Top 5G Mobile Plans to Watch out in Australia


Current 5G plans aim to attract customers but will get even more competitive in the future


With the 5G rollout underway, Australia’s top telcos are looking for clever ways to recover their 5G investments as soon as possible. So far, only Telstra and Optus’ customers can access 5G networks, and both telcos are luring customers into their 5G world with some very attractive plans.

Currently, no MVNO has access to any 5G network. This is typically the case with new generations of mobile network technologies, as the top telcos usually hold out for long before wholesaling to those smaller telcos.

But when MVNOs eventually get access to resell 5G networks, expect an even more competitive market with plans that are even more attractive than they currently are.

But for now, we focus on today’s best 5G mobile plans in Australia. We look into the details of Telstra and Optus’ 5G plans and explore what a Vodafone 5G plan could look like when the telco finally enters the market in the coming months.



The best 5G mobile plans in Australia


Australia’s three major telcos all have 5G ambitions. Telstra and Optus lead the way and have already rolled out their 5G networks in select areas. Vodafone is yet to turn on any 5G site but is expected to do so in the coming months.

Here’s a look at the 5G plans available so far.
Telstra 5G mobile plans
Telstra is currently undertaking a 5G trial run with free which access to the network for all customers until later in the year. / Image source

After the launch of its 5G network, Telstra remodeled its entire mobile plan lineup to integrate 5G in one way or another. Currently, Telstra’s 5G network coverage only spans 10 cities and regions, and its new plans are divided into four categories: Small, Medium, Large, and Extra Large. Here’s a quick look at the details:


  • The Small and Medium plans, which come with 15GB and 60GB data allowances respectively, both give trial access to the 5G network until June 2020.
  • With the Large and Extra Large plans, you also get 5G access, along with 100GB and 150GB data allowance respectively.
  • Telstra is also foregoing charges for 5G connectivity through all 5G phone contracts that predate June 2020, until those contracts expire.
  • After the free test rides, customers will then have to pay a flat rate of $15 per month to surf over the company’s 5G network.
  • But customers who buy Telstra’s top tier phone plans (ranging from $70 and $100 per month) will get free access to its 5G network for life. These deals include Telstra’s HTC 5Hub at $70 per month or more for two years with 25GB monthly allowance, and the Medium HTC Hub broadband plan starting from $94 per month with 60GB monthly data.

But we can expect some more juicy deals from Telstra with time as the trials phase-out, at least according to clues from official statements. "As we continue to grow our 5G coverage, and more devices become available over time, we want to give people the opportunity to experience what 5G has to offer and be clear on where it is and will be available, ” said Telstra CEO Andy Penn.

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Optus 5G Mobile Plans


Optus’ 5G Fixed Home Broadband Hardware / Image source


Optus was actually the first Australian telco to come out with a 5G plan when it launched its Expression of Interest campaign last January. That plan wasn’t for smartphones, however, but rather a 5G fixed Home Broadband plan. Here’s a look at the details:

  • l $70 per month for unlimited data on a 24-month contract or month-to-month.
  • l Guaranteed minimum speeds of 50Mbps.
  • l Other perks like free set-up services, one month of free services, and a 5G-capable Nokia modem. 

Recently, Optus connected 138,000 homes to its 5G fixed wireless service.

Optus’ 5G mobile plans, on the other hand, are not as developed as Telstra’s at the moment. The company has hinted at allowing free access to its 5G network for a year, but more details are yet to emerge.

And according to official reports, besides its numerous 5G-powered phone contract plans, it offers just one SIM-only 5G mobile plan, which goes for AU$120 per month for 500GB monthly data, 10GB monthly roaming data, and exclusive access to Optus Sports.

Optus’ 5G network rollout is still at a preliminary stage, with only 165 network sites established out of the 1,200 projected benchmark for March 2020. It’ll take until at least 2021 for the company to switch to its standalone 5G network.

According to its official 5G page, the current coverage map looks thin. As Optus successfully extends its coverage to a wider customer base to increase subscription rates, we can expect more competitive offers. According to official statements, the telco is expecting data consumption on its network to double after the first year of its 5G rollout.

To make their 5G deal even more attractive going forward, Optus is throwing in its newly introduced Optus One service to 5G deals. Optus One provides customers with "their own dedicated 24/7 Optus One expert, with a unique number to call or SMS anytime so they are personally taken care of."

Vodafone 5G mobile plans

Vodafone is the last of the top three to open up its 5G network / Image source
Vodafone’s 5G network is yet to go live, but when it does, we can expect them to put forward highly competitive plans. Currently, the company isn’t as forthcoming with its 5G plans as Optus and Telstra (this is expected, given the fact that there’s currently no Vodafone 5G network yet).

But according to clues from official reports, the company will be offering some of the cheapest 5G phone plans with the largest price-to-GB ratios.

Vodafone recently announced its partnership with Nokia as its 5G equipment supplier. The telco also indicated that it would begin switching on its 5G sites this year, and hinted that access to its 5G network won’t cost extra.

But right now, it’s difficult to say exactly what a Vodafone plan will look like. We’ll have to wait and see.


Conclusion


For now, if you’re looking for variety in 5G mobile plans, you won’t find much of that. However, current deals are attractive as telcos look to cement their stake in the market by luring customers to their 5G network. Expect even more competitive plans when Vodafone enters the race, and even more when MVNOs get access to 5G networks. For now, though, the best 5G mobile plans in Australia are offered by Telstra and Optus.

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