Australian telco Boost Mobile has announced that it will be introducing access to Telstra's 5G network as a standard across all of its plans, starting from April 4, 2023.
The mobile virtual network operator (or MVNO) had previously made 5G speeds available to customers on a trial basis, but now all of its current 4G customers will be receiving access to 5G — so long as they have a 5G-capable handset.
That said, the forthcoming 5G upgrade comes with a rather significant downside — speed caps will now be introduced across Boost Mobile's plans, with the exception of its AU$70 plan, which will continue to provide uncapped download speeds. So even if your 4G Boost Mobile plan was previously uncapped, that's about to change.
The updated plans will see 7-day recharges between AU$5-AU$15 capped at 150Mbps, which is the same speed cap that 28-day recharges between AU$20-AU$40 will receive.
Boost Mobile's 28-day AU$50 plan will be slightly faster, with speeds set to be capped at 250Mbps. However, plans with longer expiry periods of either 6 or 12 months will be capped at 150Mbps.
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Is the upgrade a good thing?
While traditionally wisdom would suggest that upgrading from 4G to 5G is a good thing, that won't necessarily be the case for everyone.
Apart from the fact that most of Boost Mobile's plans will not take advantage of 5G's full speed capabilities (which are said to reach download speeds of 1Gbps), the quality of your connection will depend entirely on how close you are to one of Telstra's 5G towers.
While Boost Mobile's 150Mbps speed cap is slightly faster than what most 4G connections are able to achieve (usually around 100Mbps), 5G connections are less consistent — although the technology's shorter wavelength allows it to transfer more data than a 4G LTE connection, it does so at a trade-off to range, which could mean a slower experience in some situations.
Chances are that most Boost Mobile customers won't notice much of a difference. With that in mind, those who do experience a drop in speed should consider disabling 5G in their phone's connection settings.