" "


Mobile network tower with blue sky

Optus mobile network coverage explained

Fact Checked Fact Checked

Optus is one of the largest telco providers in Australia, offering customers a number of phone and internet services, regardless if you live in a small country town, or in the big city. But how wide is Optus’ coverage and is it the telco provider for you? 

In this Canstar Blue article, learn how much of Australia is covered by the Optus network, and whether Optus is the best network provider for your needs.

What is network coverage?

Network coverage refers to the geographical area where a telco offers its services, allowing users to make calls, send texts, and use mobile data. 

As a result, the larger the coverage area offered by a telco provider, the more places in Australia you can call or message from.

Telcos often publish coverage maps on their websites to show where their services are available. These maps can be helpful for consumers to choose a provider based on their coverage needs.

What are the ‘black spots’ in Optus’ mobile coverage?

‘Black spots’ refer to areas without network coverage. These are typically rural regions where a telcoprovider’s infrastructure is lacking or where phone signals are obstructed by tall buildings or underground car parks.

The Australian Government and major telco providers have collaborated  on the Mobile Black Spot Program. This program aims to reduce the number of areas with limited or no service, helping customers make phone calls from anywhere in Australia. You can find out more in our guide to mobile black spots.

Types of mobile coverage in Australia

With phone technology constantly evolving and improving, Australia has a number of phone networks that currently operate and keep customers connected. 4G and 5G networks are currently the most common and popular options, with 3G currently being phased out across Australia.

The difference between each network coverage option is the speed on which they operate (with 4G being faster than 3G, and 5G faster than 4G), the amount of traffic they can support and how much of Australia they cover.

Compare prepaid offers

The following table shows a selection of sponsored SIM Only plans on Canstar Blue’s database with links to referral partners.

How wide is Optus’ mobile coverage?

Claiming to cover over 98.5% of Australia’s population, Optus provides a number of network coverage options, including 4G and 5G networks. 

While most areas are covered by 4G or 5G networks, regions further from major cities often have less coverage and may require additional devices, such as antennas, to access a suitable network. Optus provides a Regional Hub on its website, detailing its plans for future expansions into rural areas and offering phone and internet options for those far from urban centers.

What other providers offer Optus coverage?

While there are plenty of telco providers within the Australian market, all of them use the networks provided by Telstra, Optus or Vodafone to deliver their telco services. Known as Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs), these smaller telco providers ‘piggyback’ off the larger providers to offer phone plans and services to customers.

Below are some of the other telco providers that operate on the Optus network:

  • AGL Mobile
  • Amaysim
  • Aussie Broadband
  • Bendigo Telco
  • Catch Connect
  • Circles.Life
  • Coles Mobile
  • Commander
  • Dodo
  • Exetel
  • Flip
  • iiNet
  • iPrimus
  • Moose Mobile
  • Southern Phone
  • SpinTel
  • Swoop
  • Yomojo

You can compare plans on the Optus network in the tables below.

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. Please use our mobile phone plan comparison tool to see a wider range of postpaid plans from other providers. These are products with links to referral partners.

How does Optus coverage compare to Telstra and Vodafone?

Optus coverage accounts for 98.5% of the Australian population, but how do the other major telcos compare? According to their websites, Telstra covers over 99.5% of the population, while Vodafone covers 96%. 

While coverage generally isn’t an issue for those living or working in big cities, it becomes a crucial factor for those in rural areas. The extent of your network’s coverage may determine which telco provider you choose.

Should I buy a phone plan with Optus network coverage?

Ultimately, your choice of provider will depend on your individual circumstances, including how often you’ll be using your phone, what you’ll be using it for, and where you’ll be living. While Optus is one of the largest telcos in Australia, researching the plans, phones, and extras each provider offers will help you find the best option. Optus provides excellent coverage in metropolitan areas, but many consider Telstra the go-to provider in remote parts of the country.

Caitlin Bingham
Content Producer
Caitlin Bingham is a seasoned Content Producer who specialises in internet and telco sectors. With a dual role at Canstar Blue and Gold in New Zealand, Caitlin's coverage spans a diverse spectrum, from electric vehicles to home loans, offering readers comprehensive insights into consumer-related topics. Holding a Bachelor of Communications with a major in Journalism from Massey University, Caitlin's educational background underscores her commitment to delivering high-quality, well-researched content. Prior to joining Canstar NZ, Caitlin honed her skills as a content writer for various reputable websites in New Zealand and Australia. She also served as the Distance Reporter for Massive Magazine, further showcasing her versatility and dedication to journalistic excellence. When she isn’t writing, you can find Caitlin training for (yet another) marathon, or binge-watching the Real Housewives.

Share this article