Optus joins Telstra & Vodafone by offering ‘endless data’ mobile plans

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Better late than never: Optus has finally jumped on the ‘unlimited data’ bandwagon, joining Telstra and Vodafone in offering endless data use on all postpaid mobile plans.

While this means that Optus’ excess data charges are now a thing of the past, the plan changes do come with a catch. Like Vodafone and Telstra, Optus’ new ‘endless’ data inclusions are speed-capped, meaning once you’ve used your mobile plan’s monthly full-speed gigabyte allowance, all further data use is throttled to 1.5Mbps.

How does Optus Endless Data work?

Aside from scrapping excess data charges in favour of offering unlimited slowed-down data, nothing else about Optus’ SIM-only Choice plans has changed. You’ll still get the same monthly full-speed data inclusions as before, along with unlimited standard national talk and text in Australia with no change to your monthly plan price.

However, if you do use up your plan’s fast data before the end of each month, you’ll no longer be charged excess usage fees of $10 per gigabyte to continue using data in Australia. Instead, your speeds are slowed down to the aforementioned 1.5Mbps until your plan cycle resets – but there’s no hidden charges or surprise fees on your next bill.

The following table shows published Optus postpaid plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our comparison tool to review plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

Restricted speeds

1.5Mbps is a lot slower than the standard 4G or (in eligible areas) 5G speeds offered to Optus mobile customers, but it should still be enough for general web browsing and social media use. However, watching high-definition video, downloading or uploading large files, or any bandwidth-intensive activity is likely to be a struggle at this speed – so if going over your data allowance is an issue, you may want to consider upgrading to a larger Optus plan.

Optus’ Choice plans are contract-free and begin at $39 per month for 10GB of full-speed data, plus endless speed-capped data. You can pair these plans with the unlocked phone of your choosing, or add a new device on Optus’ handset payment plans over 12, 24, or 36 months.

Optus offers a range of smartphones including the Apple iPhone 12 series, Samsung Galaxy S20 and Note 20 range, and in-demand devices from Google, OPPO, and Huawei. 5G-ready phones are also compatible with Optus’ new 5G mobile network, which is rolling out now in major metro areas.

‘Endless’ data plans compared: Telstra, Vodafone, and Felix Mobile

Optus is now the last of the ‘big three’ telcos to dump data overage charges in favour of allowing customers to use speed-capped data. Both Telstra and Vodafone have offered a similar feature on some or all mobile plans for several years, with Telstra even launching an unlimited full-speed data plan at some point. While that plan has since been discontinued, Telstra now provides customers with speed-capped ‘unlimited’ data at a max speed of 1.5Mbps on all four of its postpaid plans, both SIM-only and when paired with a new smartphone.

The following table shows Telstra SIM-only postpaid plans from Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of 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.

In comparison, Vodafone recently overhauled its postpaid options with its new ‘infinite data’ plan range. Announced back in September, Vodafone’s refreshed postpaid plans still include both a full-speed gigabyte allowance and unlimited speed-capped data, but ‘infinite’ data speeds now vary depending on your plan tier.

Customers on Lite plans will receive Infinite Data capped at 2Mps; Super plans include Infinite data at 10Mbps speeds; and the Ultra plan offers Infinite data up to 25Mbps. This gives customers some options when it comes to ensuring their plan speed is fast enough for activities such as streaming, gaming, and downloading, even after full-speed data inclusions run out.

The following table shows selected Vodafone SIM-only postpaid plans from Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of 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.

Finally, newly-launched digital telco Felix Mobile offers a single SIM-only plan on a postpaid subscription basis, with ‘endless’ data (and unlimited standard Aussie talk and text) for $35 per month. All data on this plan is limited to 5Mbps, which is somewhat faster than what you’ll find on Telstra and Optus plans; however, there’s no high-speed gigabyte inclusion, which means all your data is limited to this speed.

However, if you are looking for a simple mobile plan without excess use charges or hidden fees – and with an environmentally-friendly focus – Felix Mobile offers coverage on Vodafone’s 4G and 3G networks, and plans are available through the Felix website.

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