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Telstra 5G home internet plans vs Telstra NBN plans: How do they compare?

It may not be as straightforward as choosing between the two, but there are some important differences between Telstra NBN and Telstra 5G home internet.

Telstra NBN Internet
Telstra NBN modem
Telstra NBN
4.5 out of 5 stars
  • Fire Emoji
    Starts at $80
  • pro
    Unlimited data
  • con
    Fastest plans are very expensive
Telstra 5G Home Internet
Telstra 5G Home Internet
4.5 out of 5 stars
  • Fire Emoji
    Starts at $85 per month
  • pro
    Can be faster than NBN 250
  • con
    1TB data limit
Nathan Lawrence
Oct 03, 2023
Icon Time To Read4 min read

Tossing up between Telstra NBN and Telstra 5G home internet? You're probably not the one sizing up Australia's latest NBN alternative as an substitute for a traditional fixed line connection.

Most homes in Australia can comfortably sign up to plans up to and including NBN 100. But eligible homes can potentially access faster speeds from 5G home internet plans, and one of the fastest providers of both NBN and 5G home internet is Telstra.

Before we delve into the nitty-gritty of how Telstra NBN stacks up against Telstra 5G home internet, here’s a look at popular NBN plans from our comparison engine.

And here’s how the most popular 5G home internet plans look.

Telstra 5G home internet vs NBN plans: Pricing, plans and contracts

For starters, let’s look at the solitary Telstra 5G home internet plan.

At the time of writing, the Telstra 5G home internet plan cost $85 a month. To get around that price point with a Telstra NBN plan, you’re looking at a slightly cheaper Telstra NBN 25 plan.

If you don’t mind spending more than the cost of the Telstra 5G home internet plan, you’ll get significantly faster speeds from the Telstra NBN 50 plan.

NBN 100 plans are the fastest available to most homes in Australia, and here’s how the Telstra NBN 100 plan looks in terms of price.

Eligible Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC) and Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) homes can sign up for a Telstra NBN 250 plan.

Except for the NBN 25 plan, every other Telstra NBN plan costs more than the Telstra 5G home internet plan. If cost is most important—particularly relative to expected speeds—Telstra 5G home internet is a great pick.

Telstra doesn’t have contracts for its NBN and 5G home internet plans.

Telstra 5G home internet vs NBN plans: Availability

Before we get into anything else, let’s talk about the availability elephant in the room. Telstra NBN plans are available to fixed-line NBN homes, which is more than 11 million homes connected via FTTP, HFC, Fibre-to-the-Curb (FTTC), Fibre-to-the-Building (FTTB) and Fibre-to-the-Node (FTTN). Practically speaking, most Australians have access to Telstra NBN.

For Telstra 5G home internet, there are more disclaimers to consider. At the time of writing, the Telstra 5G network had coverage for 85% of Australians. But even if you’re in an area with Telstra 5G coverage, Telstra limits the number of homes that can sign up for a 5G home internet plan to preserve speeds.

Use the coverage map below to see if you’re in a Telstra 5G area. Alternatively, enter your home details into the ‘Enter Street Address’ field of our comparison engine and hit the orange ‘Search’ button. Click or tap on the ‘Wireless’ dropdown option and select ‘5G’ to see which 5G home internet plans may be available in your area, including Telstra 5G home internet.

Telstra 5G home internet vs NBN plans: Speeds

Telstra 5G home internet is the clear winner when it comes to download and upload speeds, particularly in terms of monthly costs. The table below shows how Telstra 5G home internet speeds compare to Telstra NBN downloads and uploads.

Telstra plan
Average download speed
Average upload speed
NBN 2525Mbps4Mbps
NBN 5050Mbps17Mbps
NBN 100100Mbps17Mbps
NBN 250250Mbps22Mbps
5G home internet336Mbps44Mbps

Telstra 5G Home internet speeds may reach as high as 600Mbps download and 90Mbps upload. While those slower-end speeds are on par with NBN 50 download speeds, only the Telstra NBN 250 plan has comparable download speeds (and slower upload speeds) than Telstra 5G home internet.

The main disclaimer for Telstra 5G home internet’s speed dominance is latency. After a year of testing, we found that Telstra 5G home internet typically had latency scores between 20 milliseconds (ms) and 30ms.

According to recent ACCC data, Telstra NBN latency is under 12ms. In fairness, that’s not a huge difference for most internet use cases. Still, competitive online gamers looking to eke every possible edge may favour the reliability of Telstra NBN’s latency over Telstra 5G home internet.

For a sense of how this compares to the fastest internet plans for each speed tier, check out the widget below.

Telstra 5G home internet vs NBN plans: Data limits

A sister helps her brother with homework on the computer

Telstra NBN takes the cake with data limits given it doesn’t have any for its NBN plans: all Telstra NBN plans have unlimited data.

The Telstra 5G home internet plan, however, has a 1TB monthly data limit. While faster speeds can lead to increased data usage, 1TB is a reasonable amount of data. According to the ACCC’s Internet Activity Report from December 2022, average NBN data usage was around 450GB. Telstra’s 5G home internet monthly data allowance is comfortably above that number.

Telstra 5G home internet vs NBN plans: Modems

Telstra 5G modem 2 background

Telstra 5G home internet needs a different modem to get you online compared to Telstra NBN. For the latter, Telstra will send you a Telstra Smart Modem 3. For the former, you’ll be sent a Telstra 5G Home Modem. Note that while the Telstra Smart Modem 3 is compatible with the Smart WiFi Booster 3, the Telstra 5G Home Modem isn’t compatible with any WiFi extenders.

Outside of this disclaimer, both Telstra modems have similar specs, including dual-band WiFi 6 and four gigabit Ethernet ports for wired connections in the home. The new Telstra 5G Home Modem has a faster USB 3.0 port compared to the Telstra Smart Modem 3’s USB 2.0 port, but both have dual ports for home phone lines. In terms of connectivity, the Telstra Smart Modem 3 has 4G backup if there’s an NBN outage.

Telstra 5G home internet vs NBN plans: Perks and extras

Telstra Spotify Perk

Plan extras may vary based on limited-time promotions and other considerations. For instance, at the time of writing, Telstra was giving away time-limited Telstra Device Security, Binge and Spotify inclusions across NBN and 5G home internet plans.

Outside of limited-time promotions, Telstra customers can take advantage of the Telstra Plus rewards program. Telstra customers earn points for every dollar spent, which can be redeemed in the rewards store. Additionally, Telstra Plus offers a few ticket perks: cheap movies, pre-sale concert access and discounted sporting events.

Telstra 5G home internet vs NBN plans

Which is best?

It’s a close contest between Telstra 5G home internet and Telstra NBN. For better value and faster potential speeds, Telstra 5G home internet is the top choice. That said, for availability, unlimited data and a modem with 4G backup, Telstra NBN is the way to go.

If you can get it, Telstra 5G home internet is the better pick; but for most people, Telstra NBN is the more straightforward choice.

Telstra 5G home internet vs NBN frequently asked questions

Is Telstra 5G home internet better than NBN?

Telstra 5G home internet has the potential to be faster than Telstra NBN with better overall speed-to-price value. That said, Telstra NBN is available to more homes, has unlimited data and includes a modem with 4G backup.

Can Telstra 5G replace NBN?

We wouldn’t advise using a Telstra 5G mobile plan to replace Telstra NBN. But if Telstra 5G home internet is available in your area, it’s absolutely a viable replacement for NBN.

What’s the difference between 5G and NBN?

5G provides internet connectivity via the mobile network while NBN connects homes to the internet via a dedicated broadband network. Under the right conditions, 5G home internet can reach faster speeds than NBN for most homes albeit with somewhat slower latency.
Nathan Lawrence
Written by
Nathan Lawrence
Nathan Lawrence has been banging out passionate tech and gaming words for more than 11 years. These days, you can find his work on outlets like IGN, STACK, Fandom, Red Bull and AusGamers. Nathan adores PC gaming and the proof of his first-person-shooter prowess is at the top of a Battlefield V scoreboard.

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