• 5G modems use MIMO - unlike 4G options
  • What are the Telstra 5G Modems?
  • 5G vs NBN

5G technology is reshaping our Internet experience, offering a wireless alternative that outpaces traditional fixed-line connections like the NBN in speed and convenience. To harness the power of 5G Internet, you'll need a compatible 5G modem. 

Unlike 4G modems, 5G modems use MIMO (multiple input, multiple output) antennas, which feature numerous elements and connections. These antennas enable the modem to receive more data, even with multiple users connected simultaneously, reducing latency while maintaining high throughput.

With the increasing demand for 5G, particularly as more devices become 5G-capable, many Internet users are transitioning to 5G subscriptions from their ISPs. To fully leverage 5G Wi-Fi connectivity, upgrading to a 5G-compatible modem is essential.

What is a 5G modem?

In simple terms, it's a device that connects to a 5G mobile network and then shares that connection with other devices. For instance, your 5G modem might connect to the Internet via the Telstra 5G network, and then your laptop, TV, and game consoles connect to your modem.

There are currently two types of 5G modems available: portable hotspots, also known as pocket Wi-Fi, and more traditional modems that require a wall plug.

Every 5G modem available in Australia also functions as a router. A modem establishes the Internet connection, while a router distributes that connection to various devices in your network. 

Telstra 5G modems available in Australia

Telstra's 5G Wi-Fi Pro

This modem is a must-have if you're considering Telstra's upcoming Triple Play Service, which combines NBN, Foxtel, and Mobile services. 

This powerful router not only supports all your devices at home or in the office but is also one of the first modems in Australia compatible with the full-featured Triple Play Service.

Featuring a Cat 16 modem, the Wi-Fi Pro can reach speeds of up to one gigabit per second. Cat 16 refers to the modems capability for a higher bandwidth. The higher categories not only have access to more bandwidth but also incorporate more advanced technology. 

As a result, you'll notice significantly better speeds when comparing a CAT-4 or CAT-6 device to a CAT-12 device, even when they're on the same network with the same signal strength.

It includes a pre-installed Telstra Smart Modem Gen 2 for automatic backup connections and data usage monitoring.

Netgear Nighthawk M5

For gamers and heavy Internet users, the Netgear Nighthawk M5 is an excellent option. Designed with Quad-Stream Wave-Maxx technology, this modem delivers speeds of up to 500 Mbps download and 200 Mbps upload. 

It boasts a built-in VPN server, four gigabit ethernet ports, and features like MU-MIMO and Beamforming+, all backed by a two-year warranty.

5G Home Modem

Telstra also offers the 5G Home Modem, designed for use with the Telstra Smart Home service. This Wi-Fi-only device enhances local network speed with built-in Telstra Smart Wi-Fi for creating a mesh network. 

Controllable through the Telstra Smart Home App, this modem serves as a central hub for all your smart home devices. It's available with no lock-in contract, offering the option to purchase outright or rent.

Other 5G modems

Nokia FastMile 5G Gateway

A highly sought-after and budget-friendly modem that's compatible with the latest Telstra network is the Nokia FastMile Gateway. This modem is compact, lightweight, and portable, making it ideal for both home and office use.

Capable of supporting speeds of up to 500 Mbps download and 100 Mbps upload, the Nokia FastMile Gateway also features a battery that can last up to six hours. This makes it perfect for individuals on the move who need a quick and convenient way to stay connected to the Internet. 

Whether you're subscribing to an Optus or Vodafone 5G plan, chances are high that you'll be using the Nokia FastMile Gateway modem.

Sagemcom F@st 5866T Home Modem

The Sagemcom F@st 5866T Home Modem is another option you might receive when signing up for a 5G home broadband plan from Vodafone, TPG, or iiNet. 

While you won't be able to choose between this modem and the Nokia FastMile 5G modem, the performance difference between the two should be negligible.

The Sagemcom 5G modem is equipped with Wi-Fi 6, three ethernet ports, and one USB port. It features a tiered light system to indicate signal strength, with yellow lights indicating a 4G connection and green lights indicating 5G.

Inseego 5G MiFi M2000

If you're considering a mobile broadband plan from Telstra MVNO Tangerine, you might be interested in the Inseego 5G MiFi M2000, a conventional portable hotspot.

This device can support up to 30 devices and features Wi-Fi 6, a 2.4-inch touchscreen, and a battery that reportedly lasts up to 24 hours.

Purchasing the Inseego 5G MiFi M2000 from Tangerine will cost you $599. While you can only buy it outright, the device is unlocked, allowing you to use it with other providers.

Is 5G going to replace the NBN?

5G home Internet presents a great option for those who aren't happy with their NBN service or seeking faster speeds at a lower cost. Most 5G home Internet plans boast unlimited data, mirroring NBN offerings, and deliver speeds of at least 50Mbps.

However, 5G home Internet is unlikely to fully supplant the NBN. Fixed-line networks like the NBN offer superior capacity compared to wireless 5G networks, making them more resilient against congestion. Telstra, for instance, restricts the number of 5G home Internet services per postcode to maintain optimal performance for all users.

For households, 5G mobile broadband plans with fixed data limits, such as those from Telstra and Optus, may not be sufficient as an NBN alternative. Telstra's plans cap at 400GB, while Optus offers a single plan capped at 20GB. Although Optus does not charge for excess data, speeds reduce to 1.5Mbps after reaching the data limit.

What if you don't have a 5G modem?

While 5G Wi-Fi modems are limited in Australia, you can use your 5G smartphone as a hotspot, though this may drain your battery. 

Consider your data allowance when using mobile 5G. If your area lacks 5G coverage, investing in a 5G modem may not be practical. However, if 5G is available and you need wireless Internet, look for providers offering free 5G modems, but be aware of any contract requirements.

Need help with finding the best wireless Internet plan in your area? We’re here to help. Call us at Compare Broadband and our friendly experts are on the line to answer your questions.