Optus is beefing up its wireless home internet efforts, with a pair of bigger and better 5G broadband plans soon set to arrive – and they both give the NBN alternatives a serious run for their money.
The two news plans will join Optus' existing AU$70-per-month 5G broadband offering and are, respectively, the 5G Internet Everyday plan at AU$75 a month, and the 5G Internet Entertainer plan at AU$90 a month.
While wireless broadband might not initially sound exciting in the age of fibre NBN connections, those prices are pretty killer when you consider the 5G download speeds that come along with them.
Optus says the AU$90 plan should offer an average download speed of 214Mbps during the peak evening period. On NBN that price would usually only buy you an 100Mbps plan, and the evening speeds on that tier sit at around 80 to 85Mbps, so if the claims are accurate, Optus 5G should gives you over 2.5 times the speed.
While the actual speed you get will vary dependent on your proximity to 5G equipment and factors like how many other users are connected in your area, we've seen reports of Optus 5G home broadband users getting up to 400Mbps download speeds, so Optus' claim of 214Mbps during peak doesn't seem too far fetched.
If that plan's too dear, Optus’ AU$75 plan will offer maximum speeds of up to 100Mbps, and the telco has put forward an estimated download speed of 85Mbps during the busy evening hours, matching what you get with NBN100 for a fair bit less.
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As mentioned, these 5G fixed wireless plans aren’t the first from Optus. The telco launched one 5G broadband plan late last year, priced at AU$70 a month with unlimited downloads and an average speed of 50Mbps during peak. While the latter still holds up well against current NBN50 plans, these two new 5G offerings finally give NBN100 connections – and even arguably newer 250Mbps or 1000Mbps NBN ones – some serious competition.
NBN250 plans, for example, typically start at about AU$120 a month and get you average peak speeds of about 200Mbps, while the standard for NBN1000 plans is around AU$149 for peaks speeds of 250Mbps. When you stack those prices up against Optus’ faster 5G home broadband service, at 214Mbps for AU$90, it's easy to see how people could be tempted away from the NBN.
Of course, the big caveat is coverage. While Optus has significantly grown its network since that first 5G home broadband plan went live, it's still only going to be available to users who live in areas well-serviced by Optus 5G – the major metropolitan areas of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Canberra, for example.
To make its 5G home broadband plans a little more tempting, Optus is offering the first month of access for free, and the AU$75 Internet Everyday plan will be available from tomorrow, September 11, while Optus has said that the AU$90 plan will arrive sometime later this year.