How Fast is Mobile Broadband?

Mobile broadband is essential for those who want internet on the go, but how fast is your connection?

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, updated on September 22nd, 2023       

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Mobile broadband has become a ubiquitous and indispensable part of our digital lives, keeping us connected on the go, but have you ever wondered just how fast mobile broadband really is? Whether you're streaming your favourite shows, working from a coffee shop or simply staying connected while travelling, knowing the speed capabilities of mobile broadband can enhance your digital experience.

In Savvy’s comprehensive guide, we delve into the world of mobile broadband speeds and performance, helping you understand what to expect from this versatile technology. Learn more with us today!

How fast are mobile broadband speeds?

Mobile broadband speeds will largely depend on the type of mobile network connection you have. These are:

4G mobile broadband speeds

4G, or fourth-generation mobile networks, are the most widespread and widely available around Australia. These networks can provide theoretical peak download speeds reaching up to 1Gbps in ideal conditions. In practice, however, real-world speeds often range from 12Mbps or less to 100Mbps.

5G mobile broadband speeds

5G is the next leap in mobile technology, promising significantly faster speeds and lower latency. In optimal conditions, 5G can theoretically deliver peak download speeds of up to 20Gbps.

However, this speed isn’t achievable in Australia today. In reality, early 5G deployments have shown that they’re capable of reaching speeds beyond 100Mbps to rival some of the NBN’s higher speed tiers.

This technology is also still in the process of being rolled out, meaning it isn’t available to all Australians, especially those outside major cities.

What factors can affect mobile broadband speeds?

When it comes to mobile broadband, there are several key factors which impact the speeds you’re able to access.

  • Network generation: as mentioned, the generation of the mobile network directly impacts your speeds, with 4G capping out at a lower maximum than 5G.
  • Signal strength: the closer you are to a mobile tower, the stronger your signal, leading to faster speeds. Obstacles like buildings and trees in between you and the tower can weaken signals.
  • Network congestion: during peak usage times or at crowded events, network congestion can slow down speeds as more users share the same bandwidth, which is more prevalent in mobile broadband than fixed line technologies.
  • Device capabilities: the device you use matters. Older devices may not support the latest network technologies, meaning they’re confined to experiencing slower overall speeds even if they’re right next to a 5G tower.
  • Carrier and plan: your mobile carrier and the plan you're on both influence your speeds. Some carriers invest more in network infrastructure, leading to faster speeds.
  • Frequency bands: different frequency bands within 4G and 5G have varying speed and coverage characteristics. Your device and carrier's spectrum allocation impact your speed.

Understanding these factors helps you make the most of mobile broadband, ensuring you get the speed you need for your online activities and lock in the best plan available.

How can I test my mobile broadband speed?

There are numerous online resources which enable you to test your internet connection, including those offered by internet service providers (ISPs). To check the speed you’re receiving on your connection, simply undergo a speed test on a device connected to your mobile broadband. This will give an indication of the upload and download speeds you’re currently experiencing.

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Compare internet plans with Savvy

Regardless of whether you're looking for an internet plan for a one-person household or for your medium to large business, you can compare a range of offers from leading Australian providers side by side with Savvy. Get started with a free, no-obligation quote today!


Savvy is partnered with Econnex Comparison (CIMET Sales Pty Ltd, ABN 72 620 395 726) to provide readers with a variety of internet plans to compare. We do not compare all retailers in the market, or all plans offered by all retailers. Savvy earns a commission from Econnex each time a customer buys an internet plan via our website. We don’t arrange for products to be purchased directly, as all purchases are conducted via Econnex.

Any advice presented above is general in nature and doesn’t consider your personal or business objectives, needs or finances. It’s always important to consider whether advice is suitable for you before purchasing an internet plan. For further information on the variety of internet plans compared by Econnex, or how their business works, you can visit their website.