Top 5 Best 2020 Mobile Data Plans in Australia


mobile smart phone data plan

Back when the iPad was a brand new thing, it was released offering buyers the choice between models with and without 3G mobile connectivity. Many people opted for the Wi-Fi only model, and for a very good reason.

What are the best Mobile Data Plans in Australia?

Back in the day there wasn’t much available when it came to getting the device connected to a mobile network, and what was on offer was way too expensive. The idea of being able to take your tablet or laptop out on the road and have reliable internet access may have been extremely appealing. However, many people relied on the data connection on their smartphone to check email or Google something. That’s not the case anymore. Data plans are more accessible than ever with plans from the biggest brands such as Telstra Mobile to the newer entrants such as Moose Mobile.

  • Southern Phone Mobile
  • Moose Mobile
  • Telstra Mobile
  • Amaysim Mobile
  • Woolworths Mobile

SIM Only Data Plans

Nowadays, data-only SIM cards are available from most providers, with the focus being on getting you as big a data limit as possible. All for a price that easily betters anything on offer from a standard phone SIM. This dedicated data SIM can be used in everything from Android tablets and iPads (you’ll need an iPad with 4G functionality, though) to portable Wi-Fi modems to USB dongles. Basically, if there’s a way of getting your portable device connected to a mobile network, these are the SIMs you should be looking for.

As a side note, it’s worth mentioning that, depending on your data needs, you may find that one of the standard phone SIM offers suits you better. Yes, you can buy a prepaid or post-paid phone SIM and use it in your data device instead (obviously giving up the ability to make voice calls on it). In some cases, that option may be worth exploring. However, generally speaking, the separate data SIM will be the ideal way to go. You’ll get higher data allowances, especially important for laptops. Furthermore, you’ll likely have potentially longer expiry times as well.

Before you ask about unlimited data mobile plans, it’s best to let go of that idea now. There aren’t any, nor are there likely to be any in the foreseeable future. Mobile data is a finite resource. If you give everyone unlimited data even for a short time, the entire network can slow to a crawl!

A different option – a data SIM in your phone

While data SIMs and their plans are targeted specifically at users of larger devices, nothing stops you from putting one in your smartphone. That way you can enjoy the benefits of a nice big data limit – perfect for those who spend most of their time with their phone online rather than on calls.

While data SIMs usually don’t come with any voice call functionality, they can still receive calls. Your friends and colleagues could call you as normal. You just wouldn’t be able to call anyone yourself. But you can easily get around that with apps such as Skype, WhatsApp, Facetime and others. It’s worth considering if you make very few phone calls.

Don’t worry – the emergency numbers 000 and 112 are still callable even from a SIM that doesn’t have voice call access. You won’t be compromising your safety by opting for this way of doing things.

What are the top Data-only SIMs?

You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to finding a provider for your data SIM these days. Just trying to sort through all the different options can be daunting. As can be finding the data-only SIMs on some providers’ web sites at all. They’re often tucked away in a corner behind all those glossy desirable phone plans and offers!

So what’s the best mobile data plan? We’ve done some looking around of our own. Here’s what we think are half a dozen of the best options around for your data SIM right now.

Southern Phone Mobile

With Southern Phone Mobile, you can rest assured that your mobile broadband plan is powered by one of the country’s best mobile networks — Optus. For Optus 4G-powered data-only plans, you’re looking at five options: 7GB plan at $15/month, 15GB plan at $25/month, 50GB plan at $40/month, and 100GB at $65/month.

While the Optus-backed mobile broadband plans offer cheaper monthly plan fees with bigger data, it’s also important to note that these plans are on a 12-month contract. Unless that’s something that you’re totally fine with, the month-to-month SIM-only plans may be the better choice if you value flexibility since there’s no lock-in contract. Home Wireless plans are also available with two options to choose from: 200GB for $50 and 500GB for $70 though these plans are on a 24-month contract.

Southern Phone 2020 Offers

If it’s flexibility you’re after, Southern Phone has month-to-month options under their SIM-only plans you can consider. Data allowances are lower but you’re not locked in to a lengthy contract so you can cancel anytime without penalties. These month-to-month plans include unlimited calls and texts with data allowances ranging from 2.5GB to 40GB. If you’re a moderate to heavy data user, you can find great value in the 15GB plan at $40/month. Looking for greater data allowances? Southern Phone’s 12-month SIM-only plans offer bigger data – up to 80GB for only $60/month. Select plans also include international call credits up to $500!

Southern Phone Mobile Data Plans

Plan
Inclusions
Price
Extra Small Mobile Broadband
  • Extra Small Mobile Broadband
  • 12 Month Contract
  • 4G Speeds Vary
  • 7GB Data
  • Mobile Broadband
  • BYO Handset
  • Great for light data users
  • $15/mth
$15/mth
Min Cost - $180 over 12 months $0.0021 Cost of 1MB of Broadband Data

Small SIM Only Month to Month
  • Small SIM Only Month to Month
  • No Lock-in Contract
  • Unlimited Calls & Text
  • 2.5GB Data
  • Sim Only Plan
  • $0 International Call Credit
  • Optus 3G/4G network
  • $20/mth
$20/mth
Min Cost - $20 over 1 mth

X Large SIM Only Month to Month
  • X Large SIM Only Month to Month
  • No Lock-in Contract
  • Unlimited Calls & Text
  • 25GB Data
  • Sim Only Plan
  • $500 International Call Credit
  • Optus 3G/4G network
  • $50/mth
$50/mth
Min Cost - $50 over 1 mth

Medium Mobile Broadband
  • Medium Mobile Broadband
  • 12 Month Contract
  • 4G Speeds Vary
  • 50GB Data
  • Mobile Broadband
  • BYO Handset
  • Great for heavy data users
  • $40/mth
$40/mth
Min Cost - $480 over 12 months $0.0008 Cost of 1MB of Broadband Data

Small Mobile Broadband
  • Small Mobile Broadband
  • 12 Month Contract
  • 4G Speeds Vary
  • 15GB Data
  • Mobile Broadband
  • BYO Handset
  • Great for light data users
  • $25/mth
$25/mth
Min Cost - $300 over 12 months $0.0017 Cost of 1MB of Broadband Data

Last audited 27 August 2020

Moose Mobile

A well-respected Australian company that consistently wins awards for value, Moose Mobile’s data-only plans provide reasonably priced offerings in Australia. Moose runs on the Optus 4G Plus network, giving you access to the extremely fast speeds offered by the latest mobile tech – if your device supports it. The telco offers five different data plans, all of which are post-paid. In other words, you’re charged automatically every month until you stop the service. These plans operate either on a one-month minimum term or a 12-month contract. With the monthly setup, there are no contracts or long-term commitments to worry about. 

Prices range from $12 to $64 per month for month-to-month, with $18 buying you a modest 7GB while the top-end $64 plan throws a whopping 100GB at you. But even Moose’s SIM-only plans already pack generous data allowances, which brings in more value with texts and calls included. These plans can offer as huge as 80GB of data for under 50 bucks if you lock it in for 12 months. If you’re a moderate user, you can score 6GB of data for under $15/month with no lock-in contract. 

Keep in mind that excess data charges apply to all of these plans at $15 per gigabyte. It’s better to err on the side of having too much data than it is to get a surprise bill for excess usage down the track!

Moose Mobile 2020 Offers

For a limited time, Moose Mobile offers bigger data allowances with its $14.80 and $21.80 plans. You get 6GB and 20GB, respectively, for the first 24 months! Afterwards, data inclusions revert to 2.5GB and 8GB.

Moose Mobile Data Plans

Plan
Inclusions
Price
Moose 14.80 - 6GB
  • 6GB for first 24 mths, 2.5GB after
  • Moose 14.80 - 6GB
  • No Lock-in Contract
  • Unlimited Calls & Text
  • 6GB Data
  • Sim Only Plan
  • Cancel anytime
  • No exit or penalty fees
  • $14.80/mth
$14.80/mth
Min Cost - $14.80 over 1 month

Moose 21.80 - 20GB
  • 20GB for first 24 mths, 8GB after
  • Moose 21.80 - 20GB
  • No Lock-in Contract
  • Unlimited Calls & Text
  • 20GB Data
  • Sim Only Plan
  • Cancel anytime
  • No exit or penalty fees
  • $21.80/mth
$21.80/mth
Min Cost - $21.80 over 1 month

Last audited 15 September 2020

Telstra Mobile

Should you still need a dedicated plan for your other devices and has no need for calls and texts, Telstra’s data-only plans offer 5GB up to 200GB with prices ranging from $15/month to $75/month on new month-to-month plans. You can bring your own tablet or mobile broadband device or add a new one and pay it off over 24 months. You can cancel anytime, you just need to pay out your purchased device. 

Boasting the full use of their blisteringly fast 4G network, Telstra’s mobile plans are all about data. While Telstra has data-only plans, it’s the telco’s SIM-only mobile plans that pack greater value. Unlimited calls and texts are standard on all plans. With the lowest value plan sitting at $55 per month for 40GB of data, it’s pricier than some of the competition. But you’re unlikely to complain when it comes to raw network speeds. Besides, there’s bonus to make up for the higher monthly plan fees — 5G network access is included in the $65, $85, and $115 plans — provided you have a 5G compatible device in a 5G coverage area. There are no excess data charges on all mobile plans as well. 

As another bonus, you can also stream every AFL, AFLW, NRL, Netball, and the Hyundai A-League game live this year completely free and without impacting your data limit plus free Apple Music subscription.

Telstra Mobile 2020 Offers

Telstra postpaid consumers can enjoy entertainment through Australia’s newest streaming service, BINGE, for three months at no extra costs. Want more? You only need to be a Telstra Plus member to get up to nine more months of free BINGE streaming. For more entertainment, Foxtel Now is also offered free for the first month giving you full access to all channel packs!

Telstra Mobile Data Plans

Plan
Inclusions
Price
BYO Plan Small
  • Free BINGE Standard for 3 months
  • No excess data charges
  • BYO Plan Small
  • No Lock-in Contract
  • Unlimited Calls & Text
  • 40GB Data
  • Sim Only Plan
  • 4G network access included
  • Unlimited Telstra Air® Wi-Fi data
  • $55/mth
$55/mth
Min Cost - $55 over 1 month

Mobile Broadband - 5GB
  • No excess data charges
  • Mobile Broadband - 5GB
  • No Lock-in Contract
  • 4G Speeds Vary
  • 5GB Data
  • Mobile Broadband
  • 4G network access
  • Data-free sports streaming
  • $15/mth
$15/mth
Min Cost - $15

Mobile Broadband - 20GB
  • 5,000 Telstra Plus bonus points
  • Mobile Broadband - 20GB
  • No Lock-in Contract
  • 4G Speeds Vary
  • 20GB Data
  • Mobile Broadband
  • 4G network access
  • No excess data charges
  • $25/mth
$25/mth
Min Cost - $25

Mobile Broadband - 200GB
  • 15,000 Telstra Plus bonus points
  • 5G network access included
  • Mobile Broadband - 200GB
  • No Lock-in Contract
  • 4G Speeds Vary
  • 200GB Data
  • Mobile Broadband
  • No excess data charges
  • Data-free sports streaming
  • $75/mth
$75/mth
Min Cost - $75

Mobile Broadband - 60GB
  • 10,000 Telstra Plus bonus points
  • 5G network access included
  • Mobile Broadband - 60GB
  • No Lock-in Contract
  • 4G Speeds Vary
  • 60GB Data
  • Mobile Broadband
  • No excess data charges
  • Data-free sports streaming
  • $50/mth
$50/mth
Min Cost - $50

Last audited 16 September 2020

amaysim Mobile

Well-regarded veteran provider amaysim offers three data plans on the Optus 4G Plus network. All plans auto-renew every 28 days unless you change or cancel your plan. The headline here is the low cost of entry. The cheapest plan is only $15 per month packed with 7GB of data. For the lightweight to the moderate user that may very well be all you need. Plus, at the cost of a cup of coffee each week, it’s not likely to break the bank! 

That plan’s perfect for email and messaging users, and the intended fairly light usage pattern is reflected in Amaysim’s next plan as well – 50GB for $40. If you’re regularly streaming Netflix or downloading a ton of photos, you’ll probably want bigger data. No worries though, Amaysim’s highest value data-only plan provides up to 90GB of data for only $60/28 days!

amaysim 2020 Offers

Get unlimited international calls and text to 28 countries when you sign up to $30, $40, and $50 SIM-only mobile plans. You even get an additional 300 international minutes to 14 countries if you select the $40 or $50 plan.

Woolworths Mobile

Woolworths Mobile, has been shaking things up in the mobile phone market in quite an efficient way with its lineup of mobile, SIM-only, and prepaid plans. So, even though the telco doesn’t offer data-only plans yet, Aussies can find real value on its currently available mobile services.

Woolworths’ mobile and 12-month SIM-only plans range from a basic 5GB plan to a 60GB plan. The sweet spot with Woolworths is the 20GB “Small” plan, which comes in at $30 per month. These postpaid plans also include bonus data of up to 25GB, plus 10GB extra data every 3 months and 100GB data bank.

Woolworths also offers prepaid plans starting with the Mini plan at only $10 for 1GB data and unlimited national calls and text. The top-end prepaid plan would be the “Large” plan packing 55GB at $50 per month, including unlimited standard international calls & text to 22 countries. All of Woolworths’ prepaid plans also include 200GB data banking feature.

Woolworths Mobile 2020 Offers

$30, $40, and $50 prepaid plans include unlimited standard international calls & text to 22 countries. To help you save, mobile customers can also get 10% off your grocery expenses each month if you link your Woolworths Rewards account to your Woolworths Mobile account.

Which mobile data plans are best for you?

One thing is for certain – the days of restrictive and expensive mobile data for your gadget are gone. Thanks to the rise of third-party providers operating using the “big three” networks, mobile data can now be had cheaply, easily and at a size and price to suit just about anyone. Shop around, compare, and enjoy the freedom that a connected mobile device brings to everything you do!

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