- Is 5G comparable to the NBN?
- How fast Is 5G?
- Is 5G cheaper than the NBN?
5G offers faster Internet on your phone, improving download speeds, streaming, and device connectivity. It's a step up from 4G, making your mobile experience better. However, not all areas have 5G yet, and not all devices work with it.
Fast becoming accessible to more customers than ever before, the 5G network is shaping up to be another viable option in Australia’s growing Internet landscape.
But what exactly is the 5G mobile network and how does it compare to the NBN?
What is 5G?
5G marks the newest advancement in mobile networks, following in the footsteps of 4G. Its primary goal is to enhance mobile data services, offering three key benefits: faster Internet speeds, reduced latency, and increased simultaneous connections.
Let's briefly explore these major improvements promised by 5G:
As per the information from providers, the 5G mobile network can offer download speeds up to 20Gbps.
The actual speeds may vary based on the service provider and connected devices, but individual 5G users are expected to experience a minimum download speed of 100Mbps. To put it in perspective, the quickest NBN speed is considered the minimum for 5G.
Latency is the time it takes for information to travel from a mobile phone to the Internet and back. In a 4G network, this typically takes around 60 milliseconds, but in a 5G network, it's reduced to just 1 millisecond.
This faster transmission is beneficial for technologies like autonomous vehicles, making the exchange of information much more efficient.
More simultaneous connections
Australia's existing infrastructure accommodates multiple connections through modems. However, 5G networks can support even more devices simultaneously without slowing down the Internet speed for everyone.
This makes it well-suited for smart homes, self-driving cars, security systems, and other Internet of Things devices.
Comparing the 5G network and the NBN
While we've highlighted the positive aspects of the 5G mobile network, it doesn't necessarily mean you should rush into abandoning your NBN upgrade plans. It's essential to consider all your options.
While both 5G and NBN plans boast high-speed capabilities, the actual performance is contingent on various real-world factors.
5G home Internet has the potential to reach speeds as high as 1Gbps, but achieving a constant experience depends on favourable coverage conditions. Realistically, telecommunications companies are pledging speeds around 225Mbps to 250Mbps for uncapped plans.
Opting for a capped 5G home Internet plan will impose speed limitations, capping it at either 50Mbps or 100Mbps.
Upgrading to 5G is generally affordable and may even be cheaper than current plans. As providers introduce 5G home broadband plans with speed tiers similar to the NBN, ranging from 50Mbps to uncapped options, capped 5G plans align well with NBN counterparts.
NBN plans might seem cheaper, but 5G can be more budget-friendly in the long run, especially with NBN 50 plans facing price hikes. While NBN 100 and NBN 250 plans are becoming more affordable, a 50Mbps 5G plan is often a cost-effective choice.
Consider switching NBN plans with introductory offers every six months for maximum savings, or opt for the generally better value offered by 5G.
Reliability varies based on the network you're using. For NBN, concerns revolve around congestion, modem quality, and the connection type.
5G reliability is likely influenced by signal strength, network congestion, and the specific 5G frequency used. While speedy downloads are possible where 5G is available, it's crucial to consider these environmental factors. Keep in mind that 5G, being a wireless network, may face more congestion compared to NBN.
NBN has reached millions of subscribers across Australia, laying out extensive fibre optic cables, and installing radio towers and satellite dishes in rural areas to maximise Internet accessibility.
Not everyone has access to 5G. Telstra boasts the broadest 5G network, covering 85% of the population. Optus offers 5G home Internet to over 1.6 million addresses, and Vodafone has upgraded more than 2,500 network towers.
In terms of setup, 5G has an advantage over NBN. With 5G home wireless, you simply need to buy a wireless modem, plug it into a power outlet, and connect to the network.
NBN involves a fixed-line connection that requires the installation of physical lines connecting your premises to a nearby fibre node or wireless device.
5G plans and providers
Will 5G make 4G obsolete?
No need to worry. 5G is rolling out, but it's actually making 4G better. Even with both 4G and 5G around, 3G devices still work in some places.
If you're using 4G, there's no rush to buy a new device. You can keep enjoying mobile games and Internet browsing with your current 4G device.
5G is still spreading globally, and it will take time. Some areas don't have 5G yet, so there's no hurry to get a 5G device.
Even when 5G is everywhere, 4G will still be around until 2030. 5G is meant to work with 4G, not replace it. The end of 4G is unclear and might not happen soon. Plus, in areas without 5G, 5G devices can still use 4G for the Internet.
Can 5G replace the NBN?
5G stands apart from the NBN and serves as an alternative method for Internet access.
While 5G might be a preferable choice for some, it doesn't replace the NBN. Both technologies will coexist for an extended period, catering to diverse user needs and preferences.