When Is 5G Coming to Australia? (Updated for 2020)

Some Australian cities already have 5G access

Australian 5G networks are popping up already, but most people don't have access just yet, and probably won't until sometime this year. This isn't unique to Australia; several countries have 5G 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. It's 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 this new tech is unfolding around the world with daily updates: 5G: The Latest News & Updates.

5G in Australia

Australia map
Photo by Joey Csunyo on Unsplash

There are three big names to watch when it comes to 5G availability in Australia: Optus, Telstra, and Vodafone. The service that's available to you depends on where you live, whether the carrier has 5G phones yet, and if you want mobile service or just 5G internet at home.

Optus

One 5G network provider in Australia is Optus, the country's second-biggest telecom company. In November 2019, they began offering both a mobile 5G solution and fixed wireless access (FWA) 5G.

From the launch date, there were over 290 5G sites in Sydney, Canberra, Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, NSW, Victoria, and Queensland. Several hundred more are planned for early 2020.

You can order 5G Home Broadband for $70 /month with a 50 Mbps Satisfaction Guarantee, though the average download speed is around 130 Mbps.

See their 5G phones page for an updated listing of their compatible smartphones. Their coverage maps detail where you can get 5G in Australia.

Telstra

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

Some of the Telstra 5G-enabled locations include Queensland, Adelaide, Perth, Canberra, Melbourne, Tasmania, Sydney, Brisbane, Hobart, Launceston, and Toowoomba.

All of those locations have mobile 5G base stations, meaning that the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G and other devices like the HTC 5G Hub, are accessible anywhere there's 5G coverage. Samsung's Galaxy Note10+ 5G and Galaxy A90 5G are some other options, as well as the OPPO Reno 5G and LG V50 ThinQ 5G. See all of their 5G smartphone options for more information.

There are multiple plans you can choose from that work with one of those devices: 80 GB for $65 /month, 120 GB for $85 /month, and 180 GB for $115 /month.

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

Vodafone

Vodafone has partnered with Nokia to provide Vodafone Hutchison Australia customers with 5G services in 2020. The first areas 5G will roll out to include Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Canberra, Perth, the Gold Coast, Newcastle, Central Coast, and Geelong.

Compatible phones include the Samsung Galaxy S20+ 5G and the OPPO Find X2 Lite 5G. See their 5G phones for a complete listing.

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.