Optus 5G Home Broadband: Everything you need to know
Fast speeds guaranteed, but you might have to wait a while to sign up.
Optus has released details around its 5G fixed wireless service today, following up on a promise to launch 5G fixed wireless in early 2019. Here's what you need to know about its latest broadband mobile service.
How much will it cost?
Optus' 5G Home Broadband will be sold with unlimited data usage for just $70 per month, on 24-month terms. Optus will offer 5G Home Broadband on month-to-month terms, but the pricing might be different when that option becomes available. An Optus spokesperson told finder that " Optus will be offering month-to-month plans for its 5G Home Broadband service, these pricing plans will become available as we continue the expansion of our 5G network throughout 2019 and beyond."
How fast will Optus 5G Home Broadband be?
Optus states that the future roadmap for its 5G network may be able to deliver up to 1GBps speeds, but it's being rather more conservative at first in terms of real world speeds for consumers. An Optus spokesperson told finder that "With our first 5G Home Broadband device, on our first 5G cell, we have been registering speeds around 100MBps and expect this will improve significantly as we build out 5G density, and software and devices evolve."
Optus is advertising the Optus 5G Home Broadband service with what it calls its 50Mbps Satisfaction Guarantee. Wireless speeds are by their nature somewhat variable – that's physics for you – but Optus' claim is that any customer who isn't satisfied that they're getting at least 50Mbps will be able to cancel their contract on return of the 5G Home Broadband modem without penalty.
5G is mobile broadband, right?
Wrong. What Optus is launching as its first 5G service is strictly a home broadband service with a fixed modem that you won't be able to take with you when you go out and about. It's expected that some 5G devices may launch at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona at the end of February, but we're not likely to see any of those in Australia until mid-year at the earliest. This is more a competitor product to standard broadband plans, especially those on the National Broadband Network.
Optus is using, or at least testing with, a Nokia built 5G home device as pictured below, so at least you won't be stuck with an unsightly 5G modem.
Sounds great! What's the catch?
The catch so far is that Optus' 5G coverage for its home broadband service isn't super-wide, to say the least. Optus is currently seeking expressions of interest in taking up the service from folks in qualifying suburbs, but even there Optus will precisely check if you're in the correct radius of one of its 5G towers before considering your expression of interest.
You may have to wait some time as well, with Optus advising that "5G devices are scheduled to be delivered from mid-2019. A limited number of customers may get devices sooner".
Which suburbs are eligible?
Right now, Optus has only three "live" sites in total, with two in Canberra and one in Sydney. It states that it intends to have 47 more sites live by March 2019, and a total of 1,200 5G sites up and running by March 2020.
If you're keen on an expression of interest in Optus' early sites, they are as follows:
- Daleys Point
- Lethbridge Park
- Niagara Park
- Phegans Bay
- Richmond Lowlands
- St Huberts Island
- St Johns Park
- Warwick Farm
- Woy Woy Bay
- Bellbird Park
- Kenmore Hills
- Old Reynella
- Reynella East
- Trott Park
- City Beach
- Eden Hill
- Mosman Park
- Orange Grove
- South Guildford
- White Gum Valley
If you're in Victoria, Tasmania or the Northern Territory, sadly Optus has no announced sites in its early rollout package to speak of. It seems unlikely that will stay the case, especially for population-heavy Victoria, but for now you'll have to wait.
If you're keen to get in early and you're in a qualifying suburb, you can sign up over on the Optus 5G site.
Want to know more about 5G? Read our complete guide to 5G here!