Best 5G mobile plans in Australia

Do you feel the need for speed?

Best 5G plan overall
Telstra Basic Mobile Plan
Standard calls and texts
🔥 Deal
2 months of Binge + 3 months of Apple TV+
Best cheap 5G plan
Belong 20GB Mobile Plan
$25 a month
Standard calls and texts
Best prepaid 5G plan
$30 Prepaid Plus Plan
Standard calls and texts
🔥 Deal
Discounted to $15 + 20GB bonus data
Best Optus 5G plan
$89 Optus Plus Promo Plan
Standard calls and texts
🔥 Deal
$20 off for the first 12 months
Best Vodafone 5G plan
$55 Medium Plan
Standard calls and texts
Georgia Dixon
Digital Content Editor
Read More
March 14, 2023
4 min read

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 5G in Australia has quickly gone from being a niche inclusion that offered next-generations to the few consumers who could afford it to a mainstream option that's speedy and comprehensive enough that many are treating it as a full-blown alternative to the NBN.

While Samsung was the first big phone maker to jump on the 5G bandwagon, it didn't long before Apple and others caught up. As more and more phone manufacturers have moved towards making phones that offer 5G as standard rather than at a premium, the local lineup of mobile providers offering plans with access to 5G speeds has done the same.

There are still some decent deals available through the Big Three, but if you're after the best 5G SIM-only plans in 2023 then there are plenty of reasons to take a look at the many MVNOs that also offer those faster download speeds at a more competitive price.

In this guide, we'll take you through our top picks for the best 5G phone plans. But first, here's a look at a few of the most popular options:

Best 5G mobile plan overall

iPhone 14 on the $58 Basic Telstra 5G mobile plan

Telstra's Basic mobile plan is our pick for the best 5G mobile plan overall thanks to its superior Telstra coverage, generous 40GB data allowance and (somewhat) reasonable $58 monthly price tag. It's not the cheapest 5G phone plan on the market, but it's the one you'll need if you're looking to make the most out of your iPhone 14's next-gen speed capabilities.

If you're not quite sold on Telstra's offering, here's how much the iPhone 14 will set you back over 24 months on the most popular plans.

Best cheap 5G mobile plan (SIM only)

Belong 20GB Mobile Plan

The Belong 20GB Mobile Plan is the obvious winner when it comes to the cheapest possible SIM-only phone plans with 5G. It's not quite as thrifty as the prepaid pick below, but it runs on Telstra’s larger 5G network, comes with a modest 20GB of monthly data and costs just $35 per month. Even if your 5G speeds are capped at 100Mpbs, that's a steal compared to many other 5G phone plans.

Here's how this plan compares to other popular SIM-only plans with 5G coverage.

Best prepaid 5G mobile plan

Vodafone $30 Prepaid Plus

If you want the cheapest possible 5G phone plan - no matter how slow the network rollout might be - it’s worth checking out one of Vodafone’s Prepaid Plus plans. These range in price between $30 and $50 per month, but there are regular deals that slash prices and boost data allowances, so keep an eye out.

The $30 Prepaid Plus Starter Pack is currently our pick of the lot. Vodafone is currently running a promotion that lets you pick this one up for half the usual price. It comes with 40GB of monthly data and a $5 discount if you enable automatic recharging.

Telstra and Optus also recently jumped on the 5G prepaid train, but their offerings aren't as good value as our top Vodafone pick. If you're interested, you can check them out below.

Best Telstra 5G mobile plan (and best for coverage)

Telstra $68 Essential Mobile Plan

As Australia’s largest telco, it’s no surprise that Telstra’s 5G rollout is kicking the competition’s butt right now. At the time of writing, its next-gen network covers 80% of the Australian population. That’s by far the best coverage from the best three, but the gap will only get narrower as Optus and Vodafone catch up.

Regardless, if you’re only after the best coverage you can get, Telstra’s 5G phone plans have you covered. Unfortunately, that coverage does come at a premium, with the cheapest  Telstra plan 5G data plan coming in at $58, which isn't exactly as budget-friendly as the competition.

If you're after for a little more data though, look no further than the $68 Essential Plan. It gets you four times the data of the cheaper Basic Plan, plus all the same perks.

If that's not enough for you, here's the full range of Telstra's 5G plans.

Best Optus 5G mobile plan

$89 Optus Promo Plan

The entry point to Optus’ 5G network is far cheaper than Telstra’s, but you’ll likely only get coverage in metropolitan areas. If you’re okay with waiting a little longer for better coverage and unwilling to go prepaid, you can save a decent chunk of change, as Optus’ cheapest 5G phone plan is $9 cheaper than Telstra’s.

That said, if you're game to spend a little more there's a ton of value to be found in Optus' $89 Promo Plan. Currently discounted down to $69 per month for the first 12 months, this plan gets you a whopping 500GB of 5G data. That sum makes it our top pick when it comes to bang for the buck.

Need more (or less) data? Check out all of Optus' 5G plans below.

Best Vodafone 5G mobile plan

Vodafone $55 Medium Plan

Since Vodafone extends the 5G olive branch to all its prepaid plans, you can get access for as little as $30. That said, if you actually want decent data inclusions, the $55 Medium Plan is your best bet. It comes with 150GB of monthly data, after which your speed gets throttled down to 2Mpbs.

Of the Big Three, Vodafone has the least 5G coverage and really only caters for capital cities. In fact, according to Vodafone's website, only 1,000 suburbs across Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Canberra, Perth, Gold Coast, Central Coast, Wollongong and Sunshine Coast can currently access its 5G network.

For a sense of how this plan compares to the rest of the roster, take a look at Vodafone's postpaid 5G plans below.

5G Australia modem

Got more 5G questions?

We've got answers. Here's everything you need to know about the 5G rollout in Australia, and how the Telstra, Optus and Vodafone networks compare.

5G coverage maps

Telstra 5G coverage

The map below should help you get a better sense of what the coverage of the Telstra 5G network looks like. It'll also help you visualise the 5G coverage of MVNOs like Boost Mobile, Belong, Exetel, MATE and NuMobile since those providers utilise the same 5G network as Telstra.

Optus 5G coverage

The map below should help you get a better sense of what the coverage of the Optus 5G network looks like. It'll also help you visualise the 5G coverage of MVNOs like SpinTel and Aussie Broadband since those providers utilise the same 5G network.

Vodafone 5G covergage

The map below should help you get a better sense of what the coverage of the Vodafone 5G network looks like. It'll also help you visualise the 5G coverage of MVNOs like TPG, iiNet, Kogan and Lebara since these providers utilise the same 5G network.

5G mobile plan FAQs

Do I need a new SIM card for 5G?

No, you do not necessarily need a new SIM card for 5G.

As long as your current phone model supports 5G connectivity and you're already with a provider that offers a 5G network (and plan to stick with them), you can use your existing SIM. All you have to do is switch to a 5G-enabled plan and you're good to go.

However, if you're planning on switching providers, you will need a new SIM card no matter what.

Who offers 5G in Australia?

There are currently fifteen 5G mobile providers available in Australia. The list here covers the big three (Telstra, Optus, Vodafone) as well as smaller players like SpinTel, Southern Phone, Aussie Broadband and Boost Mobile.

That said, we should start seeing 5G access roll out to more and more MVNOs in the coming years.

Are 5G plans worth it?

Whether or not 5G plans are worth it is dependent on a few factors.

If your current phone isn't 5G compatible (and you don't plan on upgrading any time soon), then getting a 5G phone plan would be a waste of money.

If your current phone is 5G enabled, the choice comes down to two factors: location and usage. If you're in a metropolitan location and need blazing-fast internet speeds for work (or play!) then a 5G plan is more than likely going to be worth it to you. If you're in a rural area, it's possible you won't have 5G coverage anyway, so only get a 5G plan if you've checked the coverage in your area.

If you've decided you don't need 5G, check out our guide to the best cheap mobile plans. 

How much do 5G plans cost in Australia?

5G phone plans in Australia come in a number of different shapes and sizes, but range in price from as little as $25 per month to as much as $89 per month. Many of the options fall between those two extremes, at between $50 and $60 per month.

Do I need to buy a 5G phone to get 5G?

You don't technically need to buy a 5G phone to get a 5G mobile plan, but you will need one to use it. 

Both Australia's big three telcos and the many MVNO providers that piggyback off the same networks will happily sell you a 5G plan regardless, but if you're using an older device or a handset that isn't outfitted with the right parts to get 5G coverage then you'll likely end up stuck at 4G instead. What's more, you'll be paying a premium for it.

The simple version is this. You need a 5G phone, and a 5G phone plan. You need to be in a place covered by a 5G network in order to get 5G in Australia.

Who has the best 5G coverage in Australia?

Since the exact size of each major 5G network isn't publicly known, it's hard to say for absolute certainty which provider offers the best coverage. That said, we've got our suspicions.

Even if we had access to hard data, numbers rarely tell the whole story. Whether a given provider has the best possible coverage might not matter as much as whether your mobile network covers the specific places where you individually want or need 5G connectivity or how reliable that network is during peak hours.

More popular 5G mobile plan deals

Still looking for the perfect 5G data or phone plan? Here's a list of popular 5G phone plans we have in our database

Georgia Dixon
Written by
Georgia Dixon
Georgia Dixon has over seven years' experience writing about all things tech, entertainment and lifestyle, with bylines in TechLife magazine, 7NEWS and In her spare time, you'll find her playing games and daydreaming about good food, wine, and dogs.

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