“Unlimited” data is always a sought-after trait when it comes to mobile plans, and it’s easy to see why. No one wants to worry about how much data they use each month or pay additional fees.
Australia has had access to “unlimited” mobile data plans for a few years now, but it’s not as easy as you might think. While the telecom industry also likes to use terms like endless and infinite, unlimited mobile data still has a catch.
For the most part, it’s about how fast you can use it. Unlimited mobile data will be slower than the actual speeds you can get on a 4G or 5G network. Where it gets trickier is that each phone company with unlimited data takes a different approach to how it’s implemented.
So if you’re considering a plan with unlimited mobile data, here’s what you need to know.
Vodafone is the only provider that has what we would call a truly unlimited mobile plan. You get truly unlimited data, at the maximum speeds the network is capable of. The only problem is that you have a limited allowance when it comes to using your plan for a mobile hotspot. If you exceed 30 GB, your hotspot speeds will be capped at 2 Mbps for the remainder of your billing month.
If you sign up before April 22, you can get this plan for $65 per month, which is a savings of $20 per month. This reduction lasts for the lifetime of your life.
Vodafone’s other mobile plans also have unlimited data, but they work differently. They have a core allowance — 40GB, for example — and after you’ve cycled through that, you can continue using your plan at no additional cost, but at capped speeds.
Vodafone has the fastest speed caps on unlimited plans in Australia. On its 40GB and 80GB plan, you’ll be capped at 2 Mbps after you go over your allowance. On its 200GB and 300GB plan, you’ll be capped at the more generous 10Mbps.
Here are Vodafone’s SIM-only plans:
Vodafone’s prepaid plans also offer unlimited data at speeds of 1.5 Mbps when you go over your main data allowance.
Owned by TPG and powered by the Vodafone network, Felix Mobile is one of Australia’s newest MVNOs. Instead of offering a range of plans, Felix only has one option: a $35 per month plan with unlimited data. As you might expect, there is a catch. The plan is capped at speeds of 20 Mbps. For comparison, 4G networks should easily be able to reach speeds of at least 50 Mbps in metropolitan areas.
However, 20 Mbps is still quite reasonable. It’s only a bit slower than an NBN 25 connection and is more than fast enough for most mobile activities, whether it’s streaming videos on Netflix, downloading apps or scrolling through networks. social. The one area where 20 Mbps might be a limit is if you regularly use your phone as a portable hotspot.
If you’re not sure if 20 Mbps is fast enough but the prospect intrigues you, Felix has a seven-day happiness guarantee. If you decide the plan isn’t fast enough in your first week with Felix, you can get a full refund.
And if you sign up for this plan before the end of April using promo code WHISTLEOUT, you’ll save $5 per month for your first six months.
willUnlimited plans are similar to the majority of Vodafone’s range. Plans come with a prime allowance, and can then be used at capped speeds if you run out of data. Telstra limits its unlimited data to 1.5 Mbps.
If you’re low on data and need faster speeds, Telstra lets you switch plans once a month. If you increase your data allowance on a Telstra Upfront plan, you’ll instantly get the higher data limit, but you won’t pay any extra until next month’s payment date. You can then downgrade to a cheaper plan the following month, but you’ll keep your higher data allowance until the end of the billing month.
All optus‘ Postpaid plans offer unlimited data. As with Telstra, you’ll be limited to speeds of 1.5 Mbps if you go over your main data allowance.
If you go over your allowance and don’t want to deal with slower speeds, Optus also offers data add-ons. The price for additional data is as follows:
- 2 GB: $5
- 10 GB: $10
- 30 GB: $20
Given that you used to pay $10 for a gigabyte of excess data, this is a much better option for those unhappy with 1.5 Mbps.
If you prefer truly unlimited data, Optus also offers an Unlimited Data Day add-on that you can purchase for $5 through the My Optus app. This gives you 24 hours of unlimited data at full network speed.
Alex Choros is editor of WhistleOut.