Thinking of Ditching NBN & Relying on 4G

Live in suburban Brisbane with good 4G reception. 200GB downloads a month is ample for us. Cost of 4G is now cheaper than NBN. What do you think about relying solely on 4G?


  • Same here but Im at NSW south west near Liverpool. 200-300gb a month.

    I heard the modem is expensive? Is it bad by putting the Sim card into mobile phone and charge it 24/7?


    • I heard the modem is expensive?

      You can get them from about $40 unlocked on eBay, sometimes less on sale from stores, but they are generally locked.

      Is it bad by putting the Sim card into mobile phone and charge it 24/7?

      I do this, but not 24/7, only occasionally.

      • I need to share Internet so need people in the house to have access 24/7 even if im not at home. Which modem is that? Link please.

        • I have both of these. The sellers are only an example. The prices vary, so look around.

          Huawei E5573 4G Unlocked Portable Mobile Wi-Fi Modem

          Huawei E8372 USB + Wifi 4GX 4G TELSTRA Mobile Broadband DONGLE Aussie STOCK

          • +3

            @Ms Bargainer: You,re better off getting a proper modem. Huawei e5186 or b315 as a minimum. Modems actually comparable in cost to a regular modem.

            • @dasher86: What's wrong with using a phone? Latest flagship phones support Gigabit LTE cat 16 in these 2 years.

              • @andylch: yeah that's fine if you're only hot spotting occasionally and within the near vicinity of the phone.
                If you want to support your home network - smart devices & tvs etc which run 24/7.
                It will be a drain on the phone and also the battery.
                Not sure the range you can get on a phone.

                • @dasher86: Just buy some Xiaomi WiFi Extenders to increase the range.

                  Battery is a common problem for all portable devices. Just buy another new device when the battery died.

                  • @andylch: you're talking about buying a new phone which costs heaps more than a modem. the modem will most likely outlast the phone.
                    B315 & e5186 can be easily had on the second hand market for ~$50.
                    wifi repeaters also cost money..
                    A phone doesn't have an ethernet port either.

                    • @dasher86: I think 90% of the devices at home don't have Ethernet port anymore.
                      New 4G prepaid phones are just $49 or below. You don't need to buy a S10/P30 for hotspotting.
                      Xiaomi WiFi Extender is just less than $10 on eBay.
                      It is always nicer to have a phone to act as a spare real "phone", instead of a modem/CPE which only can be a modem.

                      • @andylch: Name one phone under $49 or below that has a cat6 rating or greater, that can support more than 16 devices.
                        The Y5 2018 posted earlier is only cat4 and was $99.
                        AFAIK mobile hotpot can support 10 devices -it is very common to have more than 10 devices connected if you have a family. let alone a smart home.

                        Also your example was of a 4g device with cat16. name a cat16 rated phone for under $49 or let alone $200.

                        • @dasher86: Get a broken screen S7 (cat 9) or S8 (cat 16) for under $150 on Gumtree. I know most prepaid phones are Cat 4, but you get what you pay for. At the end of the day, it is still a fully functional smartphone you can do call/text/cam/GPS/apps.

                          If you have a big family or a fancy smart home, don't play this poor men's game and just get something decent from those fixed line providers.

                          • @andylch: you keep changing the target here. it's nice to have a broken screen s7 as a redundancy phone with a well worn battery for $150.
                            you can get a band new b525 $140. hell get a $50 second hand e5186/b315 and a $49 brand new prepaid phone that can call text/ cam GPS.
                            we can keep going around in circles with as many solutions as you want, you arguing one way and me the other, but i'll never change your mind.

                            poor mans game? I think you're missing the point of this thread. some people are ditching NBN for 4g as it suits them better.
                            NBN is not available in all areas and 4g trumps adsl+2 if you're in a decent coverage area.

                            at ~$50 a standalone modem is going to trump any second hand phone / phone at that price range for functionality and capability.

  • +3

    I rely solely on 4G and have done so for years.

    • Share you setup please? home setup. Thanks.

      • Old mobile phone with wifi hotspot works well for me.

      • +1

        I've been very happy with this modem. Would only work in a small-ish house/apartment though as wifi range isn't huge.

        $19 after price beat at OW:

        $2 to unlock on Ebay.

  • +2

    What do you think about relying solely on 4G?

    Should be fine, I use mobile data a lot too as it's much faster than nbn for me especially during peak hours.

  • +2

    If you have sufficient download allowance, 4G will be waaaaaaaay better than NBN. I wish I could do it, but download requirements are still limiting me.

  • +1

    4g should be alright if you don't do anything that requires a consistent connection & ping such as online gaming

  • +3

    4G will be fine as long as everyone around you doesnt do the same thing :)

    • +3

      Yes. 4g is terrible. Don't switch

      • haha yeah ok sound advice there.

  • Good decision to switch to 4G and you’ll get guaranteed download speed 50M on 5G . Optus has started to rollout 5G.

  • I'm on vivid wireless, been on it for ages. Speeds aren't as great, but I'm getting about 2MB/s down Max. NBN is better and slightly cheaper but the setup is annoying. I literally bought the modem/sim on day 1 and I had internet within 10 mins of setting up my account.

    Vivid is decommissioning as far as I know but I have to say it worked nice, ran well, I couldn't really complain.

    Biggest issues you may find is larger latency I'd imagine to NBN, also mobile network is based on people around you so there is the possibility theres too many on your network if some event comes in. Also coverage is the obvious big issue, you only really get good speeds when you get good coverage, probably most important thing to keep in mind.

    Other then that it works great for me.

  • Ew

  • I Transitioned from nbn to optus 4G and it works great!! 230Mbps down

  • +1

    I relied on 4G (Optus) in Nundah a couple of years ago when I spent 6 months waiting for my NBN (FTTP) to be connected.

    Given that the NBN connection was going to be 'sorted in a couple of weeks', I decided to forgo a dedicated modem and run all of my devices through a hotspot off my tablet.

    This worked well enough, but I wouldn't call it a sustainable solution. When 'a couple of weeks' turned in to a much longer period, I regretted not getting a proper modem.

    As other comments have mentioned, speed can be variable depending on any number of factors. I found 4G slowdowns worse than any nightly NBN slowdowns I experience now that I'm connected. The 4G connection often performed poorly when trying to stream Netflix for example, but was sufficient for general web browsing. If I had any big downloads to do, I had to take my devices to work and use the work WiFi.

    For general every day use it should be fine, but YMMV if trying to stream or download large files.

    • What speeds are you getting on your NBN plan and what plan do you have at/near nundah? might be indicative of my anticpated experience somewhat. thanks

      • On a 100/40 NBN plan FTTP with Superloop, getting 93/34 during peak times.

        $89.95/month for unlimited. There was a coupon code floating around a while ago for $5 off/month for 6 months.

        Was previously with AussieBB, haven't noticed any difference in the service since moving to Superloop.

  • +1

    I was on Vivid Wireless for about 2 years. I live in Cheltenham in Melbourne. I was lucky because I was consistently getting 3-4 service bars on the Vivid B315 modem. My link would max out at 11 Mbps (VividWireless speed cap). Not exceptional since 2 kids and a wife streaming all sorts of things saturated the bandwidth and sometimes I had ping issues.

    Fast forward to 2019 and Vivid was no more. Optus was offering 200Gb with iphones and Ipads. Since the kids needed Ipads for school and I "needed" a phone, I got 3 accounts with optus (1 X voice SIM and 2 X data sims) for a total of 600Gb. It basically worked out that I scored a phone and 2 Ipads for not much more than home internet and mobile service.

    One of the data sims now lives in the B315 modem and it Speedtests are fairly steady at 50Mbps down with spikes of 70Mbps. I have an ASUS AC68U router that runs off the B315 modem. I have hooked up the Iphone Xs to the ASUS to see what a CAT16 modem will do and I "only" had a steady 140Mbps down.

    Needless to say, the B315 is sufficient for my needs and my family and 600Gb and pings are more than sufficient for fortnite and 3 youtube streams.

    Hope this helps.

    • Also using the b315 + optus 4g setup here. Only a steady 20Mbps download in my area, 200Mbps in other areas with my iphone. 280GB pooled data from two plans about for 120 a month. No complaints.

  • My brother is on 4G wireless broadband (what I'm using atm as I'm housesitting for him). Even when capped, it's faster than my NakedDSL connection. Something to note though, for Optus resellers like Spintel and Exetel, there needs to be 4G 2300MHz support at your tower for you to get 12/1. If not, you'll be at 5/1 speeds. Check:

    I'm not well versed on the congestion matters but definitely something to watch out for.

  • Yes was a good move for my family saved money changing over
    Changed to Optus iPad with 100gb offer over a year ago. Hotspot when a computer is needed. Plus hotspot to do IOS update that ‘request’ wifi. Pooled data now at 300+Gb no worries with teenage kids burning it up on YouTube

    With pooled data, free steaming of Netflix and ability to use data while out and about its been a game changer.

    Very happy to ditch the ‘waiting for’ NBN

  • +1

    I'm finding Optus is now becoming more congested due to cheap big data plans. Peak periods for me are a good 10-20Mbps slower but also depends on line of sight to tower and quality of signal and modem. Do a speed test on your mobile first in the evening to gauge the speeds. Invest in a decent modem as I'm on my 3rd now and definitely found improvements in speeds every step up in modem. I started with the e5186 which is great because it's highly customisable and we'll supported with 3rd party tools and firmware. It's getting a bit old and only supports 2xB40 carrier aggregation. The next step I tried was the B525 and its probably the best value for money and performance. Probably saw around 10Mbps improvement over the e5186 but it's not supported by the Huawei toolbox which makes it harder to customise. My current modem is the brand new Telstra Netgear Nighthawk M2, this doesn't support B40 but is a CAT20 modem so one of the fastest available modems on the market. Has ethernet and although it's a portable hotspot style modem, the internal antennas are pretty amazing. Seems to be faster than the B525.

  • I wouldn't dump the landline if I were you.

    I'm currently on ADSL+ landline with 4G as backup.

    My new Telstra modem, which I received for FREE after I was down over a weekend in January (Very traumatic!), is primarily set up for ADSL+ landline, BUT if the landline goes down, as it did in January, the modem automatically switches to 4G.

    How's that for reliability?

    I never want to experience having my internet access down again for any period, and it's comforting to now know, that such a situation is very unlikely.

    As a bonus, the new modem is NBN ready! Thank you Telstra.

  • Telstra redundancy 4g is capped speeds

    • "Telstra redundancy 4g is capped speeds"

      How do you know?

      Where can I get this info?

      Much better than being totally offline!

      I tried the 4G backup by disconnecting the line, and didn't notice the cap.

      I mainly do online share trading and follow Twitter etc, only interested in occasional streaming movies, videos.

      • This is the product i'm thinking of.

        capped at 6/1

        • The modem in your link looks a slightly different to mine.

          My modem model number is DJA0230. They might just be different versions.

          "Mobile speeds are limited to 6/1 Mbps and will vary."

          6 Mbps is adequate for me, especially as it would only apply for, hopefully, short periods.

          I think it might even be fast enough to watch streamed video, although I haven't tried it out.

  • +1

    Im in Ipswich, in a slight hollow, and cant see any towers but use 4g Optus mobile internet. NBN still isnt here despite having cables installed over two years ago. The Optus deal 200gb for $60 per 4 weeks is a good value. I can stream just about everything from the internet, including 4k movies and only occasionally have slowdowns. I started with a little pocket wifi device that connected upto 11 devices, but have upgraded to a bigger unit that can do upto 36 connections at a time. I need that for all the things I have, tvs, set top boxes ( nvidia shields etc ) and lots of google homes etc. I purchased the big router/mobile sim device on ebay, plenty of change from $100. It all works very well. I expect that when the NBN does get connected around here then numerous people will leave the mobile nbn, which will leave even more mobile bandwidth and speed for me and others.

  • Ok so just get one of the similar modems like for example Huawei B525.

    Then find a plan similar like this:
    (But This plan incl modem already)

    That's all? But as the modem will stay at home, me and mrs need separate mobile phone plan with data. Or we both can get cheap call only plan, and both are pooled into that Optus plan (for the data)?

  • -2

    The Government has made it clear that if you are able to connect to the NBN they will eventually force you onto a NBN plan. The Government is billions and billions of dollars in debt building the network and are desperate to recoup their investment. I personally am holding out as long as I can but I know eventually i will have to switch over as they will just turn off the old network. Thanks LNP for the copper network. You deserve to be voted out in about 2 months.

  • Thinking doing this, but pretty clueless.
    Can you have a mobile phone for voice calls while outside the home and a 4G modem for the computer in the home, both on the same 4G plan ?

    • +1


      You need separation SIM cards for your mobile phone and 4G modem. That will require separate plans. However, certain providers will allow you to pool the data between these separate plans (eg Optus).

      • Ok thanks for that, I suspected as much.

  • 4g latency is usually a big no go for gaming