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What’s the cheapest way to get 5G?

Posted: 21 October 2020 5:43 pm
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Optus has opened its 5G network to other providers, and now SpinTel is making 5G more affordable than ever.

Australian telco SpinTel is the first provider outside of the major mobile providers – Optus, Telstra and Vodafone – to offer 5G mobile connectivity to its customers. Thanks to Optus opening its 5G towers to smaller providers on its network, you can pick up a SpinTel 5G mobile plan from $35 per month, the cheapest 5G option out there.

SpinTel is an MVNO, or mobile virtual network operator, which means it is essentially renting network space from Optus and reselling that to its customers. While Telstra and Optus aren't charging customers a premium for 5G, MVNOs like SpinTel can undercut the major providers since they don't have the financial responsibilities of building and maintaining a network.

Optus's move to open up its 5G means we'll likely see other providers joining SpinTel in the coming months. You'll still need a 5G-capable device to take advantage of these deals, but with handsets like the iPhone 12, Samsung Galaxy S20 and more being released with 5G functionality, this is easier than ever.

How much are SpinTel's mobile plans with 5G?

SpinTel has three mobile plans available with 5G, with no lock-in contracts:

Plan name Monthly cost Data allowance
5G Mobile S $35 ($30 for first 6 months) 10GB
5G Mobile M $40 ($35 for first 6 months) 50GB
5G Mobile L $50 ($45 for first 6 months) 80GB

Apart from the 5G connectivity, these are just your standard SIM-only mobile plans. Once you've popped the SIM into your phone and activated it, you'll have access to unlimited calls and texts in Australia, plus however much monthly data your plan allows. Exceeding your monthly data limit will cost you $10 per extra GB.

Right now, SpinTel has a promotion going on where you'll get a $5 monthly discount on your plan for the first 6 months, and you won't be charged the usual $10 SIM activation fee. Note that this promotion may be withdrawn at any time.

So which provider has the cheapest plans?

To give you an idea of how SpinTel's cheapest plan with 5G compares to the other 5G plans on the market, let's take a look at the cheapest plans from Optus, Telstra and Vodafone that also come with 5G.

The cheapest plan out of the three providers above is currently Vodafone's $35 plan, which means SpinTel's $30 plan is the cheapest of the lot. Taking all promotional discounts away, SpinTel still ends up being the cheapest, coming in at $4 a month cheaper than Optus.

We should also mention that Telstra's Small plan, which is actually its cheapest SIM-only plan, doesn't come with 5G access. While Vodafone does have 5G access on its mobile plans, Vodafone's 5G network is currently confined to customers in the Parramatta area for the moment, so most customers won't benefit from it.

How do I know if I can get 5G?

Currently, 5G networks are mostly restricted to major metropolitan areas across Australia, and there is no 5G coverage from any provider in Tasmania or the Northern Territory. Telstra's 5G network is the most extensive, covering 41% of the population, while Vodafone's only covers some residents of Parramatta in NSW.

Optus has done well with 900 5G sites switched on, so if you're in a metro area, you have a good shot at being covered. Your best bet to find out if you are is to check Optus's 5G coverage map.

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