Optus has refreshed its 4G home internet plans, giving them unlimited data. The plans previously maxed out at 500GB, so an unlimited allowance could be helpful for more demanding users looking to replace a subpar NBN connection.
The unlimited data allowance comes with a trade-off, however: Optus’ 4G home internet plans now have their download speeds capped to 25Mbps. That makes it similar to an NBN 25 plan, and a good option for one or two people households.
Optus’s 4G home wireless plans are available month-to-month on a 24-month contract. If you opt for the contract-free option, you’ll pay a $216 modem fee on sign-up. Either way, you can currently get your first month for free.
Here are Optus’ 4G home wireless plans:
For those not familiar with the concept, 4G home wireless is an NBN alternative powered by the same mobile networks as our phones. You get a plug-in modem that requires mains power rather than a portable Wi-Fi hotspot, but it’s an internet solution that works straight out of the box. You don’t need a technician to install it.
Here is how Optus’ 4G home wireless broadband plans compare to the competition:
SpinTel is the cheapest 4G home wireless broadband provider at $49.95, but you only get a 500GB allowance. The modem fee is also slightly more expensive, at $230 upfront. The plan does however run at uncapped 4G speeds. Depending on coverage and congestion, between 20Mbps and 50Mbps is a safe estimate.
TPG will do unlimited 4G home wireless internet for $54.99 per month. The catch is your download speeds are limited to 20Mbps, making it a little slower than Optus’ offer. You’ll get your first month free, and if you leave, you can simply return your modem rather than paying a fee.
The same is true for iiNet, Internode and Vodafone 4G home wireless internet, although those three providers are $5 per month more expensive than TPG’s plan. Vodafone is still worth considering if you’re an existing mobile customer, as you’ll save $10 per month on your 4G home internet service.
If you’re looking for an NBN alternative and you’re lucky enough to be in a 5G coverage area, 5G home internet represents a faster option.
Here are the cheapest 5G home internet plans around:
TPG is the cheapest option on the Vodafone network, at $69.99 per month. This plan is capped to speeds of 100Mbps and has unlimited data. You can get your first month free. Vodafone hasn’t provided any meaningful figures about the size of its 5G network.
Optus charges $79 per month for its cheapest plan, which again, is capped to speeds of 100Mbps and comes with your first month free. Optus’ 5G network covers 1.2 million addresses.
Telstra’s sole 5G home internet plan will set you back $85 per month and has a 1TB download allowance. You can also get your first month free. Telstra’s 5G network covers over 75 per cent of the population.
With almost every 5G home internet plan, you can simply cancel your plan and return your modem if it isn’t right for you. If you do so, you won’t pay a cent to leave.
Optus is the only exception, where you’ll get hit with a costly exit fee if you cancel within your first 36 months. This fee is equivalent to $16 for each month left in your three-year term, up to a maximum of $576. The only way you can get out of paying this fee is if you’re experiencing speeds under 50Mbps and Optus can’t help you improve them.
Alex Choros is Managing Editor at WhistleOut, Australia’s phone and internet comparison website.