TPG now selling 5G home wireless plans: Is it better than the NBN?
TPG just upped its game with competitively priced 5G home wireless plans that come with a free month trial.
TPG's new range of 5G home wireless plans use the Vodafone 5G network. It joins Optus, SpinTel and Telstra in providing a viable alternative to fixed-line NBN.
You can head to TPG's website and enter your address to see if you're in a covered area.
What is TPG offering?
TPG is selling 2 5G home wireless plans. Here's what's available:
- Premium. Unlimited data for $69.99 per month. Download speed is capped to a maximum of 100Mbps.
- Max. Unlimited data for $79.99 per month. No download speed cap.
Both plans are currently free for the first month. There are just some terms and conditions tied to the modem that you should watch out for.
TL;DR: As long as you return your TPG modem whenever you choose to cancel your plan, you won't have to pay for it.
Here's what you'll pay if you do decide to cancel:
- In the first month: Nothing. As long as you return the modem within 21 days of cancelling, you'll get a full refund.
- Before 36 months have passed: In addition to your regular plan fees after the free month, you'll have to pay a modem fee if you leave before 36 months have passed. This is equal to $17 x the number of months before 36 you've cancelled (for example, after 12 months you'd be charged $17 x 24 = $408). Returning the modem cancels this fee.
- After 36 months: You'll only pay your plan fees for the period, with no additional costs for the modem.
How does TPG's 5G plan compare to the NBN?
According to the latest Open Signal 5G User Experience Report from April 2021, Vodafone's 5G network (which TPG uses) offers an average speed of 138.5Mbps.
Here's how TPG's Max plan compares to a roughly equivalent NBN 100 plan from TPG:
|Max 5G Home Wireless||NBN 100|
|Speed||138.5Mbps (average)||90Mbps (typical evening speed)|
|Price per month||$79.99 (free for first month)||$89.99 ($79.99 for first 6 months)|
|Modem||Free after 36 months, or if you return it||$99.95 (no BYO)|
The 5G home wireless is a clear winner here with an average of 138.5Mbps compared to TPG's NBN speed of 90Mbps, although mobile signals can be less consistent.
TPG advises that your speed can change depending on the number of users, location, deprioritisation and more.
Both plans cost the same but with slightly different promotions on offer.
After the first 6 months, the NBN 100 plan jumps up to $89.99 monthly, while the 5G Max plan stays the same.
Our team of experts found that the average cost of an NBN 100 plan in the Finder database is $79.91, so TPG's 5G plan compares well against the rest of the NBN market too.
If you don't bring your own modem, TPG will charge you $99.95 for a new one on the NBN 100 plan.
The 5G modem is free if you stay connected for 36 months or return it when you cancel, but is quite expensive otherwise. You could pay hundreds of dollars if you cancel in the first year and don't give the modem back.
Is TPG's 5G more expensive than 4G?
Yes. TPG's 4G home wireless broadband costs $54.99 per month, compared to a minimum of $69.99 for 5G.
However, TPG's 4G home wireless is capped at 20Mbps download speed, while the cheapest 5G is capped at 100Mbps.
While you'd pay more for 5G, you're also getting faster speeds so it just depends on what matters more to you, speed or price.
Should I get 5G home wireless from TPG?
5G home wireless can be a great choice if you:
- Can't get a solid fixed-line connection where you live.
- Live in a covered area, close to a 5G signal tower.
- Need a temporary Internet solution with faster speeds than 4G.
- Find 5G more convenient than fixed-line NBN.
It's worth noting that the Vodafone 5G network used by TPG is the slowest in Australia, with a very low download speed of 138.5Mbps compared to both Telstra (239.6Mbps) and Optus (253.8Mbps).
How do I know if I can get 5G?
5G has a shorter range than 4G, and Telstra, Optus and Vodafone are all in the process of expanding their networks across Australia. Vodafone's is currently the smallest network of the 3.
To check whether you live in a covered area, head to TPG's 5G home wireless page and enter your address. This will let you know whether 5G is available where you live.