Categories: CarriersNews and Editorial
December 12, 2018
| ~ 1 month ago

I signed up for Optus offers 4G Plus Home Broadband, and it’s awesome

By Chris Rowland

After writing about Optus’ new Home Broadband plans last night, I have kept my word and been into Optus today (Hi, Optus Hornsby staff!) and signed up for a new Optus Home Broadband 500GB plan. After an initial bit of confusion (I tried to open a Business account but was told I can’t without a printed letterhead giving me permission to do so … from myself), the sign-up process was painless and easy, and now I’m all set up!

The process is extremely simple, especially compared to signing up with traditional fixed-line broadband providers.

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Here’s how it looks signing up as a brand-new Optus customer – note, if you’re an existing customer, it might be easier still:

  • Provide 100 points of ID (drivers licence, Medicare card, etc)
  • Provide basic details – where you live, your employment, etc
  • Confirm whether you want the 200GB or 500GB plan
  • Confirm whether you want month-by-month (with upfront $192 modem cost) or 24-month plan (no modem cost)
  • Sign on the dotted line
  • Walk out with your new modem

This whole process took about twenty minutes. Upon getting back to your home or office, setting up the modem is equally easy; simply open the bottom of the modem and insert the Optus SIM, power on the modem, and you’re ready to rock and roll.

As you can see, I’ve got the modem set up on my office window, and even here with fairly poor signal, I’m getting some crazy fast speeds out of it:

That’s just shy of 80Mbps downstream, and 5.5Mbps upstream and we’re in a bit of a signal black hole here. Our apartment – where the Optus Home Broadband modem will end up – is four storeys’ high and we generally get excellent mobile signal at home. I’m expecting something a bit quicker still.

In answer to some questions people have asked:

  • Can you use the Optus Home Broadband SIM in your mobile or other device? The answer, it seems, is no. It doesn’t work in my mobile. It looks as if it’ll work in the supplied modem only.
  • Is it speed limited? Only by technical limits rather than any artificially imposed – I’d expect with good signal on a cell tower that isn’t oversubscribed you could easily exceed 100Mbps here.
  • Can you use your Vividwireless modem as a BYO and get a SIM-only option? It appears, for now, the answer is no – this might require some further clarification from Optus.

That said, you probably want to use Optus’ supplied modem instead of something else. It’s a category 6 LTE device which means it’s going to be significantly faster than the Vividwireless modem which is Cat4 LTE only.

Let me know if you’ve got any other questions and I’ll do my best.

Last modified on 18 December 2018 9:07 pm

Chris Rowland

Chris has been at the forefront of smartphone reporting in Australia since smartphones were a thing, and has used mobile phones since they came with giant lead-acid batteries that were "transportable" and were carried in a shoulder bag. Today, Chris publishes one of Australia's most popular technology websites, Ausdroid. His interests include mobile (of course), as well as connected technology and how it can make all our lives easier.

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  • Does the new modem supplied allow you to configure access. Such as restrict certain devices from access to the internet at certain times etc. ?

    • No it doesn't have those kind of parental controls. For that you'll need something else sitting behind it. We use Google WiFi for a mesh network; the Optus modem pretty much just converts between Ethernet and 4G for us, and Google WiFi does all the heavy lifting/rules/etc.

    • Now that it's installed at home, I get pretty consistent bandwidth around the clock - it hovers around 40mbps downstream and 15-20mbps uploads.

  • I bought the modem yesterday. It started off promising with around 40 mbps download, but then deteriorated in the afternoon and night. At one point I was only getting 0.19 mbps download with only one mobile device connected. Meanwhile my phone was consistently hitting 120 mbps download. We are very close to a tower. This morning it started off and 40 mbps again, but has started dropping as the day progresses. Meanwhile the phone is getting 135 mbps. I wasn’t expecting to get the same speeds as the phone, but I’m feeling very disappointed at this point.

    • I have a feeling that the Optus modem definitely isn't as fast as a mobile handset which can probably do carrier aggregation and more. My Mate 20 Pro (with an Optus SIM in it) can easily hit 100mbps, and yet the Optus modem (in the exact same place) sits at about 40mbps.

      I'd certainly prefer 100 ... but 40 is fine. Unlike you Rod I haven't noticed a speed degradation during the day, however .. that's quite concerning. You should get fairly consistent speeds.

  • Thanks Chis. Yes a consistent 40 would be fine, even a 20 would be quite satisfactory. It’s around 10.00am now and i’m down to about 10. My phone is with Amaysim but it’s still Optus. I might take it back to the shop on Monday and see if I can call and chat with their technical support. I tried contacting Optus through ‘live chat’ this morning but it would appear he wasn’t that familiar with the device as his last advice was to locate the reset button under the battery cover 😀. Anyway, reset did nothing.

    It may be a good thing that we haven’t yet cancelled our crappy Optus ADSL service yet. NBN is slowly creeping towards our suburb but we through the 4g service may have been a better alternative to both.

    • Mounting some external Yagi antenna's and have them pointed at a suitable tower will help fix the speed issues

  • Apologies, you’ll all be getting sick of me. I tried changing the modem profile name from Optus Mobile Broadband to Optus Connect. The speed immediately went up to 90 mbps. My happiness was short lived as I’m pretty sure I was just sharing my wife’s mobile data allowance. She only has 512 mb per month (and she doesn’t use that!). She immediately got a text saying her data was nearly all gone.

    Anyway, can anyone explain why there should be this discrepancy between the 4g home broadband plan speeds and normal 4g data speeds. My 500 gb allowance is going to be impossible to use at my current 2 mbps. 🙁

  • Hi Chris. You can do it either through the modem web page http://192.168.8.1/html/mobileconnection.html or the HUAWEI HiLink app.

    BTW - I moved the modem to the furthest point in our house from the mobile tower. For some reason this is getting better reception. On five signal bars I’m now getting between 60 and 80 mbps download. I’m a happy camper again! I suspect if it wasn’t so windy today it may go higher (and fluctuate less).

  • Is there any public way to find out if your closest tower has 2300mhz? Because I've read you will only get decent speeds if this is the case.

    • If you have a Android device download "Aus phone towers"
      This will show you the locations of all yours towers and the frequencies they run off.
      Using the app "opensignal" which is also on the Play store will show you the direction of the tower you are connected too which is helpful if your setting up external antennas.

  • How is this holding up? I signed up last week but am currently overseas so haven't had the chance to test it out.
    I live on a offshore island so will be looking into getting some yagis to get the maximum speed possible.
    I currently have a good ADSL2 connection where I get around 8-15mb down but when testing the 4g with a Optus sim I can pull down 50mb so it was too good to pass up.
    Will be home in a week so will do more testing :)

    • Still holding up fairly well. Have found the local 2300 MHz spectrum is pretty congested, so while I get great 2300 speeds during the day, in the evening the other mobile bands perform better. Still trying to work out the best way to tackle this, but on the whole I'm getting way better than ADSL speeds virtually all the time.

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