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5G home internet plans in Australia
The rollout of 5G networks around Australia doesn’t just benefit mobile users.
When you think of 5G in Australia, you’re likely pondering the potential speed benefits for smartphones. And while the requirement for 5G speeds is a 5G-compatible handset, a 5G-compatible plan and being in range of one of three 5G networks – Telstra 5G, Optus 5G or Vodafone 5G – there is also the option for 5G Home Internet, as long as you’re in the right area.
What is 5G Home Internet?
5G Home Internet is kind of like NBN Fixed Wireless in that the broadband internet signal for your home is received wirelessly via a compatible modem-router. But while Fixed Wireless comes from NBN towers in supported areas, 5G Home Internet is delivered via a 5G mobile network.
In this respect, it’s like the 4G backup modems that are purchasable from certain NBN providers, except the speed potential is better and cellular connectivity is its primary function rather than a fallback.
How fast is 5G Home Internet?
The common theme across providers is that you can expect a minimum speed of 50Mbps on 5G Home Internet, but speeds can stretch up to 225Mbps for Optus, 239Mbps for Spintel and up to 300Mbps for Telstra.
These self-reported upper-limit speeds apply to the typical nightly internet busy period between 7pm and 11pm. Speeds are impacted by the distance of serviced homes from the nearest 5G tower and usual home networking factors, like modem-router placement as well as potential interference and device WiFi speeds.
For comparison, there's a daily updating list of NBN plans below that have self-reported typical evening download speeds of at least 225Mbps.
Which providers sell 5G Home Internet plans?
At the time of writing, all three 5G networks in Australia with a total of seven providers are offering 5G Home Internet services.
Vodafone, Telstra and Optus all offer 5G Home Internet options, though Telstra’s 5G Home Internet is effectively invite only (but you can check the eligibility of your address on the Telstra website).
Spintel are offering 5G Home Internet via the Optus 5G network while TPG, Vodafone, Internode and iiNet leverage the Vodafone 5G network.
The widget below shows a shortlist of popular 5G Home Internet plans.
Telstra 5G Home Internet
While Telstra 5G Home Internet has the potential to be the fastest in terms of self-reported typical evening download speeds, it’s also available on an invite-only basis, even if your area has Telstra 5G coverage.
If you do manage to snag yourself an invite, you can sign up to the single Telstra 5G Home Internet plan, which costs $0 for the first month then $85 thereafter for 1 TB of monthly data. Speeds are slowed if you go over the monthly allocation.
This plan comes with an easy-to-setup 5G Home Modem that just needs power and is best placed in an area of your home that has the strongest 5G signal.
This 5G Home Modem has WiFi 6 support, which means 5G-compatible devices should enjoy fast wireless speeds. You can cancel at any time without any fees, as long as you return the 5G Home Modem within 60 days of cancelling and it’s in good working order.
For comparison, below is a daily updating list of NBN plans above 100Mbps download speeds.
Optus 5G Home Internet
Optus has a similar 5G Home Internet offering to Telstra, albeit one that’s available to homes within the Optus 5G network footprint. It has the same straightforward installation and one month of free internet, albeit with two plan options in either month-to-month or 24-month-contract versions.
Both Optus 5G Home Internet plans have a 50Mbps satisfaction guarantee, wherein you can cancel a contract without exit fees, as long as you return the 5G modem-router within 30 days of cancellation.
The Optus 5G Internet Everyday plan has a $0 start-up fee (normally $200) and costs $79 per month, which includes unlimited data and max speeds of 100Mbps.
The Optus 5G Internet Entertainer plan costs $89 a month with no limit on download speeds, although that equates to 225Mbps typical evening download speeds. This plan also comes with Fetch Mighty, while both plans include Optus Sport + OS Fitness as well as a Nokia FastMile 5G Gateway modem-router (which has 4G backup).
For comparison, below is a daily updating list of NBN 50 plans with unlimited data.
Vodafone 5G Home Internet
As with Optus, Vodafone offers two 5G Home Internet plans.
The first of these, the Vodafone Ultimate 5G Internet Plan, is priced at $75/month. In contrast to Telstra's 5G Home Internet offering, this plan comes with unlimited data. Of course, the catch here is that your speeds are capped out at 100Mbps. While that's plenty fast, it's not quite as fast as some of the other 5G Home Internet plans available.
For those who do feel that need for speed, there's the Vodafone Max 5G Speed Plan.
For an extra $10/month, Vodafone lose the throttling found on the cheaper plan. Of course, being able to reach faster speeds remains contingent on having 5G connectivity to begin with. For many Aussies, the chances of being covered by the footprint of the Vodafone's 5G network are going to be a little slimmer than they will be with Telstra or Optus.
Still, Vodafone do throw in the first month for free and will strike out the price of the required Nokia FastMile 5G Gateway modem-router if you stick with them for the full 36-months.
Internode 5G Home Internet
At a glance, Internode's 5G Home Internet plans are overwhelmingly similar to those of Vodafone. Like Vodafone, this provider offers two tiers of 5G Home Internet.
The Internode 5G Home Premium plan is priced at $74.99/month for new customers and $69.99/month for existing Internode customers. This includes 5G speeds of up to 100Mbps with unlimited data.
However, it's important to note that that 100Mbps figure refers to the maximum speeds you'll get during off-peak hours. The speeds you're going to experience from day to day are going to vary from this.
In any case, for those who don't want any potential speed limits on their 5G connectivity, there's the Internode 5G Home Broadband Max plan.
Priced at $84.99/month for new customers and $79.99/month for existing ones, this plan is basically identical minus the throttling.
For both plans, Internode throw in a the first month for free alongside a Nokia FastMile 5G Gateway modem-router.
There are no activation fees. However, if you decide to leave the plan before the first 36-months are up, you will have to repay the cost of the router.
It's worth noting that Internode offers its 5G Home Internet over the Vodafone 5G network, so your coverage and connectivity for either plan will likely be be dependent on that.
Still, if you do have Vodafone 5G coverage and are already an Internode customer, the discounts and incentives on offer might make Internode's 5G Home Internet plans worth trying out.
iiNet 5G Home Internet
iiNet's 5G Home Internet plans are almost carbon copies of Internodes 5G Home Internet plans. There are two tiers of plan on offer here.
The iiNet 5G Home Premium plan is priced at $74.99/month for new customers and $69.99/month for existing iiNet customers. This option gets you 5G speeds of up to 100Mbps with unlimited data.
However, as with Internode's 5G Home Premium plan, this number is the speed at which iiNet will throttle you during off-peak hours rather than an estimate of the speeds you'll encounter from day to day.
If you do want to reach higher when it comes to 5G Home Internet speeds, you'll want the iiNet 5G Home Broadband Max plan.
Priced at $84.99/month for new customers and $79.99/month for existing ones, this plan is more-or-less the same as iiNet 5G Home Premium plan. It just costs a little bit more and doesn't include the speed limits.
Sign up for either plan, and iiNet will toss in the first month for free. You'll also get a Nokia FastMile 5G Gateway modem-router, which you'll need to set up your 5G connection.
As with Internode, there are no activation fees to speak of here. That said, if you decide to bail before the first 36-months are up, you will have to repay the cost of the router.
One last thing: iiNet's 5G Home Internet plans rely on the Vodafone 5G network. That means your coverage and connectivity speeds for both the iiNet 5G Home Broadband Max and iiNet 5G Home Premium plan may be affected accordingly.
Still, if you are in a location where you have decent coverage and are already an iiNet customer, the existing customer discount here might make iiNet's 5G Home Internet plans a better fit than some of the other options.
Spintel 5G Home Internet
Like Telstra, Spintel has the one 5G Home Internet plan, albeit services are offered over the Optus 5G network and the price changes depending on whether you go with a contract or opt for month-to-month.
The Spintel 5G Internet plan costs $75 a month but nets you unlimited data. There’s also a $20 upfront fee to cover postage of the Nokia FastMile 5G Gateway rental.
Spintel also offers 5G mobile plans, and you can see a daily updating list of the most popular 5G mobile plans below.
TPG 5G Home Internet
At $69/month, the TPG 5G Home Internet Premium Plan is cheaper than either of the Telstra 5G or Optus 5G home internet options out there. While you are sacrificing the potential for the higher speeds and better coverage found on other 5G networks, you're paying less overall.
When the same amount of money gets you a 500GB data cap and a 4G connection with Spintel, the case for TPG's first foray into 5G home wireless is easy to make.
For those willing to spend a little more, there's the TPG Home Internet Plan Max. This plan removes the speed throttling found in the Premium Plan, allowing for upload and download speeds as fast as the network will allow.
5G Home Internet modems
There are two 5G Home Internet modems offered by the three providers: Telstra includes the 5G Home Internet modem-router, while Optus, Vodafone and others rely on the Nokia FastMile 5G Gateway.
Both devices are designed to be easy to setup (i.e. without the need for a technician) and all they really need is power and great positioning relative to the strongest 5G signal in your home. These devices are modem-routers, which means they do the dual networking job of receiving the internet signal then sharing it with devices on your local home network.
5G Home Internet vs NBN
While 5G mobile internet is not intended as a replacement for NBN services, 5G Home Internet is a viable consideration. For those in metro areas, 5G Home Internet may not be as comparably reliable as fixed-line NBN technologies, which tend to provide more consistent speeds and latency than wireless broadband technologies like 5G Home Internet.
That said, in terms of speeds, only FTTP and select HFC homes can tap into plans beyond NBN 100, which has download speeds of up to 100Mbps, whereas 5G Home Broadband plans can reach speeds of two or three times that during the busy evening period.
Still, you need to be in an area that’s serviced by Optus 5G, Vodafone 5G or Telstra 5G and you want strong enough signal strength to hit those download speeds beyond 100Mbps. It’s also worth noting that 5G Home Internet plans also don’t offer home phone line services, static IP addresses, nor do they offer back-to-base medical alarms or systems.
For comparison, below is a daily updating list of the most popular NBN 100 plans.