Telstra’s is rejigging its T22 mobile plans from 1 July. It has increased the price, data allowances and 5G is now part of its ‘Medium’ plan and above (was to be a $15 per month premium).
It is hard to get excited at any Telco announcement because, in the end, only those that are loyal will stick around and pay premium prices. The majority will go to MVNOs like Woollies, Boost and Aldi (ironically using the Telstra network) to get far cheaper plans and realistic data allowances. Some even give you 10% off your one monthly grocery shop and roll-over unused data banks making mobile phone virtually free.
So here is what you get on Telstra’s new T22 mobile plans from 1 July 2020
Formerly $50/30GB, $60/60GB, $80/100GB and $100/150GB with a $15 loading for 5G access from 1 July.
Just to explain a few terms
Telstra has about 1500 sub-6GHZ 5G Non-Stand-Alone (NSA) towers. NSA uses existing 3/4G infrastructure like towers and backhaul to deliver well under sub-Gigabit speeds (30-250Mbps – typically very little more than 4GX). And it often drops back to 4G or even 3G if the signal strength is inadequate.
But remember that Telstra has over 8,000 3/4G towers. That 5G sub-6Ghz NSA (or FR1 bands) has a line-of-sight transmission radius of about 1000 metres – 4G can extend several kilometres radius from the tower. There are experiments with different antennas that may give 5G sub-6Ghz NSA a range of a few kilometres.
By comparison, the mmWave 5G version (FR2 bands in limited test in Australia) has a maximum distance of about 300 metres. That is why you will eventually see a small cell antenna on every lamp post.
But then you need a 5G enabled phone, and these also have limits on the signal strength they can receive.
Our advice remains that unless you a) can get 5G reception, b) have a strong use case and c) can get a 5G phone for the same price as a 4G one then you should not consider 5G for a few years yet because the goal-post will keep moving.