The best 5G home internet plans in Australia can offer a genuine alternative to the NBN. If you live in an eligible area, 5G home broadband plans have the potential to give you superfast download speeds at home, that you’re unable to get through a fixed-line NBN connection.
This is because Telstra, Optus and Vodafone have invested more in the technology and rolled it out to five of Australia’s major cities: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Canberra (albeit still in select areas within these).
Therein does lie a limitation of 5G home broadband. For you to be able to truly take advantage of the technology, you need to be living in an area with good 5G network coverage. Telstra currently offers the farthest reaching 5G coverage, claiming to cover 80% of the Australian population. Optus and Vodafone do both cover Australian cities, but not quite to the same extent.
If you do live in an area with 5G network coverage, and 5G home internet is available (5G mobile coverage doesn’t necessarily mean there will be 5G home internet coverage) then it’s worth considering your home internet options. In fact, it could give you similar speeds to NBN for a more affordable monthly fee, or internet speeds faster than NBN for a similar price.
Best 5G home internet plans
Because 5G is still in its relative infancy, there is only a small handful of telcos who currently supply it. The major telcos of Telstra, Optus and Vodafone all offer plans, along with a handful of mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) including Internode, Spintel and iiNet. These are the best 5G home internet plans for each of the providers.
Telstra’s 5G home broadband plan has a monthly data cap of 1TB, so if you're an avid gamer needing to download large files regularly, this likely won't be a good option for you. If you do go over the data cap, then you're still free to use the service, but speeds will be capped at 25Mbps.
For everyone else, however, this Telstra 5G home internet plan could prove to be far better than any equivalent fixed-line NBN plan. This is because average speeds are advertised at 336Mbps (and typical speeds can reach up to 600Mbps), depending on the network coverage in your area. This comfortably makes it faster than even the best NBN 250 plans.
You get the modem included and your first month for just AU$1 to try it out. Telstra also throws in a few extras for free, including 2 months of Binge and 4 months of Spotify Premiums. Do note, however, that these free trials can only be accepted by new customers to the services.
Telstra's 5G home internet plan is one of the most expensive in Australia, and there is a data cap to consider, but it also promises the fastest speeds in return. This makes it the best advert for 5G home broadband, if you live in an eligible area.
Total cost for first 12 months: AU$936
Optus Plus Entertainer Superfast 5G | Uncapped | Unlimited data | No lock-in contract | First month free | AU$79p/m (for 6 months, then AU$99p/m)
We had previously selected the mid-tier Optus 5G home internet plan here, but we've now adjusted it to recommend the top-tier plan. This plan advertises uncapped data speeds, meaning it could potentially rival even the best NBN 1000 plans if you have good coverage, and 240Mbps speeds during the busier evening hours of 7pm to 11pm.
Optus' Superfast 5G plan also includes a standard Netflix subscription in the price (valued at AU$16.99) and we feel this can go some way towards justifying the overall monthly cost.
Optus includes a modem with your service, but if you cancel within 36 months, you will be charged $16p/m left of a 36 month period. This makes the minimum cost of an Optus 5G home broadband plan AU$576 if you leave after one month.
Total cost for first 12 months: AU$969
TPG offers just two speed tiers of 5G home internet: 50Mbps and 100Mbps. We’ve chosen the 100Mbps Premium tier as our recommended plan, for its higher speed, yet relative affordability. TPG also offers the first month free and, similarly to other telcos, supplies the modem for free, based on a 36 month period. If you cancel and don’t return the modem, you’ll be subject to a non-return fee.
While TPG’s first year cost is one of the lowest of all the providers for 100Mbps speeds of 5G home internet, because of its still limited nature, we would still suggest signing up for one of the best NBN 50 plans or NBN 100 plans, as they're more widely available and can cost roughly the same each month.
Total cost for first 12 months: AU$714.89
Vodafone offers two 5G home internet plans too, both of which have speed caps, at either 50Mbps or 100Mbps. There is a AU$5p/m difference between the two and we’ve selected the 100Mbps option here. If you have a mobile phone plan with Vodafone you can save AU$5p/m.
The required 5G modem is included for free, as long as you stay connected for 36 months. If you cancel, Vodafone says you must return the modem within 30 days and in good condition, or you’ll be subjected to a non-return fee. This is charged at AU$17 per month left in the 36 month period.
Total cost for first 12 months: AU$770
iiNet also uses the Vodafone 5G network, offering the same 50Mbps and 100Mbps capped speed tiers. For a AU$10 premium over the 50Mbps plan, we feel the 100Mbps offers the best value at AU$69.99p/m.
The company currently offers the first month of service for free and as with most other telcos, iiNet will charge a no-return fee if you cancel your service and fail to return the modem within 21 days. This is charged at AU$17 per month left on a 36 month period.
Total cost for first 12 months: AU$769.89
What is 5G home internet?
5G home internet works in much the same way as 5G mobile internet. It relies on 5G data signals being sent from antennas to a modem in your home, which receives the signal and sends it out as a Wi-Fi signal. You then connect your devices to the Wi-Fi network in the same way you would if you had an NBN connection.
5G has the capability to support greater capacity and faster speeds than the previous 4G technology, and can even achieve speeds greater than the NBN.
How fast is 5G home broadband?
5G home broadband can theoretically achieve speeds up to 1,000Mbps, although in reality, you're unlikely to experience this. Telstra offers some of the fastest average 5G home broadband download speeds, at 378Mbps. However, the telco says real world speeds can range from anywhere between 50Mbps - 600Mbps.
5G home internet plans may cap speeds at 50Mbps or 100Mbps, but some offer uncapped speeds. The speed you can get will depend on the strength of the network in your area.
Is 5G home internet better than NBN?
While 5G home internet can potentially achieve much faster speeds than NBN, its availability is currently far more limited. However, if 5G home broadband is available in your area, it is much easier to get connected to the internet. You don’t need to have a technician come to your address to install any equipment – instead, when your 5G modem arrives, you just need to plug it in, wait for it to connect to a 5G signal, and you’re done.
So, it’s not necessarily better than NBN, but if you are in an area that can take advantage of 5G, then we recommend it as something to consider.
What is the cheapest 5G home internet?
The cheapest 5G home internet plan in Australia is provided by either TPG, iiNet or Internode. All three telcos currently offer a 5G home internet plan that costs AU$59.99p/m, all of which come with the first month for free.
Optus also currently has a 5G home internet plan that costs AU$59p/m for the first 6 months, before increasing to AU$69p/m.
All four of these 5G plans mentioned have their download speed capped to a maximum of 50Mbps.
When will 5G internet be available in my area?
If you live in one of Australia's major cities, there's a good chance you'll already have access to a 5G network. If you're not currently in an area served by 5G, then you will almost definitely be able to connect to a 4G signal.
The major telcos have all said they're working to make 5G available around the country, but naturally, these things take time. And, to make matters a little more confusing, just because you might be able to get a 5G connection on your smartphone, doesn't mean you will be able to get 5G home internet.
Click the links below to check the current 5G network coverage maps of each 5G home internet provider.