Broadband & Mobile

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Broadband and Mobile Guides

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If you're confused about broadband and mobile in Australia you've come to the right place. There's a lot of information to learn and understand when it comes to phones, internet, technology, and more.
Below we have compiled all the information you need to know about broadband and mobile in Australia.

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What is the NBN?

The National Broadband Network, or NBN, is an Australia-wide government initiative to upgrade the old and outdated broadband infrastructure such as ADSL with newer, and faster, technologies.

The NBN uses a variety of technologies including fibre, copper telephone wire, cable networks, wireless services, and satellite broadband to deliver high-speed internet to the majority of Australians. Where you live will affect the type of NBN connection you can get which, in turn, affects the broadband speeds you’re able to achieve.

NBN Broadband Speeds Explained

NBN plans are divided into different download speed tiers. Depending on your internet usage habits, certain speeds might be better for your household than others.

Here, you can find a summary of NBN speeds, and what they are best suited for.

NBN Speed Tiers Explained

NBN Speed Tier
Download/Upload Speeds

What Are These Speeds Good For?

NBN 12
  • Household of 1-2 people
  • Low internet users
  • One connected device
  • Browsing the web or social media
NBN 25
  • Household of 1-3 people
  • Low-to-medium internet users
  • Connecting a couple of devices
  • Streaming in standard definition
NBN 50
  • Household of 2-4 people
  • Moderate internet users
  • Streaming, casual gaming
  • Uploading larger files
NBN 100
  • Household of 4+ people
  • Heavy internet users
  • Streaming and gaming in HD
  • Video conferencing
  • Uploading large files
NBN Superfast
  • Large households
  • Heavy internet users and professional gamers
  • Working and studying from home
  • Downloading large files
NBN Ultrafast
  • Large households
  • Professional gamers and in-home small businesses
  • Reliable internet connection 24/7
  • The fastest NBN speed available

Mobile Networks in Australia

While there are dozens of mobile providers in Australia, there are only three mobile networks. No matter who you choose as your mobile provider, your network will either be:

All other providers are what are called Mobile Virtual Network Operators, or MVNOs. Network carriers, like the ones listed above, build and manage the infrastructure needed to connect phones and devices to the mobile network. MVNOs, however, don’t own or manage the infrastructure themselves but rather purchase pieces of the network at wholesale prices and then, in turn, sell it to you as a mobile plan.

When choosing a mobile provider, both network carriers and MVNOs can be equally good choices. If you’re looking for a simple, low-cost, prepaid or postpaid mobile plan, without many bells and whistles, you’re probably better off choosing an MVNO. However, if you want the latest and greatest technology such as 5G, a new device, or bundled home services, you’re probably better off choosing a network carrier as your mobile provider.

Network Coverage in Australia

Not all mobile networks in Australia offer the same degree of coverage. While this shouldn’t affect most Australians who live in major urban areas, those who live in rural or regional Australia should check their network coverage maps before choosing a mobile provider.


The Telstra 3G and 4G mobile network is the most expansive in Australia, covering 99.4% of the population and the chosen network for rural and regional Australians who might not get great reception elsewhere.

Telstra MVNOs, which include Belong, Aldi Mobile, Mate, and Woolworths Mobile, among others, have access to 98.8% of the Telstra network meaning some rural or regional customers might be better off choosing a plan directly from Telstra.

If you’re curious about the Telstra 5G network, it currently covers approximately 75% of the Australian population with over 1.5 million devices already connected to the Telstra 5G network and more and more getting added every week.


The Optus 3G and 4G networks cover around 98.5% of the Australian population, so slightly less than Telstra. However, unlike Telstra, Optus MVNOs get full access to their mobile network. MVNOs on the Optus Network include Amaysim, Aussie Broadband, Circles.Life, Southern Phone, and more.

The Optus 5G network is a bit harder to measure as the provider doesn’t offer an actual percentage. However, the Optus 5G network is available in parts of major cities including Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane & Gold Coast, Perth, Adelaide, and Canberra.


The Vodafone 4G network covers 96% of the Australian population, and has the least expansive coverage of any of the mobile networks. However, all Vodafone MVNOs get access to the full network and include providers such as Kogan Mobile, TPG Group, and Lebara.

The Vodafone 5G network is quickly expanding across Australia, with at least 85% coverage in 10 of Australia’s most populous cities including Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Canberra, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Wollongong, and NSW Central Coast.

5G in Australia

5G is currently being rolled out across Australia, with all three network carriers offering 5G access in some capacity. This not only includes 5G mobile plans but also 5G mobile broadband for tablets, hotspots, and wifi dongles, as well as 5G home wireless broadband.

5G is the latest iteration of the mobile network, offering faster speeds comparable to fibre broadband. Currently, 5G is limited in Australia so it’s best to check the 5G coverage map of your chosen network provider to see if 5G is available where you live.

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