Mobile Broadband Plans & Providers

Advertisement

Canstar Blue’s annual review of mobile broadband providers compares providers Virgin Mobile, Amaysim, Optus, Vodafone, Dodo & Telstra based on value for money, customer service, network performance, bill clarity, contract clarity, ease of activation & overall satisfaction.

See our Ratings Methodology.

Most Satisfied Customers | Virgin Mobile

Virgin Mobile has snatched the crown from Vodafone for overall mobile broadband satisfaction, rating five stars for performance, customer service and value for money.

Virgin Mobile leads the way for mobile broadband plans

Gone are the days of dial-up 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 2018 mobile broadband review and ratings.

This year we’ve surveyed more than 1,000 mobile broadband customers to offer 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 customer ratings have put Australia’s big three telcos to the test in Vodafone, Optus and Telstra, while also featuring some smaller providers in Virgin Mobile, Amaysim and Dodo.

The six telcos to feature in our 2018 mobile broadband comparison were rated in the following order for overall customer satisfaction:

  • 1st Virgin Mobile
  • 2nd Vodafone
  • 3rd Amaysim
  • 4th Optus
  • 5th Telstra
  • 6th Dodo

While Virgin Mobile topped the ratings, we should point out that the telco has since been closed down by its owner, Optus.

  • Virgin Mobile dominated every category, with the only other five-star rating given to Vodafone for customer service.
  • Vodafone had to settle for four stars overall, along with Amaysim and Optus.
  • Dodo and Telstra both received just three stars for overall satisfaction.

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. With 5G around the corner, it’s an exciting time to be a mobile broadband customer – so what are the best deals?

Below is a list of providers from our database with a direct link to respective providers’ websites. These are featured products.

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

Small

  • Telstra 4GX Wi-Fi Pro available from $0 extra per month

min. cost $696 over 24 month plan period

10GBMax Data**/billing period $29Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Exetel Logo

15GB Mobile Broadband Plan

  • SIM Only

min. cost $359.88 over 12 monthly billing period

15GBMax Data**/billing period $29.99Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Moose Mobile Logo

15GB Data Plan

  • SIM Only

min. cost $42 over 30 day billing period

15GBMax Data**/billing period $42Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Vodafone Logo

20GB Mobile Broadband Plan

  • Vodafone Pocket Wi-Fi 4G Modem available on 24-month plans

min. cost $1080 over 24 month billing period

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

OVO Data Large Prepaid

  • SIM Only

min. cost $69.95 over 30 day billing period

100GBMax Data**/billing period $69.95Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

Virgin Mobile Broadband Plans

Compared to other providers, Virgin Mobile offered a fairly simple approach to its mobile broadband plans, utilising the Optus 4G network.

  • Plans are split up into 12-month and month-to-month categories, with the former able to be bundled with a pocket Wi-Fi modem or dongle. Month-to-month plans are BYO-device.

Plans started at $15/month for 3GB data over 12 months, with big data bonuses on offer to consumers who signed up before Virgin stopped offering plans. Virgin Mobile was rated five-stars overall and five stars in every category – including key ones such as customer service and value for money.

Vodafone Mobile Broadband Plans

Vodafone has a large range of mobile broadband plans – some have mobile dongles or pocket Wi-Fi modems included. Its SIM-only plans start at $15, which seems to be the going rate. Users have the choice of a month-to-month, 12-month or 24-month contract that bundles in a device.

  • Plans start at $15 a month for 3GB data, while at the upper end users can get up to 30GB data with big data bonuses from time to time.

With these plans, Vodafone includes all the usual perks such as $5 roaming, large amounts of bonus data, discounts and more. Vodafone was rated four stars overall, and notably achieved five stars for customer service.

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

3GB Mobile Broadband Plan

  • Vodafone Pocket Wi-Fi 4G Modem available on 24-month plans

min. cost $360 over 24 month billing period

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

10GB Mobile Broadband Plan

  • Vodafone Pocket Wi-Fi 4G Modem available on 24-month plans

min. cost $720 over 24 month billing period

10GBMax Data**/billing period $30Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Vodafone Logo

20GB Mobile Broadband Plan

  • Vodafone Pocket Wi-Fi 4G Modem available on 24-month plans

min. cost $1080 over 24 month billing period

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

30GB Mobile Broadband Plan

  • Vodafone Pocket Wi-Fi 4G Modem available on 24-month plans

min. cost $1440 over 24 month billing period

30GBMax Data**/billing period $60Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

Telstra Mobile Broadband Plans

Out of the providers in this list, it’s perhaps unsurprising to discover that Telstra has probably the most comprehensive array of plans. Customers can opt for a SIM-only, device-bundled or tablet-bundled plan. Users have the ability to choose between month-to-month or 24-month plans.

What Telstra lacks in data, it may more than make up for with streaming goodies and other bonuses. Telstra was rated three stars overall yet achieve four stars in some important areas such as network performance, bill clarity and ease of activation.

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

Small

  • Telstra 4GX Wi-Fi Pro available from $0 extra per month

min. cost $696 over 24 month plan period

10GBMax Data**/billing period $29Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Telstra Logo

Medium

  • Telstra 4GX Wi-Fi Pro available from $0 extra per month

min. cost $708 over 24 month plan period

30GBMax Data**/billing period $59Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Telstra Logo

Large

  • Telstra 4GX Wi-Fi Pro available from $0 extra per month

min. cost $1068 over 24 month plan period

80GBMax Data**/billing period $89Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

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, and include unlimited ‘OVO Time’: access to data-free live sports and radio streaming through the OVO Play app.

If you’re looking at data on the higher end of the scale, the XXL OVO Boom plan includes 250GB and is currently reduced to just $99.95 per recharge (down from $119.95). This offer is available to all new customers who buy before November 30, and you’ll get to keep your $20 discount for the life of your plan.

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 $69.95 over 30 day billing period

100GBMax Data**/billing period $69.95Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Ovo Logo

OVOBoom XL

  • Unlimited sport and radio on OVOPlay
  • BYO modem option

min. cost $89.95 over 30 day billing period

150GBMax Data**/billing period $89.95Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Ovo Logo

OVOBoom XXL

  • Unlimited sport and radio on OVOPlay
  • BYO modem option
  • Special offer: $99.95 monthly, buy before 30/11/18

min. cost $99.95 over 30 day billing period

250GBMax Data**/billing period $99.95Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all mobile plans listed on Canstar Blue

Yomojo Mobile Broadband Plans

Yet 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 Go To Site
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 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 Go To Site
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 Go To Site
View all mobile plans listed on Canstar Blue

Exetel Mobile Broadband Plans

Exetel offers a 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 $239.88 over 12 monthly billing period

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

15GB Mobile Broadband Plan

  • SIM Only

min. cost $359.88 over 12 monthly billing period

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

25GB Mobile Broadband Plan

  • SIM Only

min. cost $539.88 over 12 monthly billing period

25GBMax Data**/billing period $44.99Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Exetel Logo

60GB Mobile Broadband Plan

  • SIM Only

min. cost $719.88 over 12 monthly billing period

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

90GB Mobile Broadband Plan

  • SIM Only

min. cost $959.88 over 12 monthly billing period

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

Moose Mobile Mobile Broadband Plans

Moose Mobile currently offers six data-only mobile broadband plans, which are ideal for use with tablets or laptops. Plans range from a low $12 per month (for 1.5GB of data), up to 70GB for $78.

There’s lots of lower-data options available, so Moose is good choice for customers looking for on-the-go tablet or device data, rather than a home broadband solution. Like other smaller providers on this list, Moose Mobile runs on Optus’ 4G Plus and 3G networks, and all plans are month-to-month and contract-free.

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

Moose 1.5GB Data SIM Plan

  • Optus 3G/4G Network
  • $12 Upfront

min. cost $12 over billing period

1.5GBMax Data**/billing period $12Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Moose Mobile Logo

Moose 5GB Data SIM Plan

  • Optus 3G/4G Network
  • $18 Upfront

min. cost $18 over billing period

5GBMax Data**/billing period $18Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Moose Mobile Logo

Moose 10GB Data SIM Plan

  • Optus 3G/4G Network
  • $32 Upfront

min. cost $32 over billing period

10GBMax Data**/billing period $32Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Moose Mobile Logo

Moose 15GB Data SIM Plan

  • Optus 3G/4G Network
  • $42 Upfront

min. cost $42 over billing period

15GBMax Data**/billing period $42Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Moose Mobile Logo

Moose 50GB Data SIM Plan

  • Optus 3G/4G Network
  • $58 Upfront

min. cost $58 over billing period

50GBMax Data**/billing period $58Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Moose Mobile Logo

Moose 70GB Data SIM Plan

  • Optus 3G/4G Network
  • $78 Upfront

min. cost $78 over billing period

70GBMax Data**/billing period $78Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

Optus Mobile Broadband Plans

Optus has a comprehensive array of mobile broadband plans, with the ability to bundle in a dongle or pocket Wi-Fi modem. Its SIM-only deals come on either a month-to-month or 12-month contract, with significant incentives to sign on for longer.

  • Plans start at $15 for 3GB on a 12-month basis.

Customers also get access to data-free music streaming and included Optus Sport on many plans. On the rare occasions where Optus foregoes its big data inclusions, it more than makes up for it with extra stuff, that’s nice to have. Optus was rated four-stars overall and for most other categories.

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

$15 My Mobile Broadband Plus

  • SIM Only (modem optional)

min. cost $180 over 12 month plan period

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

$25 My Mobile Broadband Plus

  • SIM Only (modem optional)

min. cost $300 over 12 month plan period

10GBMax Data**/billing period $25Advertised Data^^/billing period
Optus Logo

$60 My Mobile Broadband Plus

  • SIM Only (modem optional)
  • Special offer:Bonus 100GB data (ends 03/02/19)

min. cost $720 over 12 month plan period

100GBMax Data**/billing period $60Advertised 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 28 days, not a month.

At the upper end of the scale, Amaysim offers 100GB data for $70 a month, which is one of the more competitive deals out there. Amaysim was rated four-stars overall and in most categories, except in customer service, network performance and bill clarity where it achieved three-stars.

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
Amaysim Logo

SIM Only 5GB

  • SIM Only

min. cost $25 over 28 day billing period

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

SIM Only 20GB

  • SIM Only

min. cost $45 over 28 day billing period

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

SIM Only 50GB

  • SIM Only

min. cost $60 over 28 day billing period

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

SIM Only 100GB

  • SIM Only

min. cost $70 over 28 day billing period

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

Dodo Mobile Broadband Plans

Dodo has been around for quite some time now, primarily plying its wares in the fixed line broadband sector. But ‘the internet that flies’ also provides a suite of mobile broadband plans. Dodo is yet another provider that offers mobile broadband with devices bundled in, as well as SIM only plans.

  • Prices start at $10 for 1GB, and there are incentives for signing up to 12 months. Users can also choose a 3G-only SIM.

Dodo’s offerings are comprehensive yet generally priced a little higher than the competition. Dodo was rated three stars for overall satisfaction in our review and for every other category, except for network performed where it achieved just two stars.

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

1GB Month to Month

  • SIM Only

min. cost $10 over monthly billing period

1GBMax Data**/billing period $10Advertised Data^^/billing period
Dodo Logo

2GB Month to Month

  • SIM Only

min. cost $35 over monthly billing period

2GBMax Data**/billing period $35Advertised Data^^/billing period
Dodo Logo

4GB Month to Month

  • SIM Only

min. cost $45 over monthly billing period

4GBMax Data**/billing period $45Advertised Data^^/billing period
Dodo Logo

8GB Month to Month

  • SIM Only

min. cost $65 over monthly billing period

8GBMax Data**/billing period $65Advertised Data^^/billing period
Dodo Logo

12GB Month to Month

  • SIM Only

min. cost $85 over monthly billing period

12GBMax Data**/billing period $85Advertised 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 setup your 4G modem and use it like normal internet – no wires, no installation and setup can take less than five minutes.

  • Optus has partnered up with Vividwireless to offer unlimited home wireless data. Currently they are some of the only unlimited data home wireless plans out there.

To get unlimited data, you usually need to spend around $90 a month, and speeds may be rated to 12Mbps to deal with network prioritisation.

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

Home Wireless Broadband Plan

  • Includes: Huawei 4G B525 Modem
  • 3rd month free on month-to-month plans

min. cost $1679 over 24 month billing period

250GBMax Data**/billing period $69.99Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Spintel Logo

Home Wireless Broadband Plan

  • Includes: Huawei B525 Modem
  • $149 account credit

min. cost $1438.10 over 18 month plan period

250GBMax Data**/billing period $59.95Advertised Data^^/billing period
Optus Logo

Home Wireless 200GB

  • Includes: Huawei B525s-65a Modem

min. cost $262 over one month plan period

200GBMax Data**/billing period $70Advertised Data^^/billing period
Vividwireless Logo

Unlimited Data Plan

  • Includes: Huawei B315s Modem
  • Get one month access fee free (applied to second bill)

min. cost $269 for the first month

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

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 $77 per month on mobile broadband, which is a fairly large amount considering average spending on fixed-line internet connections is between $70 and $90 per month, our research shows.

  • 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!

Compare Internet Bundles

Frequently Asked Questions

Canstar Blue surveyed 6,000 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, 1,063 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 alphabetically. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.

Latest Internet Articles

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

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

The best Netflix Australia shows of 2018

Review the most bingeworthy Netflix shows in Australia, including Mindhunter, Fargo, Mad Men, The Confession Tapes and more at Canstar Blue.

– Read more
Network over Australia

Don’t want the NBN? Here are the alternatives

Tired of the NBN? Review and compare alternative internet providers using their own network, such as Life Wireless, Spirit & Lightning with Canstar Blue.

– Read more

Netflix vs Foxtel: Compare Shows, Movies & Prices

Netflix & Foxtel are two of the biggest players in the entertainment subscription market, but they are very different. Which one is right for you?

– Read more
Advertisement