5G has undergone a huge period of change in the past few years, with both Telstra and Optus officially switching on their respective networks in selected areas. While it’s still early days for the next-generation mobile technology, lucky Telstra customers can now try out the network in enabled areas now (provided they have a 5G-compatible device).
If you’re keen to give 5G a test run, you’ve probably got a lot of questions — such as where can you access 5G, which phones are 5G-capable, and how much it costs. We’ve put together a handy guide to Telstra’s new 5G network, covering the most common FAQs concerning 5G mobile and broadband.
In this guide we’ll cover:
- Where Telstra 5G is available
- 5G smartphones from Telstra
- Telstra 5G mobile broadband
- How much Telstra 5G costs
- Telstra 5G speeds
Where is Telstra 5G available?
Telstra has been at the forefront of 5G technology in Australia since opening the 5G Innovation Centre in 2018. The telco has claimed several Australian firsts – including completing the first end-to-end standalone 5G call, being the first provider to enable 5G in all capital cities, and offering the first commercial 5G phones to Aussie consumers.
Over the last six months, Telstra has switched on 5G coverage in ten major Australian cities, albeit in selected areas. 5G is now live in city centres and airports, but coverage has yet to spread to most suburbs, or to less heavily populated locations.
As of November 2021, Telstra initially offered live 5G coverage in selected areas of the following major cities:
- Gold Coast
If you’re curious as to where exactly 5G is now live, you can view coverage maps for each city on Telstra’s website. However, be aware that these maps don’t include ‘indoor coverage’ – while you may be able to pick up a 5G signal outside, this doesn’t guarantee you’ll get the same network strength inside buildings. We’ve provided examples of Telstra’s 5G coverage in three major cities below; purple indicates areas where 5G is now live, darker purple indicates areas with coverage coming soon.
Telstra 5G Coverage Map: Sydney
Telstra 5G Coverage Map: Melbourne
Telstra 5G Coverage Map: Brisbane
Image Credits: https://www.telstra.com.au/coverage-networks/our-coverage
How can I access Telstra’s 5G network?
To use 5G on your phone, you’ll need a device that can support the frequencies that 5G runs on in Australia. Fortunately, you don’t need to work out your phone’s compatibility yourself: 5G-capable smartphones are explicitly labelled as such, and there’s now more and more 5G phones available to Telstra customers:
Telstra 5G Phones
- Samsung Galaxy S23 series
- Google Pixel 7 series
- Apple iPhone 14 series
- Samsung Galaxy S22 series
- Apple iPhone 13, 13 Mini, 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max
- OPPO Find X5 series
- Samsung Galaxy S21, S21+ and S21 Ultra
- Samsung Galaxy S20, S20+ and S20 Ultra 5G
- Samsung Galaxy Note 20 & Note 20 Ultra 5G
- Apple iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro
- Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G
- Google Pixel 5
Samsung Galaxy S23
The Samsung Galaxy S23 series launched early 2023 and each of three models (the S23, S23+ and S23 Ultra) are 5G-capable. Telstra may also have stocks of older Samsung 5G devices including the Galaxy S22 series and the Galaxy S21 series.
Telstra offers the Samsung Galaxy S23 on 12, 24 and 36-month payment plans. Below is a selection of published 24-month Telstra plans for the 128GB Samsung Galaxy S23 on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of monthly cost, from the lowest to highest. 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.
Apple’s first-ever 5G smartphones were launched at the end of 2020, then Apple followed up the iPhone 12 series with its upgraded iPhone 13 range in 2021 and the iPhone 13 series in 2022. The 2023 iPhone 14 series (which includes the iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max) are all 5G-ready and compatible with Telstra’s 5G network.
The iPhone 14 is available on 12, 24 and 36-month plans from Telstra. The following table shows a selection of published 24-month Telstra phone plans for the 128GB iPhone 14 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.
OPPO Find X5 Pro
Telstra doesn’t offer too many OPPO devices, but does stock the premium OPPO Find X5 Pro, along with a couple older devices and cheaper phones.
Telstra offers the OPPO Find X5 Pro on 12, 24 and 36-month device payment plans. Below is all published 24-month Telstra plans for the OPPO Find X5 Pro on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of monthly cost, from the lowest to highest. 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.
Telstra 5G Mobile Broadband
Looking for a 5G home internet option? Telstra had previously offered the HTC 5G Hub, however this device is no longer available from Telstra. It has now been replaced by a 5G Wi-Fi Pro modem, which supports mmWave technology. This device is now available to order from Telstra on a month-to-month mobile broadband plan. Telstra’s Medium and Large plans come with free 5G access for the life of your plan, with Extra Small and Small plans not including access to 5G (You’ll need to pay an additional $15/mth access fee). If you plan on picking up this 5G modem to pair with a plan and you want access to the 5G network, you’ll need to sign up to the $50 Medium or $75 Large plan.
The below table features all published Telstra mobile broadband plans from Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost from lowest to highest and then by data allowance. These do not include device payments for the 5G Wi-Fi Pro modem. These are products with links to a referral partner.
Telstra Mobile Broadband Plans
The following table shows a selection of published Telstra mobile broadband plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.
|Brand||Features||Max Data**/billing period||Advertised Cost^^/billing period|
min. cost $25 over one month
min. cost $58 over one month
min. cost $90 over one month
|View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue||**^^View important information|
How much does 5G cost?
Right now, Telstra’s 5G network is free to use on the telco’s 5G phone plans with an accompanying 5G-compatible device. In terms of Telstra’s three postpaid phone plans, the Basic plan for $62 (available as SIM-Only or bundled with a new device) is the only plan to have a speed cap on its 5G access, but 5G is included on all postpaid plans.
The same applies to 5G home broadband customers using the 5G Wi-Fi Pro modem, as outlined above. 5G is included on the Medium and Large mobile broadband plans only, so you’ll be paying a minimum of $50 per month for 5G access.
How fast is Telstra 5G?
Once you’re up and running on Telstra 5G, you can expect speeds significantly faster than the telco’s current 4G network. We’ve personally seen speed test results of more than 1,000 megabits per second with the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G in Sydney, and Telstra has also reported up to 1,900 megabits per second with the OPPO Reno 5G.
If you do fall under Telstra’s 5G umbrella, expect a serious boost in speeds and reduction in lag when using your 5G device. If you’re still waiting on 5G — as most of us are — you can still use any of the above devices on Telstra’s fast and efficient 4G and 4GX network, which is available across Australia.