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Optus to “boost” customer mobile, NBN speeds… kind of

If you subscribe to Optus and are after faster speeds either on your phone or at home, there may be an option, though it does come with a catch or two.

Speed can make or break your internet experience depending on what you’re doing, and getting more isn’t always easy. Typically it comes from paying more, but adding to your monthly costs isn’t something we’re all game to do in a big way, especially when budgeting becomes more important during a cost of living crisis.

Unfortunately, that could mean living with a slower speed on your connection because it’s more cost effective, limiting your speed somewhat.

Optus may have a solution for its subscribers looking for a temporary burst of speed, though it does come with a caveat or two, and it mightn’t be that good of a deal depending on the situation.

It’s called a “Boost”, with Optus offering both a “Mobile Boost” and “Internet Boost”, and it has nothing to do with the telco Boost (which operates on the Telstra network, not Optus).

The idea is fairly simple: you can opt for an Optus “boost” to improve the speed of your mobile or internet connection for a short time, getting you more speed for those downloads.

On mobile, a boost will work for one hour, unlocking the maximum speed available to the phone dependent on where it is, while a boost on an Optus internet connection will last 24 hours.

In theory, that might sound like a win-win, getting you more speed dependent on what you’re doing, but there are some catches.

With the internet boost, Optus will charge $5 for every 24 hours you need the boost for, and it will be as fast as your connection can allow. This should mean if your connection can support gigabit speeds, you’re able to get up to 1000Mbps for $5 for 24 hours.

Over on mobile, things get a little more tricky, partly because your speeds will vary based on distance to an antenna, device, network activity, and potentially other factors. In short, you might choose to boost your mobile speed using an Optus boost, but the reality is you mightn’t get any speed boost whatsoever.

Unsurprisingly, an Optus Boost wouldn’t improve your network reception, with the telco telling Pickr that:

If you use Mobile Boost in low reception areas, Mobile Boost will not improve your reception, but you will receive priority when you are on the network.

It means if you don’t have a lot of reception or are in a black spot at the time you’re boosting your connection, you won’t likely see any speed improvements.

Optus also notes that customers will be offered five free one-hour mobile boosts per month, and after the launch, it will charge $2 an hour for subsequent mobile boosts, though may change this based on feedback.

As for value, we’re not sure there’s much on the mobile speed, especially since Optus can’t guarantee speeds on its mobile network whatsoever. That would be the same for most telcos, with Telstra 5G customers often limited to 4G speeds depending on where they use their phones (including this writer).

However, the idea of temporarily boosting NBN speeds for an inexpensive price might win over some people, particularly if they have some big downloads to get through or plan on doing a lot of gaming or streaming.

Optus customers can expect both of these to launch shortly from within the My Optus app.

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