.
The HTC 5G Hub is a world-first 5G and 4GX mobile hotspot and smart hub, ideal for both at-home use and for connecting while on-the-go. With the ability to support up to 20 Wi-Fi enabled devices and a one gigabit Ethernet connection, HTC’s Hub offers fast media streaming and low latency, and up to 24 hours of active battery life on a single charge.
As a 5G-compatible device, the Hub will give customers access to the fastest mobile speeds in Australia. This includes 5G coverage where available, as well as access to Telstra’s nationwide 4GX network. The best news of all? You can buy it right now.
Telstra 5G mobile broadband plans
The HTC 5G Hub is now available to order online from Telstra on two-year mobile broadband plans, starting from $70 per month for both your device and data. You’ll also be able to pick it up in Telstra stores from May 28, again on a 24-month contract.
All three mobile broadband options are listed in the table below, and prices include your monthly device payment. These are featured products.
|Brand||Features||Max Data**/billing period||Advertised Cost^^/billing period|
min. cost $1,680 over 24 months
|25GB||$70||Go To Site|
min. cost $2,256 over 24 months
|60GB||$94||Go To Site|
min. cost $2,496 over 24 months
|100GB||$104||Go To Site|
|View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue||**^^View important information|
Whether you’re looking for home internet backup, a way to connect while travelling, or a flexible broadband option outside of fixed-line NBN, the HTC 5G Hub promises fast responses and super-smooth streaming and downloading. You’ll be able to use the device to stream in 4K, control other smart devices in your home, and work remotely without interruption.
Telstra CEO Andrew Penn has called the telco’s 5G rollout and HTC partnership ‘a game changer’. “Our launch of the HTC 5G Hub is the moment 5G becomes a reality for Australian consumers,” he said. “Since 2016, we have been working with some of the world’s leading technology brands to ensure Australians are among the first in the world to be able to access 5G.”
When can I access Telstra 5G?
We’ve talked at length about the benefits of 5G, both for everyday internet users and for businesses. While it may not be an immediate ‘NBN killer’, it’s a huge upgrade to current 4G network speeds, and will support more data and users than existing mobile networks.
Although Telstra’s 5G network has been switched on, it’s still very much in its infancy – and very much in the early stages of its rollout. So far, Telstra’s ‘anticipated coverage areas’ – scheduled to be live by June 30, 2019 – include selected suburbs and regions of the following cities and towns.
- Gold Coast
Currently, all of the above locations enjoy robust 4G coverage, but 5G is only available in limited areas. If your city is listed above, you’ll still need to check Telstra’s 5G coverage maps before assuming you’ll have 5G access today, or by the end of June.
Despite the limited 5G footprint so far, Mr Penn is optimistic about the 5G Hub launch. “The rollout of 5G coverage is ongoing and, as 5G develops, there will be more devices and more technologies to come,” said Mr Penn. “But this is an important step we take today, as the first Australian network to offer mobile 5G.”
5G broadband: Telstra vs. Optus
Telstra may be the first Australian telco to offer a commercially available 5G device, but it’s not the first to unveil 5G broadband plans. Optus announced its soon-to-go-live 5G home broadband plan at the end of January, and will offer customers unlimited 5G data for just $70 per month on a 24-month contract.
However, this price doesn’t include what you’ll pay for a 5G-capable device – and although Optus has announced a partnership with Nokia to bring 5G devices to customers, there’s been no news as to when these will be available. However, if you’re interested in 5G as a home-only internet solution, and want more than 100GB of data each month, it may be worth waiting to see what Optus brings to the table.
5G mobile phone plans: coming soon
In addition to unveiling 5G mobile broadband, Telstra has confirmed it will launch new mobile phone plans from the end of June, which will include free 5G connectivity for the first 12 months. After the initial period, Telstra’s top two plans will continue to offer 5G at no extra cost; customers on lower-priced plans can either drop 5G connectivity from their service, or continue enjoying 5G access for an additional $15 per month.
However, there’s another option for 5G customers: if you buy a new 5G-enabled device before Telstra’s new plans go live, you’ll be given automatic 5G access for the life of your contract. This also applies to customers who have signed on to Telstra’s new Samsung S10+ upgrade program, which gives buyers a free upgrade to the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G when the latter device launches on 28 May.
You’ll need a 5G-capable phone to connect to Telstra’s 5G networks, but the telco does have several on the way. In addition to the Galaxy S10 5G, Telstra has confirmed it will offer an upcoming 5G phone from OPPO, as well as LG’s V50 ThinQ. These devices are expected to launch in the first half of 2019, so watch this space.