Best Rated Mobile Broadband Plans & Providers

Canstar Blue’s annual review of mobile broadband providers compares ALDI Mobile, Amaysim, Aussie Broadband, Optus, Vodafone, and Telstra on their value for money, customer service, bill and cost clarity, speed and coverage, ease of setup and overall customer satisfaction.

See our Ratings Methodology.

Most Satisfied Customers 2021 Mobile Broadband

Most Satisfied Customers | ALDI Mobile

ALDI Mobile has taken out our mobile broadband ratings for the third year in a row, beating Optus, Telstra, Vodafone, Aussie Broadband and Amaysim to be 2021’s best-rated provider. ALDI scored an impressive five stars across most of our research categories, including overall satisfaction, speed & coverage and customer service.

Fact Checked Fact Checked

ALDI Mobile: #1 for mobile broadband plans three years running 

Gone are the days of needing a fixed-line connection to get the best speeds, service and data. Nowadays, mobile broadband plans have become a viable alternative to the NBN, ADSL, and cable. Mobile data is the ultimate for flexibility and browsing on the move, so get the lowdown on which providers offer the best bang for your buck with Canstar Blue’s 2021 mobile broadband review and ratings.

This year, we’ve surveyed more than 2,400 mobile broadband customers to determine just which provider offers the best prices, fastest speeds, and overall most satisfaction for your money. Our 2021 ratings include Australia’s three biggest telcos – Vodafone, Optus and Telstra – while also showing that good things come in smaller packages with ALDI Mobile, Amaysim and new entry Aussie Broadband. The idea is to give you as much information as possible about the compared providers, and more, to help you make a better-informed decision about which mobile broadband plan to go with. Brands must have received a minimum of 30 survey responses to be included in this review. So, what did we find?

Best Mobile Broadband Plans

SIM card and tablet - Image

Here are the best mobile broadband providers in Australia, as rated by consumers in Canstar Blue’s 2021 review:

  1. ALDI Mobile
  2. Amaysim
  3. Aussie Broadband
  4. Optus
  5. Vodafone
  6. Telstra

In an outstanding effort, ALDI Mobile received five stars in almost every category, including customer service, bill and cost clarity, ease of set-up and speed & coverage, in addition to overall satisfaction. In its second year in our mobile broadband ratings, Amaysim came in second with four stars for overall satisfaction, followed in third place by debuting brand Aussie Broadband. Our top six was rounded out by Optus, Vodafone and Telstra.

With 5G home internet now a reality, it’s an exciting time to check out a new mobile broadband plan – especially if your NBN speed isn’t up to scratch. So, what are the best mobile broadband deals around? Read on for specifics about the brands in our review, but first, below is a quick comparison of mobile broadband plans.

Mobile Broadband Plans

Telstra Mobile Broadband Plans

The following table shows a selection of published Telstra mobile broadband plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Telstra Logo

Extra Small

  • SIM only plan – pay upfront via AutoPay
  • No excess data charges in Australia
  • No 5G access
  • Share your data with up to 10 plans across your account

min. cost $15 over one month

5GBMax Data**/billing period $15Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go to Site
Telstra Logo

Small

  • SIM only plan – pay upfront via AutoPay
  • No excess data charges in Australia
  • No 5G access
  • Share your data with up to 10 plans across your account

min. cost $25 over one month

30GBMax Data**/billing period $25Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go to Site
Telstra Logo

Medium

  • SIM only plan – pay upfront via AutoPay
  • No excess data charges in Australia
  • 5G access included
  • Share your data with up to 10 plans across your account

min. cost $55 over one month

75GBMax Data**/billing period $55Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go to Site
Telstra Logo

Large

  • SIM only plan – pay upfront via AutoPay
  • No excess data charges in Australia
  • 5G access included
  • Share your data with up to 10 plans across your account

min. cost $85 over one month

400GBMax Data**/billing period $85Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go to Site
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

Vodafone Mobile Broadband Plans

The following table shows a selection of published Vodafone mobile broadband plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Vodafone Logo

10GB Mobile Broadband Plan

  • SIM Only plan

min. cost $20 over first month

10GBMax Data**/billing period $20Advertised Cost^^/billing period

Link to provider unavailable

Vodafone Logo

40GB Mobile Broadband Plan

  • SIM Only plan

min. cost $40 over first month

40GBMax Data**/billing period $40Advertised Cost^^/billing period

Link to provider unavailable

Vodafone Logo

100GB Mobile Broadband Plan

  • SIM Only plan

min. cost $60 over first month

100GBMax Data**/billing period $60Advertised Cost^^/billing period

Link to provider unavailable

View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

Amaysim Mobile Broadband Plans

The following table shows a selection of  published Amaysim mobile broadband plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Amaysim Logo

SIM Only 7GB

  • SIM Only

min. cost $15 over 28 day billing period

7GBMax Data**/billing period $15Advertised Cost^^/billing period

Link to provider unavailable

Amaysim Logo

SIM Only 50GB

  • SIM Only

min. cost $40 over 28 day billing period

50GBMax Data**/billing period $40Advertised Cost^^/billing period

Link to provider unavailable

Amaysim Logo

SIM Only 90GB

  • SIM Only

min. cost $60 over 28 day billing period

90GBMax Data**/billing period $60Advertised Cost^^/billing period

Link to provider unavailable

View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

Southern Phone Mobile Broadband Plans

The following table shows a selection of published Southern Phone mobile broadband plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Southern Phones Logo

Extra Small

  • SIM Only

min. cost $180 over 12 month plan period

7GBMax Data**/billing period $15Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go to Site
Southern Phones Logo

Small

  • SIM Only

min. cost $300 over 12 month plan period

15GBMax Data**/billing period $25Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go to Site
Southern Phones Logo

Medium

  • SIM Only

min. cost $480 over 12 month plan period

50GBMax Data**/billing period $40Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go to Site
Southern Phones Logo

Large

  • SIM Only

min. cost $780 over 12 month plan period

100GBMax Data**/billing period $65Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go to Site
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

ALDI Mobile Broadband

Operating on the Telstra 3G and 4G networks, ALDI Mobile offers a range of data-only SIM packs that are ideal for on-the-go tablet and device use. Data packs begin at $95 for 30GB of data with a 365-day expiry.

  • Three 365-day options are available, offering up to 365GB of data for use over 12 months.
  • All plans include data rollover, provided customers recharge on time.
  • Plans are offered on a prepaid basis only, with auto-recharge options available.

For the third year in a row, ALDI Mobile received an outstanding score of five stars overall. ALDI Mobile was also awarded four stars for value for money, and five stars in all other categories.

ALDI Mobile Broadband Plans

The following table shows a selection of published ALDI Mobile mobile broadband plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
ALDIMobile Logo

$95 Data Pack

  • SIM only plan
  • Includes data rollover

min. cost $95 over 365 days

30GBMax Data**/billing period $95Advertised Cost^^/billing period

Link to provider unavailable

ALDIMobile Logo

$240 Data Pack

  • SIM only plan
  • Includes data rollover

min. cost $240 over 365 days

185GBMax Data**/billing period $240Advertised Cost^^/billing period

Link to provider unavailable

ALDIMobile Logo

$365 Data Pack

  • SIM only plan
  • Includes data rollover

min. cost $365 over 365 days

365GBMax Data**/billing period $365Advertised Cost^^/billing period

Link to provider unavailable

View all mobile plans listed on Canstar Blue

Amaysim Mobile Broadband

MVNO Amaysim operates on Optus’ 4G networks and offers a small selection of SIM-only data plans, ideal for tablet users. Plans are BYO-only, and begin at $15 for 7GB of data.

  • All plans are prepaid and run on a 28-day expiry.
  • Plans are contract-free, but auto-renew every 28 days (unless you opt out of this feature).
  • Overages apply if you exceed your allowance, but extra data can be added at a cost of $10 per gigabyte. 
  • All plans include data rollover as long as you stay an Amaysim mobile broadband customer

Amaysim scored four stars for overall satisfaction in 2021, and earned five stars for both value for money and bill and cost clarity.

Amaysim Mobile Broadband Plans

The following table shows a selection of  published Amaysim mobile broadband plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Amaysim Logo

Sim Only 7GB

  • SIM Only

min. cost $15 over 28 day billing period

7GBMax Data**/billing period $15Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go to Site
Amaysim Logo

Sim Only 50GB

  • SIM Only

min. cost $40 over 28 day billing period

50GBMax Data**/billing period $40Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go to Site
Amaysim Logo

Sim Only 90GB

  • SIM Only

min. cost $60 over 28 day billing period

90GBMax Data**/billing period $60Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go to Site
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

Aussie Broadband Mobile Broadband

A new entrant in our mobile broadband ratings, Aussie Broadband’s range of data-only  SIM plans can be used in tablets or internet dongles. While new customers are free to sign up, current Aussie Broadband NBN customers will be rewarded with more monthly data for the same price. 

  • Aussie Broadband’s plans begin at $15 per month for 2.5GB (5GB for NBN customers), up to $65 for 80GB (or 100GB with an NBN plan).
  • All plans are contract-free with no setup costs.
  • Data can be shared across plans on the same Aussie Broadband account. 

Aussie Broadband scored four stars for overall satisfaction in our 2021 ratings, with four stars for customer service and three stars in all other categories. 

The following table shows selected published Aussie Broadband mobile broadband plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period

5GB Mobile Broadband Plan

  • SIM Only
  • 4G network access
  • Data sharing

min. cost $15 over one month billing period

5GBMax Data**/billing period $15Advertised Cost^^/billing period

Link to provider unavailable

25GB Mobile Broadband Plan

  • SIM Only
  • 4G network access
  • Data sharing

min. cost $25 over one month billing period

25GBMax Data**/billing period $25Advertised Cost^^/billing period

Link to provider unavailable

40GB Mobile Broadband Plan

  • SIM Only
  • 4G network access
  • Data sharing

min. cost $35 over one month billing period

40GBMax Data**/billing period $35Advertised Cost^^/billing period

Link to provider unavailable

60GB Mobile Broadband Plan

  • SIM Only
  • 4G network access
  • Data sharing

min. cost $45 over one month billing period

60GBMax Data**/billing period $45Advertised Cost^^/billing period

Link to provider unavailable

100GB Mobile Broadband Plan

  • SIM Only
  • 4G network access
  • Data sharing

min. cost $65 over one month billing period

100GBMax Data**/billing period $65Advertised Cost^^/billing period

Link to provider unavailable

View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

Optus Mobile Broadband

Optus offers both SIM-only and 4G wireless broadband modem plans, with prices beginning at only $15 per month for 5GB of data on a month-to-month SIM-only plan.

  • Data is available up to 75GB for SIM-only plans.
  • Customers can bundle in popular devices such as tablets, smartwatches and portable modems on 12, 24 or 36-month payment terms.
  • SIM plans include free Optus Sport + OS Fitness, plus data sharing across eligible plans and 5G network access with compatible devices.

Optus scored four stars for overall satisfaction and four stars in almost all other categories, with a three-star result for value for money.

Optus Mobile Broadband Data SIM plans

The following table shows a selection of Optus mobile broadband plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of monthly cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest.

Brand Features Max Data/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
optus Logo

Small Data SIM Plan

  • SIM Only
  • Month-to-month plan (SIM plan price, inclusions & add-ons may change as notified)
  • Includes Optus Sport + OS Fitness
  • No excess data charges in Australia. Speed will be capped at max 1.5Mbps

min. cost $15 month to month

5GBMax Data**/billing period $15Advertised Cost^^/billing period

Link to provider unavailable

Optus Logo

Medium Data SIM Plan

  • SIM Only
  • Month-to-month plan (SIM plan price, inclusions & add-ons may change as notified)
  • Includes Optus Sport + OS Fitness
  • No excess data charges in Australia. Speed will be capped at max 1.5Mbps

min. cost $25 month to month

25GBMax Data**/billing period $25Advertised Cost^^/billing period

Link to provider unavailable

Optus Logo

Large Data SIM Plan

  • SIM Only
  • Month-to-month plan (SIM plan price, inclusions & add-ons may change as notified)
  • Includes Optus Sport + OS Fitness
  • No excess data charges in Australia. Speed will be capped at max 1.5Mbps

min. cost $50 month to month

75GBMax Data**/billing period $50Advertised Cost^^/billing period

Link to provider unavailable

Vodafone Mobile Broadband

Vodafone‘s range of mobile internet options includes plans with a bundled-in modem, prepaid mobile broadband plans, and SIM-only plans for your modem or tablet. Mobile broadband plans begin at $20 per month for 10GB of data, with the option to bring your own modem or add a device.

  • Plans are offered month-to-month, but you’ll need to pay off any bundled-in modems over a 12, 24, or 36-month period.
  • Tablet SIM Only Plus plans begin at $15 per month, and include unlimited data capped at 1.5 megabits per second (plus a monthly full-speed data allowance).
  • Data options are available up to 100GB per month, with bonus gigabytes frequently included.

Vodafone achieved an overall satisfaction rating of three stars in our 2021 review, plus four stars for speed and coverage, customer service, bill and cost clarity and for ease of setup.

Vodafone Mobile Broadband Plans

The following table shows a selection of published Vodafone mobile broadband plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Vodafone Logo

10GB Mobile Broadband Plan

  • SIM Only plan

min. cost $20 over first month

10GBMax Data**/billing period $20Advertised Cost^^/billing period

Link to provider unavailable

Vodafone Logo

40GB Mobile Broadband Plan

  • SIM Only plan

min. cost $40 over first month

40GBMax Data**/billing period $40Advertised Cost^^/billing period

Link to provider unavailable

Vodafone Logo

100GB Mobile Broadband Plan

  • SIM Only plan

min. cost $60 over first month

100GBMax Data**/billing period $60Advertised Cost^^/billing period

Link to provider unavailable

View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

Telstra Mobile Broadband

Telstra’s mobile broadband range includes both BYO and device-on-a-plan options, with four main plans available. Prices start at $15 per month for 5GB, up to $85 for 400GB of monthly data. Although these plans aren’t classed as prepaid, you will need to pay for each month in advance via AutoPay.

  • All plans are available with no lock-in contract, but if you pick up a new device you can choose to pay it off over 12, 24 or 36 months (or simply pay full price upfront).
  • Telstra offers around half-a-dozen broadband devices, including the Nighthawk M5 and the Telstra 5G Wi-Fi Pro mobile broadband modems.
  • All plans include data-free Apple Music streaming and the option to share data across 10 plans on one account. You’ll also get free access to Telstra’s 5G network on Medium and Large plans, but Extra Small and Small customers will need to upgrade to use 5G.

Telstra came in sixth in our 2021 ratings, scoring three stars overall and four stars each for speed and coverage, bill and cost clarity, and ease of setup.

Telstra Mobile Broadband Plans

The following table shows a selection of published Telstra mobile broadband plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Telstra Logo

Extra Small

  • SIM only plan – pay upfront via AutoPay
  • No excess data charges in Australia
  • No 5G access
  • Share your data with up to 10 plans across your account

min. cost $15 over one month

5GBMax Data**/billing period $15Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go to Site
Telstra Logo

Small

  • SIM only plan – pay upfront via AutoPay
  • No excess data charges in Australia
  • No 5G access
  • Share your data with up to 10 plans across your account

min. cost $25 over one month

30GBMax Data**/billing period $25Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go to Site
Telstra Logo

Medium

  • SIM only plan – pay upfront via AutoPay
  • No excess data charges in Australia
  • 5G access included
  • Share your data with up to 10 plans across your account

min. cost $55 over one month

75GBMax Data**/billing period $55Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go to Site
Telstra Logo

Large

  • SIM only plan – pay upfront via AutoPay
  • No excess data charges in Australia
  • 5G access included
  • Share your data with up to 10 plans across your account

min. cost $85 over one month

400GBMax Data**/billing period $85Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go to Site
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

Other Mobile Broadband Plans

While our ratings cover five major mobile broadband providers, there are many more out there just as capable of offering you a good deal. Here is a quick guide to some of them.

Southern Phone Mobile Broadband

Southern Phone also operates on the Optus network and offers a range of four mobile broadband SIM-only plans on 12-month contracts.

Plans start at just $15 with 7GB of data per month and go up to $65 per month with 100GB. Data is charged in 1MB increments and if you go over your included data amount, you’ll be charged for excess data usage.

Southern Phone Mobile Broadband Plans

The following table shows a selection of published Southern Phone mobile broadband plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Southern Phones Logo

Extra Small

  • SIM Only

min. cost $180 over 12 month plan period

7GBMax Data**/billing period $15Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go to Site
Southern Phones Logo

Small

  • SIM Only

min. cost $300 over 12 month plan period

15GBMax Data**/billing period $25Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go to Site
Southern Phones Logo

Medium

  • SIM Only

min. cost $480 over 12 month plan period

50GBMax Data**/billing period $40Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go to Site
Southern Phones Logo

Large

  • SIM Only

min. cost $780 over 12 month plan period

100GBMax Data**/billing period $65Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go to Site
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

Yomojo Mobile Broadband

Another reseller offering mobile broadband on the Optus 4G Plus network, Yomojo’s plans are available at 2GB, 7GB, 15GB, 50GB or 100GB tiers, with prices beginning at $14.90 every 30 days.

All plans are contract-free and offered on a 30-day basis. You’ll need to bring your own device, and plans will automatically renew every 30 days. Excess data is available to add at a rate of $11 per gigabyte, or 2GB for $20.

Yomojo Mobile Broadband Plans

The following table shows a selection of Yomojo mobile broadband plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Yomojo Logo

2GB Mobile Broadband Plan

  • SIM Only

min. cost $14.90 over 30 day billing period

2GBMax Data**/billing period $14.90Advertised Cost^^/billing period

Link to provider unavailable

Yomojo Logo

7GB Mobile Broadband Plan

  • SIM Only

min. cost $19.90 over 30 day billing period

7GBMax Data**/billing period $19.90Advertised Cost^^/billing period

Link to provider unavailable

Yomojo Logo

15GB Mobile Broadband Plan

  • SIM Only

min. cost $34.90 over 30 day billing period

15GBMax Data**/billing period $34.90Advertised Cost^^/billing period

Link to provider unavailable

Yomojo Logo

50GB Mobile Broadband Plan

  • SIM Only

min. cost $54.90 over 30 day billing period

50GBMax Data**/billing period $54.90Advertised Cost^^/billing period

Link to provider unavailable

Yomojo Logo

100GB Mobile Broadband Plan

  • SIM Only

min. cost $79.90 over 30 day billing period

100GBMax Data**/billing period $79.90Advertised Cost^^/billing period

Link to provider unavailable

View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

SpinTel Mobile Broadband

Another Optus network provider, SpinTel offers four no-contract mobile broadband plans starting at $14.95 per month for 4GB of data. Inclusions go up to a generous 500GB for $69.95 per month, with in-between options including 20GB and 200GB.

Plans are available as SIM-only, or you can add on a compatible Netgear AC800S gateway, priced at $290 upfront (or available to rent for $16 monthly).

The following table shows a selection of SpinTel mobile broadband plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Spintel Logo

4GB Plan

  • Requires a SpinTel Netgear AC800S modem ($290 upfront + $20 P&H)

min. cost $324.95 over a one month period

4GBMax Data**/billing period $14.95Advertised Cost^^/billing period Link to provider unavailable
Spintel Logo

20GB Plan

  • Requires a SpinTel Netgear AC800S modem ($290 upfront + $20 P&H)

min. cost $334.95 over a one month period

20GBMax Data**/billing period $24.95Advertised Cost^^/billing period Link to provider unavailable
Spintel Logo

200GB Plan

  • Requires a SpinTel Netgear AC800S modem ($290 upfront + $20 P&H)

min. cost $365.95 over a one month period

200GBMax Data**/billing period $59.95Advertised Cost^^/billing period Link to provider unavailable
Spintel Logo

500GB Plan

  • Requires a SpinTel Netgear AC800S modem ($290 upfront + $20 P&H)

min. cost $369.95 over a one month period

500GBMax Data**/billing period $59.95Advertised Cost^^/billing period Link to provider unavailable
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

How much does mobile broadband cost?

According to Canstar Blue’s 2021 research, Australians are spending an average of $73 per month on mobile broadband – higher than last year’s average spend of $69 per month. This figure is also higher than the average monthly NBN bill, which is now $71 according to our 2021 NBN Providers survey. With the NBN rollout officially completed, it’s likely many people previously reliant on mobile internet can now make the switch to NBN – but if you don’t have the option (or just don’t want to), you can still find a good deal on mobile broadband. 

With prices beginning from less than $10 per month for basic entry level plans, and options up to 500GB or more per month, mobile broadband offers a much wider variety of data and price points than most fixed-line broadband services, for a cheaper cost than high-speed unlimited NBN. 

If you’re unhappy with the reliability of your NBN or ADSL plan, and find yourself switching to mobile data on your phone rather than using WiFi at home, mobile broadband might be an ideal solution if you don’t require unlimited gigabytes each month.

Most mobile broadband customers seem to use their plan to complement their existing internet, or as a temporary solution while waiting to connect to the NBN: 63% of respondents said they primarily to use for work while travelling, while 58% said it was cheaper to pay for mobile internet than to buy more data or upgrade their phone plan. 

63% of survey participants prefer to use mobile internet around the home as it’s faster and more reliable, and 50% expect to only use mobile broadband at home going forward. However, 61% of respondents say they don’t use their mobile internet as much as they thought they would, so it’s important to figure out just how you’ll use your broadband to avoid paying for data you don’t need. 

No matter what type of broadband plan you need, it’s important to do your research to find a data limit that’s appropriate and at a price you’re happy to pay. Happy browsing!

Other Mobile Broadband Providers

Aside from the few names mentioned above, there are around 30 providers out there, and many phone plan providers also double up to offer mobile broadband. After all, mobile broadband is essentially a phone plan without the calls and texts. Other providers worth keeping an eye out for include:

Smaller service providers tend to operate with lower overheads and can therefore deliver more data often at a cheaper price. However, in terms of ‘extra stuff’, such as data-free streaming, they may lack behind. It’s important to consult Critical Information Summaries here to see what you’re getting.

Mobile Broadband FAQ

Still have some questions about mobile broadband plans, providers, or just more questions generally? Give our FAQ section below a browse, and in case your questions aren’t answered, check out service provider websites for more information.

What is mobile broadband and how does it work?

Mobile broadband works as a portable and home internet solution by using 4G, 3G (and on some plans 5G) networks to deliver internet to your device. Put simply, you pay for a plan from your selected provider, with plans varying in terms of costs, data inclusions and bonuses.

Mobile broadband can work through three main ways: either it’s delivered through a SIM card that you slot into your phone or SIM card compatible device (like having a phone plan without a phone number), it’s delivered through a dongle that connects via USB to your laptop or computer, or it’s delivered through a completely separate device, like a portable modem.

How fast is mobile broadband?

4G mobile broadband’s theoretical speeds can exceed 100Mbps, which is fast enough to stream TV shows and sports across multiple devices. However, in real-world scenarios, mobile broadband speeds typically only reach around 30Mbps to 50Mbps, and even slower in congested areas or times.

5G testing has revealed that the new network can exceed 20Gbps in ideal conditions, with more realistic real-world scenarios likely to achieve about 1-5Gbps. This is much faster than anything we have seen in Australia.

While 5G is still in its infancy, there’s no question that in the 4G vs. 5G debate, 5G reigns supreme. But there are a variety of factors that can affect your mobile broadband speeds – regardless if you’re using 5G, 4G or even 3G.

What affects mobile broadband speed?

  • Congestion: In busy areas, mobile cell towers are often overloaded with traffic. Ever noticed at a busy sports stadium your data speeds are shockingly slow? That’s the congestion effect.
  • Signal strength: 4G (and now 5G) is traditionally strongest in major metro areas, while some areas will only get a weak 4G signal. 3G, on the other hand, is more widely available across even regional areas, but is much slower.
  • Your device’s capability: Many new devices are now 5G-compatible, but older phones, tablets, and modems are likely to only support 4G and 3G speeds. Using an older device in general can affect your performance, as sluggish software can cause your speeds to appear slow or create lag.
  • The weather: Yes, even the weather can indirectly affect mobile internet speeds! While windy and stormy weather can physically knock over mobile towers, adverse weather also encourages people to stay home, snuggle up and use the internet, and thus increase congestion.

Can I get unlimited mobile broadband?

Unlimited mobile broadband is currently only offered by Telstra, Optus and Vodafone – but there’s a catch. Once you surpass the monthly data limit on your plan, any data you use after that point will be limited to 1.5Mbps. These speeds are good enough for basic social media use and email access, but you might struggle when trying to watch Netflix or high-quality YouTube videos.

Should I get a mobile broadband plan on a contract?

Mobile broadband plans on a contract typically include larger data amounts and lower monthly costs, at the disadvantage of not being able to leave until your contract is complete. The reverse is true of contract-free mobile broadband plans; on these plans you can expect slightly higher costs and lower data inclusions, with the benefit of being able to leave at any given time.

It comes down to what you want out of your mobile broadband plan, and how long you expect to use it. If you think you’ll need it for a longer period of time, consider a contract plan however if you only need mobile broadband for a short while, consider a contract-free plan.

Is mobile broadband good or bad?

Mobile broadband can be a worthwhile solution to your portable and home internet woes if the NBN has let you down, however there are some issues you should keep in mind.

While 4G (and 5G, which is only available on some plans) mobile broadband plans are portable and offer high speeds that can rival the NBN in some circumstances, keep in mind that mobile broadband plans offer limited data inclusions and often higher prices compared to NBN plans which aren’t portable, but typically are cheaper with unlimited data included. Also, keep in mind that mobile broadband speeds are heavily influenced by your location, so speeds vary greatly depending on where you are.

How do I find my mobile broadband number?

Mobile broadband plans don’t have phone numbers included, however, if you’re after the phone number attached to your billing account, you can usually find that information on your bill or in the account section of your service provider’s website.

How do I check my mobile broadband usage?

You can typically check your mobile broadband data usage through your service provider’s website or app, if this option is available. Keep in mind that accurate data might take a while to update if you’re checking after a big download.

How do I top up my mobile broadband plan?

You can top up your mobile broadband plan through your provider’s website or app, if this option is available. If you’re finding that topping up your mobile broadband plan is something you’re doing often, consider getting a big data mobile broadband plan, or one that automatically recharges.

Is mobile broadband good for home internet?

Mobile broadband is a good home internet solution for a household that doesn’t use the internet heavily, such as for basic social media and email use. However, for a household that streams Netflix or plays online games regularly, mobile broadband might not be the best solution. Mobile broadband’s low data amounts mean you’d likely run through your plan’s data after a few hours of standard definition video streaming.

If you’re after a home internet solution that works well for an internet-heavy household, consider an NBN plan or home wireless broadband.

Home Wireless Broadband

If you’re after unlimited data mobile broadband, there’s another wire-free mobile option on the market. It’s called ‘home wireless’ and can theoretically replace your home internet. In most cases, simply plug in your 4G or 5G modem and use it like normal internet – no wires, no installation, and setup can take less than five minutes.

Home wireless differs from mobile broadband in that it comes packaged with a router, and is intended for use as a replacement for a fixed-line connection. It’s worth considering if you’re renting or have no fixed address, or if you’re unable to access an ADSL or NBN connection.

Major players on the home wireless scene include Optus and SpinTel, and plans usually come with a 4G WiFi modem. Most 24-month plans will include a pre-configured modem, but those on month-to-month plans may need to pay an upfront fee.

Prices usually begin at around $40 per month for 250GB of data, but selected Optus customers can access unlimited 5G home broadband from $75 per month. However, this is only available to a small number of subscribers in 5G-enabled areas.

iiNet Wireless Broadband Plans

The following table shows a selection of published iiNet home wireless broadband plans from Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of their standard monthly cost, from the lowest to highest. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
iiNet Logo

Home Wireless Broadband Liimitless Plan

  • Up to 20Mbps speed
  • $0 set up fees and no lock-in contract
  • $0 premium WiFi modem
  • Special offer: one month plan fees free. Terms apply.

min. cost $59.99 over one month

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $59.99Advertised Data^^/billing period Go to Site
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

TPG Wireless Broadband Plans

The following table shows a selection of published TPG home wireless broadband plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of standard monthly cost, from the lowest to highest. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
TPG Logo

Home Wireless Broadband Unlimited Plan

  • Up to 20Mbps speeds
  • $0 setup fee with no lock-in contract
  • $0 home wireless modem
  • Special offer: First month plan fees free. Terms apply.

min. cost $54.99 over first month

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $54.99Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go to Site
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

Optus 4G Home Internet Plans

The following table shows a selection of Optus 4G Home Internet plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Optus Logo

4G Home Internet Lite 200GB (24 Months)

  • Includes: B818 Modem
  • Cost of 1MB included data is $0.0003
  • Available in selected areas

min. cost $1,416 over 24 month plan period

200GBMax Data**/billing period $59Advertised Cost^^/billing period Link to provider unavailable
Optus Logo

4G Home Internet Lite 200GB (Month-to-Month)

  • $216 upfront modem cost for B818 Modem
  • Cost of 1MB included data is $0.0003
  • Available in selected areas

min. cost $275 (incl. $216 modem cost) over first month plan period

200GBMax Data**/billing period $59Advertised Cost^^/billing period Link to provider unavailable
Optus Logo

4G Home Internet Everyday 500GB (24 Month)

  • Includes: B818 Modem
  • Cost of 1MB included data is $0.0002
  • Available in selected areas

min. cost $1,656 over 24 month plan period

500GBMax Data**/billing period $69Advertised Cost^^/billing period Link to provider unavailable
Optus Logo

4G Home Internet Everyday 500GB (Month-to-Month)

  • $216 upfront modem cost for B818 Modem
  • Cost of 1MB included data is $0.0002
  • Available in selected areas

min. cost $285 (incl. $216 modem cost) over first month plan period

500GBMax Data**/billing period $69Advertised Cost^^/billing period Link to provider unavailable
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

Southern Phone Wireless Broadband Plans

The following table shows a selection of published Southern Phone wireless broadband plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Southern Phones Logo

Home Wireless 50

  • $79 upfront WiFi modem
  • Optus 4G wireless broadband network

min. cost $1,279 over 24 month plan period

200GBMax Data**/billing period $50Advertised Cost^^/billing period Link to provider unavailable
Southern Phones Logo

Home Wireless 70

  • $79 upfront WiFi modem
  • Optus 4G wireless broadband network

min. cost $1,759 over 24 month plan period

500GBMax Data**/billing period $70Advertised Cost^^/billing period Link to provider unavailable
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

Tangerine Wireless Broadband Plans

The following table shows a selection of published Tangerine wireless broadband plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Tangerine Logo

200GB Plan

  • Optus 4G Plus Network coverage
  • Optional modem from $259.90 upfront
  • Special offer: $59.90 per month for first 6 months, then $69.90 ongoing

min. cost $59.90 over first month

200GBMax Data**/billing period $69.90Advertised Cost^^/billing period Link to provider unavailable
Tangerine Logo

500GB Plan

  • Optus 4G Plus Network coverage
  • Optional modem from $259.90 upfront
  • Special offer: $69.90 per month for first 6 months, then $79.90 ongoing

min. cost $69.90 over first month

500GBMax Data**/billing period $79.90Advertised Cost^^/billing period Link to provider unavailable
Tangerine Logo

1000GB Plan

  • Optus 4G Plus Network coverage
  • Optional modem from $259.90 upfront
  • Special offer: $89.90 per month for first 6 months, then $99.90 ongoing

min. cost $99.90 over first month

1000GBMax Data**/billing period $99.90Advertised Cost^^/billing period Link to provider unavailable
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

If you’re interested in home wireless broadband, you can find more information in our guide. But keep in mind that home wireless broadband is different to NBN fixed wireless.

About the author of this page

This page was written and is regularly updated by Canstar Blue’s Telco Editor, Tara Donnelly. Having spent more than seven years writing for and editing telco comparison websites, she’s an expert in all things phone & internet, including mobile broadband and how to find the best deal for your family. She loves to highlight the next best deals, while flagging the things you need to be aware of. Tara also acts as a spokesperson for Canstar Blue.

Compare Internet Bundles

Frequently Asked Questions

Canstar Blue surveyed 12,316 Australian adults across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction, via ISO 26362 accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have a mobile broadband plan in their name and they pay the bills – in this case, 2,433 people.

Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then by mean overalls satisfaction. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.

Here are past winners of Canstar Blue’s Most Satisfied Customers – Mobile Broadband ratings:

  • 2020: ALDI Mobile
  • 2019: ALDI Mobile
  • 2018: Virgin Mobile
  • 2017: Vodafone
  • 2016: Optus

Latest Internet Articles

Woman sitting cross-legged with laptop, celebrating a good deal

What are the best internet deals?

Compare internet deals from providers such as Belong, SpinTel, Amaysim, MyRepublic, AusBBS, MATE, Barefoot and Telstra with Canstar Blue.

– Read more
Smiling woman holding laptop

5G home internet: plans and prices compared

With 5G networks rolling out across capital cities – and 5G devices now available from brands including Apple, Samsung, OPPO, Nokia, and Motorola – millions of Australians now have some access to 5G on their …

– Read more
Best Watching on Stan

The best TV shows and movies on Stan

Are you stuck for something to watch on Stan? Here is our pick of the best TV shows and movies on Stan in 2017.

– Read more
Group of people looking at different devices including laptops and mobile phones

WiFi Range: What is the typical distance of a WiFi signal?

WiFi is a great thing — it has changed the way we live and work, allowing us to connect to the internet without being restricted to one room in the house with a cable connection. …

– Read more
Voip chat

A review of VoIP phone services in Australia

Voice over Internet Protocol can be a cost effective way to replace your home landline. Find out what VoIP services to look out for in Australia at Canstar Blue

– Read more