Best phone plans with lots of data

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Phone plans have changed a lot in the past few years, with big chunks of data now available at relatively cheap prices. The big three telcos, Telstra, Optus and Vodafone, tend to be the most generous with data; however, many of the smaller providers across both prepaid and postpaid also offer plans with lots of data, even close to 100GB. Let’s take a look at just how much data you can get for your money.

Why do I need a phone plan with lots of data?

Having a phone plan with a lot of data can be really useful if you use your phone for things such as streaming video. It can also come in handy if you regularly use your phone as a mobile hotspot to access the internet on other devices, such as a laptop or tablet if you’re on the go, or in moments of crisis when your home internet drops or network congestion is especially bad.

The only problem is that if you use your phone data the same as you would your home internet (for web browsing, sending emails and video streaming), you might find you chew through your data fairly quickly. If you plan to use your phone data more heavily, whether that’s while travelling or to supplement your home internet, you might need to switch to a phone plan with plenty of gigabytes. Keep in mind that the more data you want, the more expensive the phone plan, so if you’re on a really tight budget, these might not be the best plans for you.

How much data do I need?

Man listening to music on phone against blue wall

Video streaming is notorious for using a lot of data. High-definition video streaming can easily use around 3GB of data per hour of streaming, while standard definition can use around 700MB or even up to 1GB an hour, depending on the video streaming service. If you’re regularly using your mobile data for video streaming, you might use this to calculate how much data you’ll realistically need per month.

As for other use, music streaming uses much less data, around 40MB per hour of lower-quality audio, or up to 150MB for very-high audio quality. Checking and sending emails uses very little data, around 0.5MB per email set or received according to Telstra’s data usage calculator, so it’s unlikely to use much of your data allowance. However, if that email comes with attachments to download, that will use more.

Social media use can chew through quite a bit of data, especially if there are videos playing. Facebook uses around 200MB-300MB per hour, but this does of course depend on other factors. It’s the same for general web browsing. Reading a few web pages, such as news articles or browsing recipes, isn’t likely to use much, perhaps 1.5MB per page (according to Telstra’s data usage calculator), however this can change. If that news article or recipe includes a video, that will use much more data, as will the amount of images on the page. Downloading files online will also use data, which can add up if you’re downloading apps, games, photos or other media, and quite regularly.

With all of that in mind, let’s take a look at how much data you can get on a phone plan from a range of providers.

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Medium SIM-Only Plan

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Data-free music and sports streaming
  • Access the free Telstra Air WiFi network
  • No excess data charges in AUS (T&Cs Apply)
  • 5G network access included
  • 3 months free BINGE streaming subscription (redeem by 18/01/21).

min. $65.00 over 1 month period

80GBMax Data**
/billing period
$65.00Advertised Cost^^
/billing period
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View all mobile plans listed on Canstar Blue

High-data phone plans — quick comparison

Before we compare a range of high-data phone plans across sim-only prepaid and postpaid, along with phone-on-a-plan options, we’ll take a quick look at some phone plans with big data. While it can be tricky to find phone plans with 80GB of data or more, there are some options available. Here are five SIM-only postpaid phone plans with high data inclusions:

  • Moose Mobile — 80GB data for $46 per month (12-month plan)
  • Southern Phone — 80GB data for $60 per month (12-month plan)
  • Optus — 100GB data for $59 per month (month-to-month plan)
  • Vodafone — 100GB data (plus unlimited capped-speed data) for $60 per month (month-to-month plan)
  • Telstra — 120GB data (plus unlimited capped-speed data) for $85 per month (month-to-month plan)

Big data prepaid plans

Prepaid phone plans can offer some really generous data inclusions for the price; in fact, there aren’t really many differences between prepaid and postpaid when it comes to data inclusions and the prices you pay.

The only thing to look out for with prepaid is the expiry period. Most plans will run on a 28 or 30-day expiry period, but when you’re looking for big data plans, many of these options are often offered on a long-term expiry period of maybe three months, and even up to a year. When you’re comparing big data prepaid plans, if you see a plan with 200GB of data, check the expiry period — it’s most likely going to be a long-expiry plan.

The following table shows a selection of prepaid SIM-only plans with over 40GB data on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of their standard monthly cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

The following table shows a selection of prepaid SIM-only plans with over 40GB data on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of their standard monthly cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers.

Big data postpaid plans

There are plenty of SIM-only postpaid plans with data at 40GB and over. Unlike prepaid, you won’t find longer expiry periods as you’ll pay your bill monthly. If you do happen to go over your data inclusions, you will be charged excess data fees in most cases, which is generally $10 for an additional 1GB of data.

The following table shows a selection of postpaid SIM-only plans with over 40GB data on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of standard monthly cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

The following table shows a selection of postpaid SIM-only plans with over 40GB data on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of their standard monthly cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers.

Big data plans from Telstra, Optus and Vodafone

When it comes to postpaid phone plans with lots of data, Telstra, Optus and Vodafone do tend to have the biggest inclusions. All three providers offer plans with 100GB or over, and Optus even has the biggest data inclusion — a huge 500GB on the ‘Optus One’ plan.

These plans can also be bundled with a new smartphone, however a ‘phone on a plan‘ option will cost extra for your monthly device payment.

The following table shows a selection of Telstra, Optus and Vodafone postpaid SIM-only plans with a minimum of 100GB data on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of standard monthly cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

The following table shows a selection of Telstra, Optus and Vodafone 64GB iPhone 11 Pro 24-month plans with a minimum of 100GB data on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of standard monthly cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

The following table shows a selection of Telstra, Optus and Vodafone 128GB Samsung Galaxy S20+ 5G 24-month plans with a minimum of 100GB data on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of standard monthly cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

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