Optus network coverage: How does it compare?

The Optus network is home to a range of mobile providers with competitive pricing and coverage for most Australians.

Optus network
Optus
Optus
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
  • pro
    Good overall value
  • con
    Low reported customer satisfaction
Optus network
Amaysim
Amaysim
3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5
  • pro
    Generous data promotions
  • con
    Light on extras
Optus network
Circles Life
Circles.Life
4 out of 5 stars
4
  • pro
    Great plan pricing
  • con
    No real perks
Optus network
Moose Mobile
Moose Mobile
4 out of 5 stars
4
  • pro
    Great plan value
  • con
    Limited international extras
Optus network
Catch Connect
Catch Connect
3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5
  • pro
    Great overall plan value
  • con
    No real perks
Nathan Lawrence
May 13, 2023
Icon Time To Read2 min read

If you want the best coverage in Australia, you want a mobile plan on the Telstra network. For cheap mobile plans, look for mobile providers on the Vodafone network. But for something in between, a mobile plan on the Optus network is well worth considering. The Optus network isn’t just home to Optus mobile plans; you can also find plans from Optus mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs), including Amaysim, Circles.Life, Moose Mobile and others.

Optus network coverage: 4G and 5G

According to Optus, the Optus mobile network covers 98.5% of the Australian population. In practical terms, the Optus network is available to more than 25 million Australians (based on ABS population data from September 2022). Admittedly, that leaves around 391,000 Aussies who are unable to use the Optus network.

The population reach of the Optus network is in terms of 4G and 3G coverage. At the time of writing, the information regarding the size of the Optus 5G network wasn’t readily accessible. In the past, Optus has mentioned it has more than 1,000 live 5G sites, which covered 1.4 million homes. That’s a little trickier to interpret. Suffice it to say the Optus 5G network appears to be smaller than the Vodafone 5G network, with both mobile networks lagging in comparison to the 80% of the Australian population with access to the Telstra 5G network.

The big difference for the Optus vs Telstra comparison, though, is only Telstra and Boost Mobile have access to the main Telstra network, while all other Telstra MVNOs use the Telstra wholesale network. Admittedly, the Telstra wholesale network is still slightly more expansive than the Optus network (98.8% vs 98.5%), but all Optus MVNOs do have access to the full Optus network.

Icon Location  Light
Optus 3G network
Info Box
Note that if you’re in a rural or regional part of Australia that’s serviced by the Optus 3G network, you may need to upgrade your phone, SIM card or shift networks towards the end of 2024. According to Optus, the Optus 3G network will be repurposed from September 2024 “to boost the capacity, speed and reliability of [the Optus] 4G network and rollout 5G to even more Australians.” Effectively, Optus 3G services won’t be available from September 2024.

Optus network map

The map below offers an idea of the availability of the Optus network around Australia. Use the orange ‘Click to Activate Interactive Map’ button to get started and ensure the dropdown menu is set to Optus. You can also change the network to Telstra or Vodafone. From here, check or uncheck the 5G, 4G and 3G boxes for a visual representation of the Optus network. Zoom the map in or out to find the areas you work, live or frequent to see which parts of the Optus network are available in those places.

Optus network mobile providers

We track around a dozen mobile providers in our comparison engine that use the Optus network. Here’s a look at a daily updating list of the most popular plans on the Optus network today, including Prepaid and SIM Only plans.

The Optus mobile network is home to other popular mobile providers, including Amaysim, Circles.Life and Moose Mobile. Below is a full list of the mobile providers that we track in our database that use the Optus mobile network (listed in order of popularity at the time of writing):

Optus network coverage frequently asked questions

No, the Telstra network has better coverage in Australia than the Optus network. Telstra’s main and wholesale 4G/5G network is larger than the Optus 4G/5G network.

The Optus network provides reception for 98.5% of the Australian population, which means Optus coverage is available in most parts of Australia, especially in populous regions.

Given the Optus network is available to 98.5% of the Australian population, Optus mobile plans should work in rural parts of Australia. If you don’t have coverage in your area, consider a plan on the Telstra network.

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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