+ Friday September 20th, 2019

The time is finally here – Optus has commenced taking orders for home 5G broadband services, and there’s a great little surprise here for us all. These plans offer unlimited data.

Optus’ surprising offer kicks off at $70 a month on either month-by-month plans or a 24 month plan. Opt for the monthly plan, and you pay a $200 connection/setup fee, and if you opt for a 24-month plan, you get free setup. Both monthly and 24-month customers will receive a bonus free month of service.

Regardless of the plan option, customers benefit from a network satisfaction guarantee, which will allow cancellation of the service at no charge if speeds of 50mbps are not possible.

Optus won’t be drawn on what speeds will be offered, but the 50mbps network satisfaction guarantee is a pretty good indicator of where this service should fall. While 5G can theoretically deliver speeds of 2gbps or more, given this is an unlimited plan, you’d have to expect that likely speeds are going to be much closer to the 50mbps mark.

Initially, Optus will offer a professional setup option to help customers make the most of available 5G coverage in their homes. There’s also a self-install option, but unlike 4G (which kind of works just about everywhere regardless of placement), 5G is a bit more fickle, and Optus’ 5G modem has some coloured lights to help you find the ideal placement in your home.

Customers can check their address on the Optus 5G Home Broadband page to see if they’re in a coverage area.

There’s only a couple of catches.

The main one is an obvious one – no plan is truly unlimited. Optus’ Critical Information Summary makes clear that this plan is subject to Optus’ Fair Go policy. In other words, it’s unlimited provided your use is fair and reasonable – if you’re using it to download Linux ISOs flat out for an entire month, you can imagine that your service might not last for long.

Another catch – if you sign up and move, the 5G plan may not move with you, depending on coverage. You may be required to take up a different service (with different terms, basically). On the 24-month plan, there’s a maximum $450 cancellation fee, but it decreases for every month you stay on the plan.

Probably the main thing to note is for those living in apartment complexes – just because your building is in a coverage area doesn’t mean your apartment will have great reception. It may be that some units in a complex will be suitable and others will not, depending on aspect, height above ground, etc.

All in, this is a great development, and shows the increasing confidence our carriers have in offering 5G services to consumers. Optus’ pricing is also very, very sharp, and $70 a month for unlimited data at 50mbps is cost-competitive with the NBN fixed-line services as well.

Chris Rowland   Managing Editor

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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Judith Anne
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Judith Anne

STOP 5G roll-out UNTIL you (Optus) have the guts to unequivocally declare that you guarantee the 5G infrastructure and network will NOT cause harm to human health and the environment. And point to INDEPENDANT studies which have been thoroughly and rigorously conducted WITHOUT industry or government intervention or influence which proves this.

Until then I DO NOT CONSENT to you or any other telco rolling out 5G infrastructure and hold the individuals of your and other telco’s responsible and to account.

Lozza
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Lozza

Telstra tells me I have to have NBN to continue a landline….my neighbour who is with Optus and wants to keep her landline has received no such message. Any thoughts

Daniel Gray
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Daniel Gray

If only it won’t take 2 -4 years to get rolled out.

Brainbeat
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Brainbeat

Any idea how fast the uplink might be at 50mbps? I am still stuck on ADSL2+ until Jan-March according to NBN Co so this could be a nice bridge until that is ready. I just hope is it at least 20mbps up.

5niggaHertz
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5niggaHertz

If your place has Optus Cable I suggest use that in meantime

Ray Wells
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There goes NBN. Nice knowing you!

Thank you to our government for wasting billions on a half-baked, archaic network that probably wont even see out a decade.

Luke Roberts
Ausdroid Reader

Ahhh…no. Fixed lines are always, pound for pound, faster, more reliable and more scalable than wireless options. In addition, speed is only one component, bandwidth is the other. 4G already offers, in most areas, speeds faster than current NBN offerings… but the network crashes when loaded up as the bandwidth available on mobile networks is VASTLY smaller than fixed. These wonderful speeds are only experienced precisely because the majority of data usage is carried on fixed networks. There is no way the telcos would invest in the required infrastructure in all areas to support wholesale mobile internet at acceptable speeds… Read more »

Anonymous
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Anonymous

It’s great except for being with Huawei

Bert Paton
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Bert Paton

Except its not

5niggaHertz
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5niggaHertz

Not what?

Bert Paton
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Bert Paton

Not with Huawei

Paul
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Paul

Optus are using Nokia in NSW

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