The world of 5G has arrived in Australia, and that means faster mobile internet, among other things. But will it cost extra?
This week, the next step in mobile communications will be accessible by people in Australia, and provided you have the right phone or mobile broadband modem, you can connect.
You’ll need a new 5G-capable phone if you want to connect to those new networks offering those high speeds, and there will be a few of those on the way, such as the previously announced Samsung Galaxy S10 5G. Once you have one, however, a 5G-enabled telco should let you log on to the 5G technology provided you’re in an area where it’s supported.
At launch in Australia, the widest support in 5G for Telstra is in Queensland, which is where Telstra has been testing quite a bit of 5G, running the technology in Brisbane, the Gold Coast, and Toowoomba.
Outside of Queensland, pockets of Adelaide, Canberra, Hobart, Launceston, Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney have access to 5G, though it’s worth checking Telstra’s map to find out where those places are at launch.
But while you can find places to run 5G on Telstra at launch, will it cost you any extra to do so?
Will 5G be an extra charge?
For the moment, Telstra is advising that 5G will be free “for a minimum of 12 months”, which the company says will give everyone with a compatible device “the opportunity to try 5G when they are in a 5G coverage area”.
However after the free trial period ends — which could be 12 months or longer — Telstra says customers “will have the option of adding 5G connectivity for $15 a month”.
As to whether that will pan out, that’s something that remains to be seen. In fact, by the time next year (2020) rolls around, it’s possible that 5G connectivity will be a little more common, and Telstra won’t end up charging for the service in the end.
Right now, however, 5G is free. From 2020 onwards, that may change.