Optus quietly launches its 5G mobile network with the Galaxy Note10+ 5G
Samsung's Galaxy Note10+ 5G will be Optus' first 5G handset, but only with very limited coverage areas.
One of the more surprising details to come out of this morning's launch of the Samsung Galaxy Note10 family of phones was where the 5G variant has landed.
We expected the Galaxy Note10+ 5G to land with Telstra, given it's the exclusive home of the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G in Australia.
What was slightly more surprising was that Optus will also offer the Galaxy Note10+ 5G.
That's surprising, because to date Optus has only offered trial access to its 5G network for fixed mobile broadband customers in selected areas only.
Optus had taken a fixed-first approach to 5G, but with the Galaxy Note10+ 5G, that appears to have changed.
Optus' own plan pages for the Galaxy Note10+ 5G give some of the details of its 5G coverage plans. Like competitor Telstra, you're talking limited coverage areas with some pretty large caveats.
Most notably, the coverage maps state quite explicitly that "In-building 5G coverage is not currently available." Optus says it's working on expanding its 5G coverage zones, and notably it doesn't appear to charge any extra for 5G access.
That's also true of Telstra right now, but only for the first 12 months of customer access; after that unless you're on Telstra's higher-end plans you'll have to pay an additional $15 per month for 5G access.
Optus' coverage maps suggest areas of 5G coverage currently in all states, but with limited coverage zones where it may be available. As an example, here's a quick snap of Optus' "Sydney North" coverage:
Our early tests with Telstra's 5G network suggested that the emerging state of 5G didn't make it a must-buy prospect on speed grounds alone. We're keen to get to grips with Optus' 5G network so we can see how the two networks compare.
Optus' site does note that it's not shipping the Galaxy Note10+ 5G until 20 September 2019, quite a bit later than the regular Galaxy Note10+.
Keen on the Galaxy Note 10+ 5G on an Optus plan? We've got the full rundown of Optus' plan pricing right here.