Telstra price change: 5G access to cost more from July

Telstra prices are increasing by at least $5 per month across postpaid plans, as the telco shakes up its mobile offerings for the new financial year. This is big news for its 5G-loving customers, as Telstra’s free trial period for Small and Medium postpaid plans is set to wrap up today (June 30), meaning what you’ll pay for Telstra 5G may change.

We’ve got all of the changes to Telstra’s 5G network ready below.

Is Telstra 5G free?

As of July 1, 2020, Telstra’s 5G access will be free for Medium, Large and Extra Large postpaid plans, but customers on Small plans will need to upgrade to a larger plan to use the network. This makes sense given how limited 5G connectivity currently is in Australia, as it only exists in patches throughout major cities across the country.

“Since we launched Australia’s first 5G network just over 12 months ago, our customers have really embraced more data intensive uses of their mobile connection such as streaming services, video conferencing, virtual reality and mobile gaming,” said Telstra Consumer and Small Business Group Executive, Michael Ackland.

“That is why following the conclusion of the 12 month 5G free trial period on 1 July 2020 we’ve decided not to charge a separate fee for 5G, and will now be including 5G access for customers on our Medium plan, as well as our top two tier plans.”

To sum it up: most Telstra plans are set to see a price increase of $5 per month ($15 for Extra Large plans), but now come with greater full-speed data inclusions (from 40GB to 180GB per month, depending on your plan). This data limit is indiscriminate of 3G, 4G and 5G networks, and can be used on all three. However, note that 5G isn’t widely available in Australia yet and you’ll need a 5G-compatible phone in order to access the new network.

Previously, customers on Small and Medium plans were set to pay an extra $15 monthly for continued 5G access from July. But Telstra is now scrapping the fee, adding free 5G for Medium customers, and updating its postpaid plan prices and data across the board.

New plans include:

  • Small: $55 per month with 40GB data (no 5G access)
  • Medium: $65 per month with 80GB data (5G access included)
  • Large: $85 per month with 120GB data (5G access included)
  • Extra Large: $115 per month with 180GB data (5G access included)

Price changes for existing customers

If you’re currently a postpaid Telstra customer with a 5G smartphone, and you’re on the Small postpaid plan, there’s good news as you’ll be automatically moved to the new Medium plan from July. Rather than needing to pay extra straight away, Telstra will cover the difference in plan costs via an account credit for your first 12 months.

This means that existing Small customers using 5G devices will receive a $15 per month credit over the next year and still pay just $50 per month for 12 months. The plan will include 5G access, as well as a huge 80GB of full-speed data each month.

If you’re not using a 5G phone, you’ll eventually be moved to the new Small plan automatically, but choose to upgrade before 30 September and you’ll qualify for a year of account credits.

Price changes for new customers

Not a Telstra customer? Sign up from July onwards and you’ll be subject to the new pricing, which means you will need to pay a minimum of $65 per month to access 5G (Medium monthly plan, not including any device payment costs).

Which Telstra plans have 5G available?

Telstra’s Small, Medium, Large and Extra Large postpaid plans all have 5G available, but going forward the Small plan will be excluded from 5G coverage. All of Telstra’s postpaid plans are listed below, including the Small plan.

The following table shows selected published Telstra postpaid 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 providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

How can I get Telstra 5G?

You’ll need three key things to access the Telstra 5G network.

  • A 5G-ready phone plan through Telstra
  • A 5G-ready phone (either on a Telstra device payment plan, or paid off and network unlocked)
  • 5G coverage in your area

If you tick all three boxes, you should be ready to connect. You can easily determine if you’re using 5G by checking your smartphone: you should see the ‘5G’ indicator at the top of your screen next to your provider name in the status bar.

If ‘5G’ isn’t coming up in the corner of your phone screen, it could be worth checking if your phone is actually 5G ready. You might also want to double-check your phone’s settings to make sure you have 5G enabled – this may vary between devices, but on most Android phones simply open Settings, then select Network Mode, and make sure 5G connectivity is switched on.

If all else fails, you can also give Telstra a call to check that 5G is definitely available in your area. Just keep in mind that 5G is still in the process of being rolled out across Australia, so coverage may be patchy, especially indoors. Telstra’s 5G coverage maps are a guide, not a guarantee, so signal strength can vary depending on your location.

Do I need 5G?

Although 5G is a lot faster than 4G, and rivals the NBN in speeds and flexibility, it’s still in the very early stages of building, and largely won’t be useful for most Australians for some time.

5G has been shown to be up to 10 times faster than 4G, but as coverage is limited, it’s nowhere near as accessible as nationwide 4G and 3G networks. 5G may be worth thinking about in the future as an NBN alternative, but for now it’s more of an on-the-go option.

Currently, Telstra provides 5G coverage both on phones and on mobile broadband plans, while Optus offers mobile options and 5G home broadband, and Vodafone is currently rolling out its network throughout major cities.

Share this article