Thursday, 04 November 2021 12:03

Telstra's 5G Home and Business plans: 1TB at 378Mbps speeds on average, then unlimited at up to 25Mbps download, 5Mbps upload speeds Featured

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It's not evident on Telstra Exchange blog post or its information pages for the 5G Home Internet and 5G Business Internet pages, but in the Critical Information Summary is the good news that downloads after 1TB continue at a still decent "up to 25mbps", which is a welcome jump from 1.5Mbps speeds on mobile plans, but is 5G Home or Business Internet available in your area yet?

Great news - Telstra 5G internet service is here at last, for homes and businesses - but it's not unlimited at whatever the maximum speed achievable is, as is the case with the Optus and Vodafone 5G Home Internet plans, and with Voda and Optus both offering cheaper plans that are still three to four times faster than Telstra's 25Mbps capped download speeds after 1TB is downloaded (with uploads counting towards the download limit).

iTWire colleague David M Wiliams wrote about yesterday's announcement here, in an article titled "Telstra unveils $85 1TB 5G home and business Internet service" and which Telstra's Global Connectivity and Platform Products Lead, Sanjay Nayak, wrote about at the Telstra Exchange blog post titled: "Ridiculously fast 5G Home & Business Internet is here."

Now, Telstra's 5G network is definitely bigger than that of Optus or Vodafone, but not everywhere that has 5G mobile coverage available is able to get Telstra 5G Home and Business Internet just yet. Even Telstra says its 5G Home and Business rollout is for a "limited number of services avaialble per post code", so the 5G service isn't flooded and presambly capacity can be managed and maintained, and presuambly as capacity grows, more people will be able to join the service.

My address in Canberra has great Telstra 5G mobile coverage, but isn't yet eligible for the Telstra 5G Home and Business Internet service. Meanwhile, my sister's address in Sydney does say coverage is available. Other addresses I tested in Canberra with great 5G mobile didn't have service for the 5G Home or Business service.

Vodafone and Optus don't have 5G Home Internet coverage in all the addresses I checked just now, although my sister's place is one dark pixel of 5G coverage away on the map, and comes up on Optus as not being available, but seeing as she lives on the top floor, when I took the Optus 5G Home Internet modem I was testing to her place, downloads of 200 to 300Mbps were the norm, so there is fortuitous coverage out there but Australians await ever more 5G to be rolled out, even as that continues happening, faster with Telstra, and more slowly with Optus and Vodafone.

So, if you ARE in an area with Optus and Vodafone 5G Home Internet coverage, they have unlimited downloads at either around 100Mbps, or also at maximum 5G speeds at $89 with Optus and $85 per month with Vodafone, and represent better value than Telstra.

However, if you have Telstra 5G Home or Business Internet available, you still get 1TB of combined downloads and uploads, and then up to 25Mbps downloads and an as yet indeterminate number of Mbps up-to upload speeds. I have asked the question, so will update here hopefully soon.

The answer has been received - it's 5Mbps, which is what I expected would be the number. This too will hopefully speed up in the future on Telstra before a presumed inevitable shift to unlimited data in the next couple of years was introducwed for competitive reasons, and because Optus and Vodafone already offer that today, but with smaller and much smaller 5G footprints. 

Telstra will also presumably be forced by competition to increase its downloads speeds after 1TB (or a future higher amount is reached) from the current 25Mbps to double, or quadruple - or simply offer an unlimited service as does Optus and Vodafone.

On Telstra's Critical Information Summary or CIS, for its Home and Business 5G plans, has a section which states:

"Data Allowance

"Once you exceed your included data allowance, your speed will be capped at 25Mbps download, and slowed further in busy periods. 25Mbps is suitable for small households with 1-3 people using multiple connected devices. It will allow simultaneous streaming of multiple standard Definition (480p) videos, emails, web browsing and social media. Or streaming of a single High Definition (1080p) video, if there are no other online activities. You will not have the option to purchase more data or top up with this plan."

So, it's great to see Telstra 5G Home and Internet service arrive, even if in an obviously more limited area than the entire 5G footprint, and even with its limits, because the age of 5G in ever more places has just taken yet another leap forward.

We even have the timeline Telstra has shared on how this service will expand as part of its T25 announcement, presumably to moderate demand and keep people on fixed NBN services which are getting ever faster at 250Mbps, 500Mbps and up to 1Gbps speeds, with Telstra stating:

"We want to make sure our customers have a great experience, so we’ve developed a comprehensive service qualification that checks things like capacity and strength of Telstra 5G signal. Over the next 3-5 years, we will continue rolling out Telstra 5G and the doubling of metro cells to increase density for greater capacity and speed."

In the meantime, Optus and Vodafone have a lot more 5G rollouts to do, too, so 2025 will really be the year of 2025G, and in the meantime, ever more places are getting 5G cell tower upgrades, ever more 5G phones and tablets are available, ever more mmWave 5G is being rolled out and ever more competition is entering the market, set to also be disrupted by various satellite broadband services going online this decade, with Starlink already here for months in beta form.

The future of connectivity looks bright, at long last, with NBN upgrades aplenty to come, and tons more 5G too, and the age of ubiquitous connectivity will be even more entrenched and intertwined with our lives than it is now, with augemnted reality glasses of the 2nd and even 3rd generations expected by then, too. 

It's an exciting time to be alive - and by then, let's hope we really are finally in the post-COVID era!


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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