Mobile Broadband Plans & Providers

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

See our Ratings Methodology.

Most Satisfied Customers | ALDI Mobile

ALDI Mobile has proved a surprise winner of our mobile broadband ratings in 2019. Leading the way from Optus, Telstra and Vodafone, ALDI scored five stars across all research categories, including value for money and speed & coverage.

ALDI rated best for mobile broadband plans

Gone are the days of dialup and measly data allowances that cost an arm and a leg – nowadays, even mobile broadband plans come with good amounts of data relatively cheaply. 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 2019 mobile broadband review and ratings.

This year, we’ve surveyed more than 600 mobile broadband customers to provide some guidance. While everyone wants a bargain, it should be noted that the cheapest plans may not necessarily mean the best value. That’s something to keep in mind when we mention smaller service providers later. Our ratings have put Australia’s big three telcos to the test in Vodafone, Optus and Telstra, while highlighting the surprise in the pack, ALDI Mobile. The idea is to give you as much information as possible about the compared providers, and more, to help you make an 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

Canstar Blue’s 2019 review of mobile broadband providers saw these four brands compared and rated in the following order for overall customer satisfaction:

  • 1st ALDI Mobile
  • 2nd Vodafone
  • 3rd Optus
  • 4th Telstra

ALDI Mobile received five stars for customer service, value for money, bill and cost clarity, ease of set-up and speed & coverage, in addition to overall satisfaction. Vodafone came second with four stars overall, with Optus and Telstra behind on three stars overall.

When shopping for a mobile broadband plan, you are presented with several options – do you go the SIM-only route or purchase it with a dongle or pocket Wi-Fi device. SIM-only plans can be great for your tablet or mobile device, while dongles can be plugged into laptops and pocket Wi-Fi can even be used to replace your home internet. And with 5G data now a reality, it’s an exciting time to check out a mobile broadband plan – it could even replace the NBN in the future! So, what are the best mobile broadband deals around? Read on for specifics about the brands in our review, but first, here is a quick comparison of mobile broadband plans.

Mobile Broadband Plans

The following table shows a selection of comparable published 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

Medium

  • SIM Only

min. cost $480 over 12 month plan period

50GBMax Data**/billing period $40Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Vodafone Logo

50GB Mobile Broadband Plan

  • SIM Only plan

min. cost $540 over 12 months

50GBMax Data**/billing period $45Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Ovo Logo

OVOBoom Small

  • Unlimited sport and radio on OVOPlay
  • BYO modem option

min. cost $49.95 over 30 day billing period

50GBMax Data**/billing period $49.95Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Telstra Logo

Medium

  • SIM only plan
  • No excess data charges in Australia
  • Includes data-free sports and music streaming

min. cost $50 over one month

50GBMax Data**/billing period $50Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Amaysim Logo

SIM Only 50GB

  • SIM Only

min. cost $60 over 28 day billing period

50GBMax Data**/billing period $60Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Yomojo Logo

50GB Mobile Broadband Plan

  • SIM Only

min. cost $69.90 over 30 day billing period

50GBMax Data**/billing period $69.90Advertised Data^^/billing period
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

ALDI Mobile Broadband Plans

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 $15 for 3GB of data with a 30-day expiry, and 365-day expiry packs are also available.

  • Three 30-day options are available, with 365-day packs offering up to 365GB of data for use over 12 months.
  • All 30-day plans (and the $95, 365-day plan) include data rollover, provided customers recharge on time.
  • Plans are offered on a prepaid basis only, with auto-recharge options available.

ALDI Mobile received an outstanding score of five stars overall in our 2019 ratings, with an additional five-star review for every other category.

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

$15 Data Pack

  • SIM only plan
  • Includes data rollover

min. cost $15 over 30 days

3GBMax Data**/billing period $15Advertised Data^^/billing period
ALDIMobile Logo

$30 Data Pack

  • SIM only plan
  • Includes data rollover

min. cost $30 over 30 days

26GBMax Data**/billing period $30Advertised Data^^/billing period
ALDIMobile Logo

$65 Data Pack

  • SIM only plan
  • Includes data rollover

min. cost $65 over 30 days

75GBMax Data**/billing period $65Advertised Data^^/billing period
View all mobile plans listed on Canstar Blue

Vodafone Mobile Broadband Plans

Vodafone offers plenty of choice for mobile broadband users. Customers can select from a plan with a bundled-in modem, prepaid mobile broadband plans, or SIM-only modem or tablet options. Red Mobile Broadband plans begin at $15 per month for 3GB of data, with modems available from an extra $2.50 per month over 36 months.

  • 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 $30 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’s range of plans may be confusing for some customers, but the telco achieved an overall satisfaction rating of four stars in our review, as well as four stars for almost all other categories.

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

3GB Mobile Broadband Plan

  • SIM Only plan

min. cost $180 over 12 months

3GBMax Data**/billing period $15Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Vodafone Logo

20GB Mobile Broadband Plan

  • SIM Only plan

min. cost $360 over 12 months

20GBMax Data**/billing period $30Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Vodafone Logo

50GB Mobile Broadband Plan

  • SIM Only plan

min. cost $540 over 12 months

50GBMax Data**/billing period $45Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Vodafone Logo

100GB Mobile Broadband Plan

  • SIM Only plan

min. cost $720 over 12 months

100GBMax Data**/billing period $60Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

Optus Mobile Broadband Plans

Optus offers both SIM-only and wireless modem broadband plans, with prices beginning at only $25 per month for 5GB of data on a 24-month SIM plan. Month-to-month SIM options are also available, but you will pay around $10 per month more for the same amount of data.

  • Data is available up to 100GB for SIM-only plans, or 500GB with a bundled-in modem.
  • Modem plans begin at $65 per month for 200GB of data, and are offered on a 24-month basis only.
  • Plans include free Optus Sport.

Optus scored four stars for value for money, bill clarity, and ease of setup, with an overall satisfaction rating of three stars.

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

$20 My Mobile Broadband Plus

  • SIM Only plan
  • Includes Optus Sport

min. cost $300 over 12 months

5GBMax Data**/billing period $25Advertised Data^^/billing period
Optus Logo

$35 My Mobile Broadband Plus

  • SIM Only plan
  • Includes Optus Sport

min. cost $420 over 24 months

30GBMax Data**/billing period $35Advertised Data^^/billing period
Optus Logo

$60 My Mobile Broadband Plus

  • SIM Only plan
  • Includes Optus Sport

min. cost $720 over 24 months

100GBMax Data**/billing period $60Advertised Data^^/billing period
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

Telstra Mobile Broadband Plans

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 $75 for 100GB of monthly data.

  • All plans are available with no lock-in contract, but if you pick up a new device you’ll need to pay it off over 36 or 24 months.
  • Telstra offers around half-a-dozen broadband devices, including its new HTC 5G Hub.
  • All plans include data-free sports streaming, data-free Apple Music streaming, and free Telstra Air Wi-Fi. You’ll also get free access to Telstra’s 5G network (where available) until 30 June, 2020.

Telstra came in fourth in our 2019 ratings, scoring three stars overall and a four-star result for speed and coverage.

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

Extra Small

  • SIM only plan
  • No excess data charges in Australia
  • Includes data-free sports and music streaming

min. cost $15 over one month

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

Small

  • SIM only plan
  • No excess data charges in Australia
  • Includes data-free sports and music streaming

min. cost $25 over one month

10GBMax Data**/billing period $25Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Telstra Logo

Medium

  • SIM only plan
  • No excess data charges in Australia
  • Includes data-free sports and music streaming

min. cost $50 over one month

50GBMax Data**/billing period $50Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Telstra Logo

Large

  • SIM only plan
  • No excess data charges in Australia
  • Includes data-free sports and music streaming

min. cost $75 over one month

100GBMax Data**/billing period $75Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

Other Mobile Broadband Plans

While our ratings cover four 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.

OVO Mobile Broadband Plans

Optus reseller OVO Mobile offers four prepaid OVO Boom mobile broadband plans to customers, featuring plenty of data and great unlimited extras.

Plans start at $49.95 for 50GB of data, and each option features a 30-day expiry. All OVO ‘Boom’ plans are BYO modem, although you can purchase one from OVO at sign-up. All plans are contract-free and month-to-month.

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

OVOBoom Small

  • Unlimited sport and radio on OVOPlay
  • BYO modem option

min. cost $49.95 over 30 day billing period

50GBMax Data**/billing period $49.95Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Ovo Logo

OVOBoom Large

  • Unlimited sport and radio on OVOPlay
  • BYO modem option

min. cost $64.95 over 30 day billing period

100GBMax Data**/billing period $64.95Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Ovo Logo

OVOBoom XL

  • Unlimited sport and radio on OVOPlay
  • BYO modem option

min. cost $79.95 over 30 day billing period

250GBMax Data**/billing period $79.95Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Ovo Logo

OVOBoom XXL

  • Unlimited sport and radio on OVOPlay
  • BYO modem option

min. cost $109.95 over 30 day billing period

500GBMax Data**/billing period $109.95Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

Yomojo Mobile Broadband Plans

Another reseller offering mobile broadband on the Optus 4G Plus network, Yomojo’s plans are available at 3GB, 15GB, 50GB or 70GB tiers, with prices beginning at $15.90.

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.

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

3GB Mobile Broadband Plan

  • SIM Only

min. cost $15.90 over 30 day billing period

3GBMax Data**/billing period $15.90Advertised Data^^/billing period
Yomojo Logo

15GB Mobile Broadband Plan

  • SIM Only

min. cost $45.90 over 30 day billing period

15GBMax Data**/billing period $45.90Advertised Data^^/billing period
Yomojo Logo

50GB Mobile Broadband Plan

  • SIM Only

min. cost $69.90 over 30 day billing period

50GBMax Data**/billing period $69.90Advertised Data^^/billing period
Yomojo Logo

70GB Mobile Broadband Plan

  • SIM Only

min. cost $85.90 over 30 day billing period

70GBMax Data**/billing period $85.90Advertised Data^^/billing period
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

Amaysim Mobile Broadband Plans

Amaysim is another Optus network reseller and has five dead-simple mobile broadband plans to choose from, with the choice of either a prepaid or postpaid plan.

Plans start at $15 for 2GB data, and all are SIM-only by default. Data is counted by the kilobyte and expiry periods last for 28 days, not a month. At the upper end of the scale, Amaysim offers 150GB data for $90 a month, which is one of the more competitive deals out there.

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

SIM Only 2GB

  • SIM Only

min. cost $15 over 28 day billing period

2GBMax Data**/billing period $15Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Amaysim Logo

SIM Only 5GB

  • SIM Only

min. cost $25 over 28 day billing period

5GBMax Data**/billing period $25Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Amaysim Logo

SIM Only 20GB

  • SIM Only

min. cost $45 over 28 day billing period

20GBMax Data**/billing period $45Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Amaysim Logo

SIM Only 50GB

  • SIM Only

min. cost $60 over 28 day billing period

50GBMax Data**/billing period $60Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Amaysim Logo

SIM Only 100GB

  • SIM Only

min. cost $70 over 28 day billing period

100GBMax Data**/billing period $60Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Amaysim Logo

SIM Only 150GB

  • SIM Only

min. cost $90 over 28 day billing period

150GBMax Data**/billing period $90Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

Southern Phone Mobile Broadband Plans

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

Plans start at $15 with 7GB of data per month and go up to $110 per month with 250GB of data. Data is charged in 1MB increments and if you go over your included data amount, you’ll be charged for excess data usage.

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 Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Southern Phones Logo

Small

  • SIM Only

min. cost $300 over 12 month plan period

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

Medium

  • SIM Only

min. cost $480 over 12 month plan period

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

Large

  • SIM Only

min. cost $780 over 12 month plan period

100GBMax Data**/billing period $65Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Southern Phones Logo

Extra Large

  • SIM Only

min. cost $1,320 over 12 month plan period

250GBMax Data**/billing period $110Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

Exetel Mobile Broadband Plans

Exetel offers a wide range of mobile broadband products, on both month-to-month and 12-month plans. Customers willing to sign up for a full year will receive better plan value, with the entry-level $19.99 option including 5GB of data each month contract-free, and 8GB on a 12-month plan.

Price tiers go up to the $79.99 plan, which includes either 70GB per month (on a no lock-in plan), or 90GB per month (on a one-year deal). All plans are powered by Optus’ 4G Plus and 3G networks, and customers can either buy a compatible USB modem from Exetel, or bring their own.

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

8GB Mobile Broadband Plan

  • SIM Only

min. cost $19.99 over one month

8GBMax Data**/billing period $19.99Advertised Data^^/billing period
Exetel Logo

15GB Mobile Broadband Plan

  • SIM Only

min. cost $29.99 over one month

15GBMax Data**/billing period $29.99Advertised Data^^/billing period
Exetel Logo

60GB Mobile Broadband Plan

  • SIM Only

min. cost $59.99 over one month

60GBMax Data**/billing period $59.99Advertised Data^^/billing period
Exetel Logo

90GB Mobile Broadband Plan

  • SIM Only

min. cost $79.99 over one month

90GBMax Data**/billing period $79.99Advertised Data^^/billing period
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

Unlimited Mobile Broadband – Home Wireless Plans

If you’re after unlimited data mobile broadband – and let’s face it, who isn’t – then there is a burgeoning market for it. It’s called ‘home wireless’ and can theoretically replace your home internet. In most cases, you set up your 4G 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, Exetel, and SpinTel, and plans usually come with a 4G WiFi modem. Most 24-month contracts 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 for $70. However, this is only available to a small number of subscribers in 5G-enabled areas, and then only by invitation from Optus.

If you’re interested in home wireless broadband, you can find more information in our guide.

Other Mobile Broadband Providers

Aside from the few 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.

4G vs 5G – Speeds Compared

4G theoretical speeds can exceed 100Mbps, which is fast enough to stream TV shows and sports. 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.

4G is still reasonably quick for internet on the go, but 5G will be a gamechanger. There are some factors that can affect your mobile broadband speeds, however.

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 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, but is much slower.
  • Your device’s capability: Most devices are 4G-compatable now, but if it’s more than a few years old, you’re probably still only getting 3G-equivalent speeds as your device does not support the bands needed for 4G.
  • 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.

How much does mobile broadband cost?

Australians are spending an average of just over $68 per month on mobile broadband, which is a fairly large amount considering average spending on fixed-line internet connections is between $73 and $77 per month, our research shows. Though, for most, a mobile broadband plan would simply compliment an existing fixed-line connection for when you’re out and about, rather than replacing it. At least, at this stage.

  • You can pick up a SIM-only mobile broadband plan for as little as $10, but expect data allowance to be pretty modest. If it’s big-data you desire, prices rise to more than $80, for which you’ll get around 70-100GBs.

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. Although they may not necessarily make or break a plan, consider other bonuses such as data-free streaming and other perks. Happy browsing!

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Frequently Asked Questions

Canstar Blue surveyed 9,000 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, 692 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.

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