When Is 5G Coming to Australia? (Updated for 2019)

Some Australian cities already have 5G access

Australia map

Photo by Joey Csunyo on Unsplash

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Australian 5G networks are popping up already, but most people don't have access just yet, and probably won't until later in 2019 or in 2020. This isn't unique to Australia; several countries have 5G as of 2019, but coverage is still a fraction of that provided by 4G.

If you're not familiar, 5G is the next upgrade to mobile networks following 4G. 5G is many times faster than 4G and opens up lots of new opportunities like smart cities and farms, and untethered AR and VR experiences.

Whether you're waiting for 5G in Australia or elsewhere, you can stay current with how 5G is unfolding around the world with daily updates: 5G: The Latest News & Updates.

5G in Australia

There are three big names to watch when it comes to 5G availability in Australia: Optus, Telstra, and Vodafone. Current predictions put 5G in Australia as soon as this year, but the service available to you depends on where you live, whether the carrier has 5G phones yet, and if you want mobile 5G or just 5G internet at home.

Optus

One 5G network provider in Australia is Optus, the country's second-biggest telecom company. Instead of offering a mobile 5G solution, Optus is starting off with fixed wireless access (FWA).

Optus' 5G home broadband service costs $70 per month with unlimited data and guaranteed speeds of at least 50 Mbps. Included in the plan is Nokia's FastMile 5G modem.

The 5G FWA service from Optus is available to select customers in Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, and other areas, but the company plans to roll out over 1,000 5G sites by March 2020 across the ACT, Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, and Western Australia, too. You can see areas where Optus 5G is enabled for specifics.

Following their 5G FWA rollout, Optus plans to add mobile 5G sites to increase capacity and speed in highly populated locations. See their 5G products page for an updated listing of their 5G phones.

Telstra

Before 2019, Telstra had made 5G technology available to over 200 locations, including not only every single major city in Australia but also some less popular locations.

All of those locations have mobile 5G base stations, meaning that the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G and other 5G devices like the HTC 5G Hub, are accessible anywhere there's 5G coverage. Samsung's Galaxy Note10+ 5G and the LG V50 ThinQ 5G are other 5G phones available on Telstra's 5G network.

There are multiple plans you can choose from: 3 GB /month for $142, 20 GB /month for $146, 50 GB /month for $150, 60 GB /month for $160, or unlimited data for $199 /month.

Customers can use the 5G hub through one of these Telstra 5G plans: 25 GB for $70 /month, 60 GB for $94 /month, or 100 GB for $104 /month.

The first Telstra 5G customer was FKG Group in Toowoomba through the use of the HTC 5G Hub.

Vodafone

Vodafone plans to give Australia 5G services in 2020.

Australian MVNO Networks

If you get service from a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO), you might have to wait even longer for 5G because those operators buy their access from other telecom companies, a process which might not meet up with the parent company's 5G timetable.

For example, Woolworths Mobile, Boost Mobile, Belong, and ALDImobile are on the Telstra network; Hello Mobile, KISA Phone, and Kogan Mobile with Vodafone; and amaysim, iPrimus, and Exetel use the Optus mobile network.