• Telcos like Optus, Telstra, and TPG are currently deploying their 5G networks and are planning to cover a significant number of Australian homes by the end of 2021.
  • As Australians become more mobile, the 5G network seems to be an appealing option that would allow them to move from fixed to wireless broadband.
  • Following the aggressive deployment of 5G, the NBN could be facing a more credible threat.

The government has declared the NBN rollout complete late in 2020, providing access to the network for more than 10 million homes and establishments in Australia. Almost half a million of the number are connected via fixed wireless and satellite, and rival telcos are constantly seeking to win over customers with a reliable connection and competitive prices. 

While it is the case, the NBN technology has rather been patchy and there is a growing pool of alternatives from different providers with which they can upgrade their internet connection. Among this selection is the new 5G broadband. 

What is 5G? 

Major telcos in Australia have started rolling out 5G home broadband and it’s regarded as a serious rival against the government-operated NBN network. It is advertised as the next generation in mobile technology, promising to deliver faster-than-ever speeds, lower latency, and more simultaneous connections. 

Telcos like Optus, Telstra, and TPG are currently deploying their 5G networks and are planning to cover a significant number of Australian homes by the end of 2021. While the network is best known for providing mobile data services, it is capable of delivering internet to homes as well through home wireless plans. With regards to the question of which delivers better internet connection, the answer boils down to factors including cost, availability, data allowances, and speed. 

5G vs NBN: Which is Better for Home Internet? 

5G is a strong competitor against NBN, largely owing to its affordable rates, big data allowances, and faster download speeds. For example, Optus offers a 5G home wireless plan with download speeds that can stretch up to 239Mbps. It costs $90 a month, the same cost as the average NBN plans that offer 50-100Mbps download speeds. 

As Australians become more mobile, the 5G network seems to be an appealing option that would allow them to move from fixed to wireless broadband. This would not only provide them with data on the go but faster speeds and network access—even in remote locations—as well. 

With these factors considered, it appears that 5G is the obvious winner. But, while it has so much more to offer than any other NBN bundles, you should take note that the network is still in its early stages and the promised internet speed of up to 259Mbps is quite a tall order that remains dependent on factors like signal strengths, congestion, and service provider. 

Plus, there’s also the issue of data allowances. While the amount of data inclusions for wireless offerings has been growing, it’s currently usually less than 200GB per month. This is in contrast to most fixed-line services that usually include unlimited data and bundle other services like phone calls and entertainment. 

The Future of Mobile Internet 

The largely available mobile broadband network—4G is already providing fast and reliable internet and is already a strong competitor to the NBN. But, following the aggressive deployment of 5G, the NBN could be facing a more credible threat. This is particularly true as the latter is constantly hounded by issues of overpricing and underperforming services. 

As we aggressively shift to mobile devices, there may well be a migration from NBN to the 5G network, and the future of the internet will rely on fast and reliable mobile connections. But, its extent remains uncertain at this early stage where its success is largely dependent on how it will be deployed. In the meantime, instead of looking at them as competitors, you can look at these networks as complementary to one another.