What is the fastest 5G plan?

5G phone plans are on the rise, with three 5G networks being built across Australia and coverage rolling out in major cities and towns. With all of this being said, Australia is still in the early days of 5G, and we’re still a long way away from 5G being the default mobile phone network across the country. With so few options on the market, it makes it easy for us to determine what the fastest 5G plans are in the country. Let’s dive into it.

What is the fastest 5G plan in Australia?

5G can theoretically reach speeds of 20Gbps (gigabits-per-second), although real-world speeds are unlikely to be that fast.

In 2020, Telstra’s 5G network was able to reach speeds of 3Gbps during testing on the Gold Coast – that’s three times the theoretical maximum speed of the highest-speed NBN plan (NBN 1000). Optus has also recorded test speeds of 2.5Gbps during trials in Sydney and Melbourne, and Vodafone has recorded test speeds of 1.5Gbps.

While it’s difficult to assess which individual plan has the fastest 5G speed in Australia, you’ll find fast 5G speeds available from Telstra, Optus and Vodafone, along with Spintel and Aussie Broadband, which don’t operate entire networks.

Telstra, Optus and Vodafone are still in the process of building out networks across the country, each using different technology and, in some cases, rolling out in different suburbs at a time. So right now, the fastest 5G plan for your needs is likely to be the one with the best coverage available where you live and work.

5G phone plans

The following table shows selected published Telstra 5G plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. If you’d like to compare more 5G phone plans from different providers, use our mobile phone comparison tool. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

The following table shows selected published Optus 5G plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. If you’d like to compare more 5G phone plans from different providers, use our mobile phone comparison tool. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

The following table shows selected published Vodafone 5G plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. If you’d like to compare more 5G phone plans from different providers, use our mobile phone comparison tool. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

The following table shows selected published Spintel 5G plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. If you’d like to compare more 5G phone plans from different providers, use our mobile phone comparison tool. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

Optus 5G speed explained

Optus reports tested speeds to be as high as 2.5Gbps in Sydney and Melbourne. Optus’ 5G access is available with all postpaid plans, with some 5G home wireless broadband plans available, in case you’re after an NBN alternative.

As of May 2021, Optus is also the only 5G provider that is offering 5G plans to MVNOs (Mobile Virtual Network Operators), with Spintel being the only MVNO to pick up 5G-capable plans. Spintel and Aussie Broadband’s 5G speeds would likely be similar to Optus’ speeds, as these providers use the Optus network.

Telstra 5G speed explained

Telstra’s tested 5G speeds are as high as 3Gbps, the fastest recorded test speed of all Australian providers. Telstra is still rolling out its 5G network, although it covers more than 50% of populated Australia, as of February 2021.

5G access is available on all Telstra postpaid and Upfront Mobile Plans, except for Small plans. 5G home wireless broadband is also available through Telstra.

Vodafone 5G speed explained

Vodafone has reported 5G test speeds to be as high as 1.5Gbps, although the telco has said that its network can theoretically reach 4.5Gbps.

Vodafone is still constructing its 5G network, so make sure you’re in range of a signal before signing up for a plan. 5G access is available through Vodafone on all postpaid plans.

Can I get 5G?

To get 5G, you need three things: a 5G-capable phone, a 5G-capable phone plan, and a 5G signal within range:

  • 5G-capable phones are fairly common now in Australia, with Samsung and Apple both now producing premium 5G phones, and with cheaper, budget 5G phones available from provider to provider.
  • 5G-capable plans, as you can see above, are not in abundance, and are only available from a handful of providers. You’ll need to shop around for the best phone plan for you based on cost, signal availability, and inclusions.
  • Having a 5G signal in range is also necessary, otherwise you’ll be confined to 3G and 4G connections. 5G is still not completely rolled out across Australia, so before you get a 5G phone or plan, make sure you’re in range!

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