Optus Mobile Broadband Explained

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Mobile broadband is a great thing if you’re on the go, or don’t have NBN available where you live. If you’re working from home, travelling often, or need to use the internet a lot for your job, it’s great to have mobile broadband as even a backup in the bottom of a drawer or bag.

In particular, if the whole family is home and using the internet, you’ll want an alternative if your bandwidth is being soaked up by everyone else in the house. Mobile broadband is a solution to this problem, and it could prove to be a painless backup plan for you.

Plenty of brands have hopped on the mobile broadband bandwagon, and today we’ll be going through Optus’ mobile broadband range.

Jump to:

What is mobile broadband?

Mobile broadband is a type of internet connection that, while not as hard-hitting and download intensive as a Standard Plus 50 NBN Plan or a Premium 100 NBN plan, is still great to have with you, if you need to remain online no matter what. It’s great if you’re a traveller and need a constant internet connection, or if the home internet goes down and you need to get online right then and there.

Rather than taking advantage of internet lines to houses and properties, mobile broadband relies on 4G or 5G mobile coverage. Telstra, Optus and Vodafone all have mobile coverage across Australia.

This means that 4G mobile broadband operates at similar speeds to mobile phones, typically at speeds higher than the 12Mbps limit found on basic NBN plans, and with a maximum of about 100Mbps. It also means that if home broadband connections are getting choked up by bandwidth constraints, like they are with COVID-19 traffic, this makes a brilliant alternative if your home internet is too slow.

While there are currently no unlimited data mobile broadband plans on the market, there are still some big data allowances out there. Mobile broadband can come in a variety of packages – with Optus, it takes the form of a data-only SIM card, but with others it could come with a modem, or in the form of a dongle.

How much does Optus mobile broadband cost?

Optus Mobile Broadband plans start at just $15 for a 5GB per month plan and range to $50 a month for 75GB, with all plans including an optional modem. These plans are great for anybody wanting a data-only SIM as a backup to their home internet, or for internet on the go.

With 20GB of bonus data per month available for 24 months, and access to Optus Sport, it’s a hard deal to pass up on when searching for a mobile broadband plan.

Optus Mobile Broadband Plans

The following table shows a selection of published 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
  • Extra data $10/GB

min. cost $15 month to month

5GBMax Data**/billing period $15Advertised Cost^^/billing period
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
  • Extra data $10/GB

min. cost $25 month to month

25GBMax Data**/billing period $25Advertised Cost^^/billing period
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
  • Extra data $10/GB

min. cost $50 month to month

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

As for other brands, mobile broadband prices range between $15 a month for a small data plan to $110 a month for a huge data plan. There aren’t any unlimited plans on the market right now, which means the price is largely dependent upon the packaged-in technology and the size of the data plan itself, ranging between 7GB and 250GB. Plans range between being month-to-month, and having 12 month plan lock-in periods.

Mobile broadband plans compared

To get a good idea of the prices of mobile broadband prices from different providers, we’ve included this table below for your consideration.

Mobile Broadband Plans Compared: 100GB+

The following table shows a selection of published 100GB and over 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

100GB Mobile Broadband Plan

  • SIM Only plan

min. cost $720 over 12 months

100GBMax Data**/billing period $60Advertised 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
Telstra Logo

Large

  • SIM only plan
  • No excess data charges in Australia
  • Includes data-free sports and music streaming
  • 5G access included

min. cost $75 over one month

200GBMax Data**/billing period $75Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go To Site
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

Mobile Broadband Plans Compared: Over 50GB

The following table shows a selection of published mobile broadband plans with 50GB – 100GB of data 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 50GB

  • SIM Only

min. cost $40 over 28 day billing period

50GBMax Data**/billing period $40Advertised 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
Vodafone Logo

60GB Mobile Broadband Plan

  • SIM Only plan

min. cost $540 over 12 months

60GBMax Data**/billing period $45Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go To Site
Telstra Logo

Medium

  • SIM only plan
  • No excess data charges in Australia
  • Includes data-free sports and music streaming
  • 5G access included

min. cost $50 over one month

60GBMax Data**/billing period $50Advertised 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

Mobile Broadband Plans Compared: Under 50GB

The following table shows a selection of published mobile broadband plans with less than 50GB of data 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
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
Telstra Logo

Extra Small

  • SIM only plan
  • No excess data charges in Australia
  • Includes data-free sports and music streaming
  • No 5G access

min. cost $15 over one month

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

5GB Mobile Broadband Plan

  • SIM Only plan

min. cost $180 over 12 months

5GBMax 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
Telstra Logo

Small

  • SIM only plan
  • No excess data charges in Australia
  • Includes data-free sports and music streaming
  • No 5G access

min. cost $25 over one month

20GBMax Data**/billing period $25Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go To Site
Vodafone Logo

25GB Mobile Broadband Plan

  • SIM Only plan

min. cost $360 over 12 months

25GBMax Data**/billing period $30Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go To Site
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

Optus prepaid mobile broadband plans

Optus also offers prepaid mobile broadband plans starting at $2 for a Data Only SIM Starter Kit. If you’re interested in paying before using your data, it might be worth jumping on these. For a $30 recharge you can get 15GB worth of data with an expiry within 30 days.

Optus mobile broadband modems & devices

Optus also offers a range of great devices to buy with your mobile broadband plan. In short, to get onto the internet, you’ll need a device that can either pick up a hotspot signal (such as a laptop) or a device that can have a SIM card inserted (such as a phone).

Optus mobile broadband modem

Optus has two mobile broadband modems: the AC800S 4G WiFi Modem and the B818 4G WiFi Modem. The AC800S 4G WiFi Modem is great if you’re on the go and like to have portable WiFi. It has a built-in battery, and it comes in a compact design. The B818 4G WiFi Modem on the other hand is much more bulky, and is a modem you must plug in. It has a strong antenna that provides strong home WiFi coverage, ideal for families and big work-spaces, and can work well with numerous devices.

Both devices can take a data-only Micro SIM, but the B818 4G WiFI Modem has access to multiple 4G signal bands, meaning it’s better for multiple devices and users – this goes against the AC800S 4G WiFi Modem being better at portable internet usage.

Both of these modems start at $65 per month (on 24 month plans), both requiring a 200GB or a 500GB home wireless plan to be included with the purchase.

You can also bring your own device and not worry about an extra cost, but Optus does offer an iPad Air (with an added bonus data plans starting at 25GB for 24 months), and a selection of smart watches from both Apple and Samsung. You can also pick up a an iPad Pro 12.9 inch, an iPad Pro 11 inch, an iPad 7th Gen, a Galaxy Tab A10.1 or a Galaxy Tab S5e.

How fast is Optus mobile broadband?

Typically, you should be able to reach download speeds of between 20Mbps and 100Mbps on a 4G connection, but faster download speeds of up to 1Gbps are now possible if you live in an area with 5G network coverage and have a compatible device.

However, there are speed differences between devices and networks. We’ve done a great deep-dive article on that here.

Why should I switch to Optus mobile broadband?

Mobile broadband is a great option for you for several reasons. It’s a great alternative to the NBN when the network is under a lot of stress, such as within the COVID-19 pandemic, and it’s also great for if you’re out and about and need a reliable internet connection. Having a separate internet connection at home could also be a great idea if you’re looking to stop bandwidth congestion for your family. If your family is watching something on Netflix and you’re trying to do a video call with your workplace, you’ll certainly notice some bandwidth tension, so maybe it’s worth thinking about mobile broadband.

If you don’t have the NBN available in your area, mobile broadband is something you should certainly consider. Mobile broadband speeds will typically idle around the Basic NBN 12 speed, which rivals the max speed of ADSL connections.

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