Although Telstra has positioned itself as Australia’s number-one network for 5G, Optus is now catching up. The telco is now offering unlimited 5G home wireless broadband to eligible customers, as well as limited 5G coverage on a premium range of 5G-capable smartphones.
If you’re a current Optus customer interested in 5G, or you’re thinking about making the switch to an Optus 5G phone plan or broadband plan, we’ve put together an easy guide to the telco’s shiny new 5G network – including plans, prices, and speeds.
In this guide we’ll cover:
- Where is Optus 5G available
- Optus 5G phones
- Optus 5G home broadband
- How much Optus 5G costs
- Optus 5G speeds
Where is Optus 5G available?
Optus has built over 230 5G sites across Australia, but mobile 5G coverage remains very much in the early stages, with only selected areas currently able to access 5G via smartphone. If you’re looking at Optus 5G for your home broadband, this may not yet be available in your area, even if your residence is covered by the 5G mobile network.
Optus 5G mobile coverage is available in the following locations:
- Central Coast
- Freemantle Region
- Geelong West
- Hawkesbury River
- Moreton Bay Region
- Mornington Peninsula
Optus has published coverage maps for all of the above locations on its website, but keep in mind that these are approximate and may not reflect your real-world 5G experience. It’s also important to note that according to Optus, in-building 5G coverage is not yet available – so you may be able to connect outdoors, but not inside your home or office.
Optus 5G coverage map in Sydney
Optus 5G coverage map in Brisbane
Optus 5G coverage map in Melbourne
Customers interested in 5G home broadband can enter their address on Optus’ website to check availability. If your home doesn’t yet qualify, you still have the option of signing up for 4G broadband instead, and making the switch to 5G when it becomes available.
How can I access Optus’ 5G network?
If you’d like to try out 5G on your smartphone, you’ll need a compatible device in order to access Optus’ 5G network. As 5G runs on specific frequencies, the majority of phones on the market just won’t cut it: only 5G-capable devices will work with the new mobile technology.
Phones compatible with Optus’ 5G network include:
- Apple iPhone 13, 13 Mini, 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max
- Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro
- Samsung Galaxy S22, S22+ and S22 Ultra
- Samsung Galaxy S21, S21+ and S21 Ultra
- Apple iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro
- Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 and Galaxy Z Flip3
- Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G
- OPPO Find X5 Pro, Find X5 and Find X5 Lite
Optus 5G phone plans
Optus’ postpaid SIM-only plans all include 5G network access, provided you have a 5G-ready phone. Plans begin at $49 per month and all include a monthly full-speed data allowance, plus unlimited data capped at speeds of 1.5Mbps.
The following table shows a selection of postpaid Optus plans from Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of standard cost, lowest to highest, then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our comparison tool to see a wide range of plans from other providers. This table includes products with links to referral partners.
Optus 5G prepaid plans
If you prefer a prepaid plan to a postpaid plan Optus offers a simple selection of 5G prepaid plans. The Optus Flex 5G plans, which are similar to the Flex 4G plans, are the telco’s subscription-based plan model, where you can choose to pay daily, weekly or monthly on a rolling basis. All three plans add up to the same amount of money and data per day, so the choice as to when to pay for it is up to you. These plans are available as an eSIM plan only, so you’ll need an eSIM-compatible device.
Optus Flex 5G plans include:
- Optus Flex Daily: $2 per day for 2GB of data, plus unlimited standard national talk and text in Australia
- Optus Flex Weekly: $14 per week for 14GB of data, plus unlimited standard national talk and text in Australia
- Optus Flex Monthly: $60 per month for 60GB of data, plus unlimited standard national talk and text in Australia
Optus 5G Home Broadband
If you’re looking for a 5G home internet solution, Optus is now offering unlimited 5G home broadband to customers in eligible areas. Qualifying customers can now enjoy unlimited data on the 5G network for only $79 per month, although speeds are capped at 100Mbps. If you’d prefer unlimited 5G speeds, the Optus 5G Internet Entertainer Superfast plan is priced at $99 per month and includes a standard Netflix subscription via Optus SubHub.
- Optus 5G home internet is available on a month-to-month plan with no lock-in contract.
- Both plan options include a wireless Nokia 5G modem with 4G/LTE backup.
Optus 5G Home Internet Plans
The following table shows selected published Optus 5G home internet 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 Plus Everyday 5G
min. cost $576 over first month
|Unlimited||$69||Link to provider unavailable|
Optus Plus Everyday Fast 5G
min. cost $576 over first month
|Unlimited||$79||Link to provider unavailable|
Optus Plus Entertainer Superfast 5G
min. cost $576 over first month
|Unlimited||$99||Link to provider unavailable|
|View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue||**^^View important information|
Optus 5G Home Broadband also comes with a 50Mbps Satisfaction Guarantee. Customers who don’t achieve download speeds of a least 50Mbps, or who experience 5G signal issues, are free to cancel their service with no cancellation fees, provided the included Nokia 5G modem is returned in good condition.
How much does Optus 5G cost?
Right now, Optus isn’t charging its mobile customers extra to access its 5G network, with 5G-capable devices still being offered on the same postpaid plan options as 4G-only phones.
- The cheapest Optus postpaid plan with 5G coverage is priced at $49 per month, with plans priced at up to $89 per month.
- Prepaid phone plans with 5G cost $2 per day, $14 per week or $60 per month.
If you choose to add on a new mobile phone to your plan, you’ll be charged monthly for your phone plan and your handset repayment costs. You can choose to split the price of your handset over 12, 24 or 36 months, with the repayment period determining how much you pay each month for your phone.
- As for home broadband, Optus currently charges from $79 per month for unlimited monthly gigabytes (subject to the company’s Fair Use policy), but with capped speeds of 100Mbps.
If you want to take full advantage of the speeds that 5G is capable of achieving, you’ll pay $99 per month for unlimited data and uncapped speeds (with a typical evening speed listed as 210Mbps).
How much is Optus investing in the 5G network?
Optus is investing heavily by upgrading existing infrastructure, acquiring more spectrum specifically for 5G and launching their new Optus 5G Max mmWave tech.
- Optus has already spent over $200 million on 5G infrastructure.
How fast is Optus 5G?
Peak speeds of 295Mbps have been reported by customers, but real-world speeds may vary: however, you can expect a performance at least as fast as Standard Plus Evening Speed NBN.
- Optus is guaranteeing download speeds of 50Mbps and up for its 5G home broadband plan, with apparent average speeds of 83Mbps on the 5G Internet Everyday option and 210Mbps on the unrestricted 5G Internet Entertainer Superfast plan.
Potential speeds on Optus’ 5G mobile network aren’t as easy to find as its 5G broadband speeds. However, a report from internet speed testing company Ookla, found that Optus was the fastest performing 5G network in Australia, reaching median download speeds of 323Mbps. This was reportedly 60% faster than other 5G networks.