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5G vs NBN Speed & Cost | Is the NBN being replaced already?

At the same time that the NBN is completing its 11-year-long rollout across the country, the 5th Generation mobile technology (5G) network is becoming accessible too. The NBN [link to What is the NBN blog] cost almost $50 billion and is accessible to the majority of Australians. And yet, it could be eclipsed by newer 5G technology in the coming years.

But how likely is this to happen? Is the 5G network better than the NBN in price and speed? What’s so different about 5G compared to its forerunner, 4G? Here’s everything you need to know about the introduction of the 5G network to the Australian Internet landscape.

Which is Cheaper?

What makes 5G home wireless Internet connection such a weighty competitor to the NBN is that it is not much more expensive. In fact, it could even be the cheaper option.

Optus, for example, offers an unlimited data monthly 5G mobile plan for $70 a month. This plan comes with a very respectable minimum speed of 50Mbps too. For the same features through an NBN plan, also offered by Optus, your monthly fee would be more expensive at $85 a month.

However, 5G home wireless plans are not always the cheaper option. With prices varying between providers and plans, 5G and NBN are, for the most part, priced very similarly.

Which is Faster?

They are, however, markedly dissimilar in speed [link to What is a Good Internet speed blog] with 5G technology coming out the clear victor.

Optus have advertised an average download speed of 100Mbps for their first commercial home wireless 5G plan. That makes the average download speed of the 5G plan equal to the maximum download speeds available in most plans through the NBN.

On a limited number of connections, the NBN can potentially reach speeds of 1Gbps, but these plans are costly and not widely accessible. On the other hand, 5G technology boasts the capability to reach speeds of 1Gbps during peak times with theoretical potential to offer speeds of up to 20Gbps.

On the basis of speed, 5G technology looks ready to revolutionise Australia’s Internet.

What About Reliability?

It is not clear which Internet source will provide more a more reliable connection or more consistent speeds. Both are affected by network congestion. For 5G networks, the strength of your signal will play a part in determining the connection’s reliability. Meanwhile, for the NBN, the quality of your modem and the type of connection you have will influence the reliability.

Why Isn’t Everyone Using 5G?

The 5G network is still in early stages, which means it’s not widely available. Australia’s major metro areas likely already have access to 5G mobile network plans but in comparison to the NBN, its availability is very scant.

While the potential of 5G is exciting, it is yet to be fully realised. This means it is too early to eliminate the NBN from the fight.

Find out if you are one of the lucky Australians with early access to 5G mobile plans by talking to our experts at Compare & Connect today. With Telstra and Optus already offering 5G home wireless plans, it is possible to make the switch from the NBN today. Discovering the very best Internet and phone plan fo

Sally Writes 16 Dec 2020