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.
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 four 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 2021 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’s SIM-only mobile plans run on the Optus 3G/4G network.
Last audited 22 February 2021
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 70GB 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 only $15.80/month with no lock-in contract.
Keep in mind that excess data charges apply to all of these plans at $15.36 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 2021 Offers
Select Moose plans include international calls credit: $200 for Moose 29 on a 12-month plan and $400 for Moose 34 and 44, also on a 12-month contract. The no lock-in Moose 46.80 also includes $400 international calls. And for a limited time, select no lock-in contract plans – Moose 15.80, Moose 23.80, and Moose 29.80 – are offered with 20% off for 12 months!
Last audited 22 February 2021
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 2021 Offers
Telstra postpaid mobile consumers can enjoy entertainment through Foxtel Now for 1 month and BINGE for three months at no extra costs. You can also save more with the Extra Large SIM-only plan with $50/month credit for 12 months, getting you as much as $600 off. From $115/month, it’s now only $65 and already boasting 180GB! If you only need data, Telstra’s 20GB, 60GB, and 200GB plans offer 10,000, 20,000, and 30,000 Telstra Plus bonus points, respectively, which you can use to redeem rewards.
Last audited 22 February 2021
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 2021 Offers
Get unlimited international calls and text to 28 countries when you sign up to the $30 plan, while you score unlimited international calls and texts to 42 countries when you buy the $40 and $50 SIM-only plans.
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 no contract SIM-only plans range from a generous 18GB plan to a hefty 55GB plan. The middle-tier plan, meanwhile, packs 35GB. These postpaid plans also include 200GB 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 55GB plan 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 2021 Offers
$30, $40, and $50 prepaid plans, as well as the $35 and $45 SIM-only and phone 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!