Optus opens 5G network to partners including Moose Mobile and SpinTel

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With Telstra and Optus now offering 5G mobile in major metro areas across the country – and Vodafone slowly rolling out its own 5G network – the next-generation technology is fast becoming accessible to more and more Australians. But if you’re looking for a 5G mobile option outside of the ‘big three’ telcos, you’ve been out of luck – until now.

In a first for the Aussie telco market, Optus has confirmed that it will now offer 5G network access to its wholesale mobile partners. What this means is that selected smaller providers who offer coverage on Optus’ 3G and 4G Plus mobile networks (such as Moose Mobile, Dodo, Vaya, Southern Phone and SpinTel) will now have the option to sell 5G mobile services to customers.

Optus’ wholesale partners – known as Mobile Virtual Network Operators, or MVNOs – consist of smaller telcos that, instead of building their own mobile networks and infrastructure, use the Optus mobile network to offer plans and coverage. These providers include well-known names such as Dodo and iiNet, as well as ‘challenger’ brands like Circles.Life and Exetel.

Essentially, Optus is now giving partnering MVNOs the option of offering customers 5G coverage, in addition to existing 4G and 3G services. So if you’re currently enjoying access to the Optus network on a cheap mobile plan from a partnered provider – such as those listed below –  you may be about to get a 5G upgrade.

Mobile plans on the Optus network

Optus network postpaid plans compared

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

Optus network prepaid plans compared

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

Which telcos will offer 5G?

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G

The move follows on from Optus’ announcement in July 2020 that it would extend 5G home broadband services to postpaid partners. So far, only SpinTel has jumped on the offer, and now sells an unlimited data 5G home internet plan from $60 per month on a two-year contract.

At this stage, 5G mobile access is only available to Optus wholesale partners who offer postpaid mobile services, meaning popular prepaid providers such as Amaysim and Catch Connect aren’t included. One postpaid Optus MVNO who is on the 5G-ready list is Moose Mobile, who confirmed to Canstar Blue that 5G plans are on the way.

“Moose Mobile will be one of the few approved Optus partners selling 5G mobile plans and 5G home broadband, and this technology advancement will take Australia into the 21st century,” said Dean Lwin, CEO of Moose Mobile.

“Like our current SIM-only deals, our commitment is to offer the best value coupled with award winning customer support.  If you’re unlucky enough to be part of the 70% of NBN users who run the internet over 1950s copper wire, then this will be a game-changer for you.”

Like SpinTel, it appears Moose Mobile will initially focus on offering 5G home broadband as an NBN alternative. The company has floated a potential November launch date for 5G, with a possible price point of around $70 per month – similar to Optus’ 5G home internet price of $75 per month for unlimited data.

According to Mr. Lwin, 5G speed tests from Optus show average download speed of 172Mbps in peak traffic hours: considerably faster that what you’ll find on most NBN plans, outside of the expensive NBN 250 and NBN 1000 plans that aren’t yet available to all Australians.

With NBN 100 plans costing around $70 – $110 per month for unlimited data, depending on provider, and offering typical peak hour speeds of between 75Mbps and 100Mbps, a move to 5G home internet could see your broadband performance improve, and your monthly bills go down. However, as Optus’ 5G network is still in the early stages, and coverage remains limited to selected metro areas, you may have a wait on your hands before you’re eligible to connect.

What about Telstra 5G?

With the expected launch of the first-ever 5G iPhone this week (and multiple 5G-ready phones already on offer from brands such as Samsung and OPPO), expanding 5G mobile access is a well-timed move from Optus.

Aside from Moose Mobile and SpinTel, there’s been no confirmation from other Optus MVNOs as to when 5G will be available on their mobile and home broadband plans. But if you’re interested in trying out 5G right now, you may prefer to buy a compatible phone on a plan directly from Optus or Telstra if you’re in an area with 5G coverage.

While Telstra offers both 5G mobile and home broadband plans to its own customers, the telco has yet to extend network access to its own MVNO partners, which include popular brands such as Boost Mobile, Woolworths Mobile, Belong, and TeleChoice.

Telstra includes free 5G network use on Medium, Large and Extra Large postpaid mobile plans, and on its Medium and Large mobile broadband plans with a compatible 5G-ready device. If you’re interested in a 5G phone on a Telstra plan, compare models and deals below.

Samsung Galaxy S20 5G plans with Telstra

The following table shows selected published 24 month Samsung Galaxy S20 5G Telstra plans 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.

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G plans with Telstra

The following table shows selected published 24 month Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G Telstra plans 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.

Samsung Galaxy S20+ 5G plans with Telstra

The following table shows selected published 24 month Samsung Galaxy S20+ 5G Telstra plans 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.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G plans with Telstra

The following table shows selected published 24 month Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G Telstra plans 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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