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.