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.
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 100GB 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 or 36 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 BYO mobile plans that pack greater value. Unlimited calls and texts are standard on all plans. With the lowest value plan sitting at $50 per month for 15GB 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 free trial until 30 June 2020 while 5G access is permanently included in the higher-end plans — provided you have a 5G compatible device in a 5G coverage area.
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. Appealing? Thought so!
Telstra Mobile 2019 Offers
Telstra’s new BYO and phone plans are now on a month-to-month setup, meaning you don’t need to commit for 12-24 months in order to enjoy Telstra’s irrefutable network. Sign up to any of the new lock-in contract plans and add a new phone if you need one, which you can pay off over 24 or 36 months. You can change your plan every month or leave anytime. Simply pay out your new device when you do
Get More Flexibility with Telstra!
Telstra now offers the ultimate flexibility with new month-to-month mobile plans with no lock-in contracts + no excess data charges in Australia. BYO plans start from $50/mth & comes with 5G access free trial.
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-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, 100GB at $65/month, and 250GB at $110/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.
Southern Phone 2019 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 500MB to 15GB. If you’re a moderate to heavy data user, you can find great value in the 15GB plan at $50/month.
Southern Phone Best SIM Plans
Get connected from wherever you are with Southern Phone’s SIM only plans, powered by Optus. No lock-in plans with unlimited calls & text start from only $12/mth.
Relative newcomer, OVO Mobile, has been shaking things up in the mobile phone market in quite a unique way. They’re giving customers access to streaming video channels of Australian sports, on a network they run themselves known as OVOPlay. Clients can watch content from V8 Supercars, Gymnastics Australia and Audi Sport, with plans to expand further in the future.
It’s a neat bonus on top of what are some very keenly priced data-only packages. All of OVO’s data plans are prepaid and all have a 30-day expiry except for one (more on that in a moment). They range from a basic 5GB plan for $19.95 to a 250GB plan for $79.95 per 30 days (more info below). The sweet spot with OVO is the 15GB “Large” plan, which comes in at $39.95 per 30 days.
All of OVO’s prepaid plans, running on the Optus 4G Plus network, automatically recharge themselves every 30 days. You can turn that off at any time using the web account interface you gain access to when you join. It’s also worth noting that you can only recharge once every 30 days. So while you can start with the 5GB plan and then decide to move up to the 15GB one, you will have to wait out the 30 days until you can switch. Like with all data plans, try to get an idea of your usage before you take the plunge.
OVO also offers a 365-day plan that provides 15GB. That might initially sound like a weird choice given that it averages out to slightly over 1GB per month. But it’s actually great if you’ve got an iPad that you only use occasionally when out and about, and only to do data-light things like checking mail. This plan could be the hassle-free solution that gets you online without needing monthly maintenance. It costs $99.95.
OVO Mobile 2019 Offers
OVO Mobile offers one of Australia’s biggest mobile data plans. It packs a whopping 250GB for only $79.95. The plan is portable and can be activated in hours of receiving the SIM. Moreover, it doesn’t require weeks or months of waiting to get connected comes with no lock-in contracts. If you were looking for a worthwhile alternative to fixed broadband, look no more.
Well regarded for their great value phone plans, provider Belong mobile is no slouch when it comes to data allowances. While they don’t offer data-only plans yet, you can count on their basic SIM-only mobile plans to provide you reliable data. Data limits range from a lean 1GB plan at $10 per month to a hefty 30GB plan at $40 (you can change plans at any time, too). The value option in the middle of the pack strike a good balance between data and upfront cost.
For $25/month, you can grab 10GB. Or, if you’re more data-hungry, the $40 plan will give you a hefty 30GB to chew through. The cost per megabyte goes down consistently as you move to higher plans. But it’s a matter of balancing what you’ll use versus what you choose.
Belong 2019 Offers
The company’s unlimited plans give you the most bang for your buck. If you spend most of your time glued to your smartphone, unlimited options pack greater value. More importantly, Belong’s mobile plans include unlimited banking so you never worry about expiring data.
Flexible Mobile Plans from Belong
Get more for less with Belong Mobile starting at only $10/month, giving you 1GB data + unlimited calls & texts and no lock-in contract, plus many other perks!
Well-regarded veteran provider amaysim offers six 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. While it only gives you 2GB of data, for the lightweight 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 – 5GB for $25. If you’re regularly streaming Netflix or downloading a ton of photos, you’ll probably want bigger data. No worries though, Amaysim’s higher-value data-only plans provide up to 150GB of data for $90/28 days!
amaysim 2019 Offers
Get unlimited international calls to 10 countries when you sign up to $30 and above plans. You even get
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 six 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 $74 per month for month-to-month, with $18 buying you a modest 7GB while the top-end $74 plan throws a whopping 250GB at you. In between, you can get 15GB for $32 or 50GB for $54 – and it’s those two plans that represent the best value by far. If you’re a moderate data user, go for the 15GB. If you’re more data-hungry, it’s hard to say no to an additional 35GB for $22 extra. But if you don’t mind the 12-month contract, you can easily land 250GB of data for only $66/month.
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 2019 Offers
If you’re in need of a SIM-only mobile plan, you’ll find Moose Mobile’s latest offerings valuable. For great value plans, you can try Moose’s network by choosing between Moose 8.80, 14, and 19 with data allowances of 1GB, 2GB, and 4GB respectively. Except for the Moose 8.80, these plans deliver unlimited calls and texts in Australia. Moose also now has the new Moose 7.80, a dedicated SIM-only plan designed for seniors. It packs 200 minutes of calls, unlimited SMS, and 1GB data.
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!