Opinion

Australian 5G speeds – truth revealed

Australian 5G speed
SBA

Opensignal has completed a quarterly survey of real Australian 5G speeds. If you can get 5G, the results are not bad – an average of 240.0Mbps, still well short of the Telco’s hype.

There are two issues for Australian 5G speeds. The primary is that despite Telstra insistence that it covers 50% of Australians and 75% of the population by the end of June, it does not! nPerf (based on real 5G user’s) shows minimal reception.

The second is real download and upload speed. While the average is 240.9/15.5Mbps Mbps, it is well short of Telstra’s hype – so fanciful we won’t embarrass it by mentioning it’s up to 20Gbps claim debacle when first introduced.

Opensignal also measures user experience, and that is not great news for 5G owners.

The difference between 4G and 5G users video streaming experience is pretty marginal. Based on Opensignal’s scale (75 is excellent), 5G users rate it at 81.5 and 4G users at 75.4. Similarly, for games, it is 84.5 and 76.7.

GadgetGuy’s take

5G is inevitable, but I wish they would fix 3 and 4G first. All GadgetGuy has ever asked of Telstra is to tell the unvarnished truth about 5G speeds and coverage. First, stop using the words ‘population coverage’ – it is misleading. Telstra refers to where most people live, not the Australian continent. If you are outside the capital or regional cities, you will wait a long time to see 5G.


Telstra uses the euphemistic term population coverage. Looking at nPerf’s map, there are so many black spots that surely the primary aim should be to get at least a reliable 3/4G service there. There are tens of thousands of people that suffer unusable phone reception, some even living in the heart of major cities. And Telstra, in particular, denies its MVNOs (except Boost) access to VoLTE and VoWi-Fi that could alleviate coverage issues, at least in the home.

Second, Telstra 5G is simply cheap, slow, sub-6Ghz 5G bolted onto the 4G network. Sure, when Telstra, Optus, Vodafone, et al., roll out the 69GHz mmWave, we may start to see genuine speed improvements, but it has a whole raft of coverage issues too.

We support 5G as a logical progression, just as 4K is the logical progression from 1080p TVs. 4K took off when the price reduced to the same as 1080p, but the industry was smart. Despite very little native 4K content, 4K will upscale the image to 4K to get the best possible picture regardless of whether you only get a 4870/576/1080 TV image to start.