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What is 5G Home broadband?
That’s a lot of Gs!
It used to be that there was only two ways to tap into 100Mbps download speeds in Australia: NBN 100 plans or increasingly rarer cable internet. Now there’s a third contender to add to the mix. 5G home internet is the latest tech on the block and it has speeds that can rival cable and NBN 100 plans, even getting so fast that it blitzes past 100Mbps download speeds.
Here’s all of the essential information you need to know about 5G home internet, but before we get into that, check out the list of 5G home internet plans from our comparison engine.
Which providers offer 5G home internet?
5G mobile plans have been around for a while now, with Telstra, Optus and Vodafone selling plans. That order of telcos is also relative to the size of each respective network provider’s 5G network, with Telstra having the largest and Vodafone the smallest.
While the rollout of the respective Telstra 5G, Optus 5G and Vodafone 5G networks is still happening, 5G home internet plans use these networks to connect homes in eligible areas. In terms of our comparison engine, here are the providers currently selling 5G home internet plans:
What 5G home broadband plans are available?
There are currently 11 5G home broadband plans available in Australia, all with at least 50GB of data per month. TPG, Internode and iiNet are all tied for cheapest, whereas Optus and Telstra currently cost the most.
All 5G home internet plans are no-contreact and the vast majority offer unlimited downloads, with the exception of Telstra which only offers a 1000GB download limit on its 5G home plan. Here are the plans available:
Where are 5G home internet plans available?
If any of the plans above catch your eye, click on the ‘Go’ button to be taken directly to the corresponding plan page. This provider plan page will likely ask you to enter your address to confirm 5G home broadband is available at your home.
Ultimately, 5G home internet at your home address is determined by whichever 5G networks are available in your area. Use the map below to give you an idea of which 5G networks (if any) are available in your area. Make sure the 5G box is selected, then cycle between Telstra 5G, Optus 5G and/or Vodafone 5G networks to see the respective coverage map relative to areas of interest.
What speeds should I expect from 5G home internet?
Unlike NBN fixed-line internet in metro areas, which has ACCC-monitored guarantees around speed requirements, 5G home broadband is a bit looser. Cheaper plans tend to offer speeds of “up to” 100Mbps, while providers like Telstra and Optus state you can expect minimum download speeds of 50Mbps.
More expensive 5G home broadband plans offer max available 5G speeds, meaning you can technically hit speeds of up to 600Mbps with a provider like Telstra. For average download speeds on these plans, Optus has 210Mbps self-reported typical evening download speeds and Telstra has 378Mbps average night-time speeds.
Given the extra speeds, it’s great to see that all 5G home internet plans in our comparison engine come with unlimited data, with the only exception being Telstra, whose plan has a 1TB cap that slows to 25Mbps for the rest of your billing cycle if you go over.
Do I need a special modem to use 5G home internet?
Yes, 5G home internet plans need a special 5G-compatible modem to get online. All of the 5G home broadband plans in our comparison engine come with a compatible preconfigured modem-router. For providers like Optus, the 5G modem isn’t locked, meaning you can use it with another 5G home internet plan from another provider, though you will need a valid SIM card with the new provider to get online.
Here are the 5G modems offered by the different providers in our comparison engine:
- Spintel: Nokia FastMile 5G Gateway modem-router
- TPG: 5G Gateway modem
- iiNet: 5G Gateway modem
- Internode: 5G Gateway modem
- Optus: Nokia FastMile 5G Gateway modem-router
- Vodafone: Nokia FastMile 5G Gateway modem-router
- Telstra: Telstra 5G Home Modem
5G home internet vs 4G home internet
The big difference between 4G home internet and 5G home broadband is speed. While 4G home internet can technically reach download speeds of up to 100Mbps, this isn’t likely in reality. Why? Like mobile data, home wireless broadband technologies use finite bandwidth that can be greatly impacted by how many people are connecting to a signal-providing tower at any one time.
At its slowest, 4G home internet may have download speeds as low as 12Mbps while Spintel is offering 4G Plus plans up to 100Mbps. For providers like iiNet, Internode, TPG and Vodafone, 20Mbps is the more consistent max speed for 4G home broadband. 5G home internet, on the other hand, tends to offer speeds that start around 50Mbps but can comfortably reach up to 100Mbps and beyond.
Outside of plan pricing, the main edge 4G home internet has over 5G home broadband is that it’s available in more areas.
5G home vs fixed-line NBN
For those in areas serviced by NBN Sky Muster satellite or Fixed Wireless NBN, 5G home internet is a competitor on paper. That said, given that the current focus of 5G networks is for populous areas, it’s unlikely 5G home internet will be a viable, readily available contender. Still, in theory, 5G home internet has these two NBN technologies beaten for download speeds and latency.
Competition is a lot fiercer when it comes to 5G home internet vs NBN fixed-line technologies, which includes Fibre-to-the-Node (FTTN), Fibre-to-the-Building (FTTB), Fibre-to-the-Curb (FTTC), Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC) and Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP). FTTN, FTTB and FTTC can, at best, sign up to NBN 100 plans, which means download speeds of up to 100Mbps, even if providers tend to offer disclaimers that these particular NBN technologies may not reach max speeds. 5G home internet plans, on the other hand, can provide speeds beyond 100Mbps.
HFC and FTTP are closer 5G competitors for max download speeds because homes connected by these technologies are able to sign up to NBN 250 (max 250Mbps download speeds) and NBN 1000 (1000Mbps download speeds). On paper, 5G speeds can reach 1000Mbps, but you’re not likely to see those speeds in reality, which means that FTTP homes and eligible HFC abodes that can sign up to NBN 250 and NBN 1000 plans are more likely to get a consistently faster experience.
On top of this, you can safely expect all of these fixed-line NBN technologies to have more reliable connections and lower latency.