Exetel NBN, ADSL and mobile broadband plans compared December 2018

Do you need a new broadband connection but don’t know which way to go? Take a look at what Exetel broadband has to offer.

Over the decade and a half that it's been operating in the telecommunications space, Exetel has built up quite the customer base. With over 120,000 Australians signed up to its broadband and mobile services, it's one of the larger Aussie telcos not yet owned by a bigger service provider.

Exetel supplies high-speed Internet services via NBN, non-NBN fibre, ADSL and mobile broadband connections. All services are available on month-to-month or 12-month contracts.

Alongside its Internet services, Exetel also offers Voice over IP (VoIP) and traditional landline phone services, though the latter is only available bundled in with an ADSL plan.

Exetel NBN plans

Exetel covers all the standard NBN connection types with its NBN plans, servicing fibre to the premises (FTTP), fibre to the node (FTTN), fibre to the building (FTTB), hybrid-fibre coaxial (HFC) and fixed wireless customers across Australia. It offers three different speed options with these plans: Basic (nbn12), Standard Plus (nbn50) and Premium (nbn100). Only Basic connections are supported on fixed wireless connections, however.

Each of Exetel's NBN plans is available with one of three data caps, leading to the following nine options:

Basic NBN plans

  • Basic 100GB, which costs $39.99 a month
  • Basic 500GB, which costs $49.99 a month
  • Basic Unlimited, which costs $54.99 a month

Standard Plus NBN plans

  • Standard Plus 100GB, which costs $49.99 a month
  • Standard Plus 500GB, which costs $59.99 a month
  • Standard Plus Unlimited, which costs $69.99 a month

Premium NBN plans

  • Premium 100GB, which costs $69.99 a month
  • Premium 500GB, which costs $79.99 a month
  • Premium Unlimited, which costs $89.99 a month

Since the NBN speed tiers are based on the theoretical maximum speed possible and often don't reflect the actual speeds you'll get, Exetel provides the following guide to the typical average speeds during the hectic evening hours between 7:00pm and 11:00pm:

  • Basic plans: 11.00Mbps typical evening speeds
  • Standard Plus plans: 43.00Mbps typical evening speeds
  • Premium plans: 83.00Mbps typical evening speeds

When you sign up for one of Exetel's NBN plans, you can do so on a month-to-month contract or a 12-month contract. Both feature no set-up fees, but if you pick the 12-month contract, you'll also score a free Wi-Fi modem.

Just bear in mind that the longer-term contract comes with a catch. Should you want to cancel your service before the end of the 12 months, you'll be hit with an early termination charge of up to $299 .

You won't have to worry about excess usage fees, however. On all Exetel's capped plans, going over your monthly data limit will simply result in your Internet speed dropping to 256Kbps for the rest of your current billing cycle.

For information on the extras Exetel offers with its NBN plans, click here.

Exetel non-NBN fibre plans

As well as offering fibre plans delivered over the NBN, Exetel has partnered with a number of independent fibre network operators to deliver high-speed Internet separate from the National Broadband Network. The infrastructure established by these partners is not as far-reaching as the NBN and as such is not yet available in many parts of the country. Nevertheless, it is constantly expanding, and currently supports both FTTP and FTTB access technologies.

To deliver its non-NBN fibre service, Exetel works with the following network providers:

  • Opticomm
  • OPENetworks
  • LBNCo
  • RedTrain
  • FTTB Wholesale

Like its NBN plans, Exetel offers three speeds on its fibre plans. The specific speeds available differ, however, with a choice of Basic, Standard and Premium tiers. These tiers feature typical evening speeds of 11.00Mbps, 23.00Mbps and 83.00Mbps respectively.

Exetel offers a choice of three data caps on its fibre plans. With a Basic connection, this produces the following three plans:

  • Basic 100GB for $39.99 a month
  • Basic 500GB for $49.99 a month
  • Basic Unlimited for $59.99 a month

Upgrading any of the Basic plans to a Standard connection will set you back an extra $10 a month, while boosting to a Premium connection will cost you an additional $30 a month.

All Exetel's fibre plans are available on month-to-month or 12-month contracts. The monthly pricing remains the same for both, but the month-to-month plans require an upfront activation fee of $59. This fee is waived on 12-month contracts, plus Exetel throws in a free Wi-Fi modem. The same modem can be purchased separately on month-to-month contracts for $59.

As with its NBN plans, Exetel will charge you a termination fee if you sign up for 12 months then decide to cancel your service early. This can be as much as $299 depending on how long you have left in your contract.

Excess data usage also works the same as it does for NBN plans. Blowing through your monthly data cap will see your Internet speed drop to 256Kbps for the rest of the current billing cycle. In exchange, you won't be charged any excess usage fees.

For information on the extras Exetel offers with its fibre plans, click here.

Exetel ADSL plans

For those waiting on the NBN rollout to reach them, Exetel offers two ADSL plans delivered over Optus' wholesale broadband network. Both plans include home phone line rental and a new phone number with the ability to make and receive calls on a pay-as-you-go basis.

These plans are as follows:

  • ADSL2+ 100GB, which includes 50GB of on-peak data and 50GB of off-peak data for a month
  • ADSL2+ Unlimited, which includes unlimited data for $54.99 a month

For the 100GB plan, Exetel defines peak-time as between 9:00am and 1:00am, while off-peak time is from 1:00am to 9:00am.

Exetel doesn't charge any set-up fees for its ADSL plans, regardless of whether you sign up on a month-to-month or 12-month contract. You do get a free Wi-Fi modem bundled in if you commit to the full year, however.

Before you sign up for the 12-month contract, however, you'll want to be aware of the early termination fee incurred if you decide to cancel your plan before the full term is up. This fee can be as much as $199.98, depending on how long you have left on your contract.

Exetel employs speed shaping on its 100GB ADSL plan, so if you go over either your on-peak or off-peak data limits, you won't incur any excess charges. Instead, your Internet speed will slow down to 128Kbps for the rest of your current billing cycle.

For information on the extras Exetel offers with its ADSL plans, click here.

Exetel mobile broadband plans

Exetel's SIM-only mobile broadband plans operate over the Optus 3G and 4G network and are available on both month-to-month and 12-month contracts. Pricing and data caps vary depending on which contract term you sign up for, resulting in the following options:

Month-to-month plans

  • 1.5GB plan for $9.99 a month
  • 5GB plan for $19.99 a month
  • 8GB plan for $29.99 a month
  • 15GB plan for $44.99 a month
  • 50GB plan for $59.99 a month
  • 70GB plan for $79.99 a month

12-month plans

  • 8GB plan for $19.99 a month
  • 15GB plan for $29.99 a month
  • 25GB plan for $44.99 a month
  • 60GB plan for $59.99 a month
  • 90GB plan for $79.99 a month

Both the month-to-month plans and the 12-month plans come with no setup fees, though you will have to pay an early termination fee if you sign up for a 12-month plan and cancel before the full year has passed. This fee is calculated based on both the time remaining on your contract and your chosen plan, and can range anywhere from $25 up to $300.

On 12-month plans, Exetel also provides an option for purchasing a 4G USB modem at $9 a month extra. If you cancel your plan before the year is up, you'll need to pay out the full $110 cost of the modem less the monthly repayments you've already made.

If you chew through all your monthly data on one of Exetel's mobile broadband plans, any excess data you use will be charged in 1GB blocks at a price of $10 per block.

Exetel extras

In addition to basic broadband, Exetel offers a couple of optional products and services with its ADSL, NBN and non-NBN fibre plans.

If you're in need of a new modem to go with your broadband service, Exetel will sell you a Netcomm NF18ACV modem-router for an upfront cost of $59 on any of its month-to-month contracts. This modem-router is included for free on 12-month contracts.

Exetel also provides an unlimited Voice over IP (VoIP) phone pack on both its ADSL and NBN plans. For $10 extra a month, you get unlimited standard local, national and mobile calls within Australia, plus unlimited international calls to Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, the UK and the USA. As a bonus, if you purchase the VoIP pack on an 18-month broadband contract, you'll get the ZTE H268A modem-router bundled in for free.

How does Exetel compare?

Exetel has plenty to offer across its NBN, ADSL and mobile broadband plans, making it one of the stronger players in the Australian telco market.

How do Exetel's NBN plans compare?

Exetel stands out as one of the most competitive providers of NBN services within Australia. Its plans are some of the cheapest on the market, with plenty of options for tailoring speeds, data caps and contract lengths to suit your particular needs.

This is evident even in Exetel's Basic NBN 100GB month-to-month plan. Its monthly rate one of the lowest you'll find, putting it on par with providers like Activ8me and IPSTAR.

Spintel, however, does offer a compelling alternative with its NBN Entry Bundle. It packs the same amount of data as Exetel's plan at a slightly higher monthly cost, but the inclusion of a cheaper modem means it charges less upfront. Over the short term, then, Spintel's plan is the cheaper of the two for the full modem-and-broadband package.

It's deja vu when comparing Exetel's 500GB plan. Once again, Exetel represents one of the top choices at this tier of broadband service, with only Spintel edging it out with a lower upfront cost in cases where you need a new modem along with your Internet connection.

Exetel faces significantly tougher competition with its unlimited data plan. Here, Flip TV offers a formidable alternative with its unlimited plan, charging less per month as well as less upfront for the same service. Hello Broadband's plan is similarly attractive, while Buzz and Infinity both work out even cheaper over the short term due to their lack of setup fees. Nevertheless, Exetel's unlimited plan remains a solid choice.

Though the above comparisons are based on plans with a Basic NBN connection, they can be easily applied to faster Internet speeds, too. The table below compares how much Exetel charges for upgrading to faster speed tiers on its Unlimited plan compared to other relevant Internet providers:

ExetelSpintelTeleronFlip TVInfinity TelcoTPG
StandardN/AN/A$10 extra$10 extra$5 extraN/A
Standard Plus$5 extra$10 extra$20 extra$30 extra$10 extra$10 extra
Premium$35 extra$25 extra$30 extraN/A$20 extra$30 extra

How do Exetel's ADSL plans compare?

Exetel is up there with the best of them in the ADSL space, and it's all thanks to one critical factor: line rental. To receive ADSL Internet, you need to have an active phone line at your premises, and a lot of providers don't include this in their ADSL plans. Since line rental typically costs around $30 a month, it's important to factor it in when comparing plans.

Because Exetel's ADSL plans come with line rental already bundled in, they enjoy a considerable advantage over much of the competition. Exetel's 100GB plan, for instance, might seem a lot more expensive than Dodo's 50GB plan, but once you've added line rental into the equation, Exetel comes out on top.

The same goes for Exetel's unlimited ADSL plan. Standalone ADSL plans from providers like Dodo, Barefoot Telecom and Spintel are only worth considering if you already have an active phone service with another provider.

How do Exetel's mobile broadband plans compare?

Since Exetel's 12-month and month-to-month mobile broadband plans differ quite dramatically in data inclusions and price, it's worth comparing the two separately.

How do Exetel's month-to-month mobile broadband plans compare?

At the budget end of mobile broadband, Exetel's 1.5GB month-to-month plan is on par with the cheapest options out there. It matches Jeenee Mobile's equally attractive option and beats out the more expensive plan from Moose Mobile along with Lycamobile's 28-day expiry plan — although the latter does benefit from using parts of Telstra's 4G network instead of Optus.

At higher data caps, Exetel loses some of its edge. Though its 8GB plan remains competitive with offerings from Kogan Mobile and Vodafone, Jeenee Mobile and Spintel take the lead with cheaper monthly pricing and even extra data in the case of Jeenee Mobile.