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How does Telstra’s new 5G Home Internet compare to the NBN?

Posted: 30 September 2020 10:43 am
News

Person at home on laptop and phone

Telstra makes its entrance into the home wireless broadband market with a new, high-speed 5G plan.

Telstra has announced its first-ever home wireless broadband plan, and it's going to run on its nationwide 5G network. This will bring it up to speed with Optus, which was previously the only major provider in Australia to offer 5G home wireless broadband.

Telstra is launching with a single plan that offers 500GB of data for $85 per month, first month free. To begin with, it will only be available by invitation for a small number of eligible customers, but Telstra intends to offer it more widely over the next 12 months as 5G continues to evolve.

Here are the details of the plan:

PlanPriceDataSpeed
5G Home Internet$85/month500GB5G (50Mbps-300Mbps)

Speeds ranging from 50Mbps to 300Mbps mean that customers should be able to comfortably do all the online activities they wish. It's easily enough for video conferencing, streaming high definition video and downloading big files, all at once.

50Mbps is already equal to the maximum speed of the most popular fixed-line NBN connection (NBN 50), while 300Mbps exceeds even the fastest connection on the new NBN250 tier.

What is home wireless?

Home wireless can be thought of as an alternative to fixed-line Internet connections, relying on mobile networks to get you online, rather than the fibre optic cables of the NBN. Previously, home wireless has relied on 4G networks, but Telstra and Optus' new generation of broadband uses the 5G networks they're building and expanding.

Home wireless broadband is perfect for heavy Internet users who can't get decent fixed-line Internet, or those who want something with even higher speeds than what their home connection is capable of.

How does it compare?

Here's how Telstra's new plan compares to existing ones from Spintel and Optus:

Telstra's plan comes out as the most expensive of the trio, costing a good $10 more per month. On top of that, it has a 500GB data cap where both Spintel and Optus provide unlimited data. Optus and Spintel share a 50Mbps satisfaction guarantee in case your speeds end up low, while Telstra lacks any form of speed guarantee.

The only real benefits to Telstra's plan is that the modem is provided for free (Spintel comes with a rental), and its 5G network may provide better coverage depending on your location than Optus' (which Spintel also uses).

Overall, Optus has the better deal, but we'll see how Telstra's plan shapes up in the months to come. Don't expect its plans to drop in price too much though, since Telstra is well known for having higher prices than its competitors in exchange for wider coverage and supposedly premium service.

Interested in home wireless?

Even with 5G wireless broadband entering the market, there are plenty of great value 4G plans around that function fine on well-established mobile networks. If you're running into speed issues with the NBN, consider browsing through these plug-and-play plans as an easy to set up alternative.

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