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Compare Mobile Broadband for Pocket Wifi, Mobile Hotspots, and Data-Only Mobile Plans

Mobile broadband

Mobile broadband plans are a great option for bringing the internet wherever you go. With mobile broadband, you can connect your tablet, computer, or other devices to the mobile network from anywhere you can connect your mobile phone. Whether you’re looking for a prepaid mobile broadband plan with a little extra data for a tablet or iPad, a 12-month contract with lots of data so you can work from anywhere, or want to start connecting to the 5G network, you can find a comparison of mobile broadband plans below.


Compare prepaid mobile broadband plans

There are fewer prepaid mobile broadband providers than those offering postpaid plans, but choosing a prepaid broadband service can be a good option for those who don’t want to worry about excess data charges - instead you get what you pay for and you only pay for what you get.

Amaysim prepaid mobile broadband

Amaysim’s prepaid mobile broadband plans come in three sizes: small, medium, and large. Just choose your data allowance, and bring your own mobile-network enabled device. Mobile broadband plans renew every 28 days, and you can either choose automatic renewal or renew yourself when your expiry period ends.

Amaysim prepaid data-only SIM plans
Data Cost & expiry
7GB $15 / 28 days
50GB $40 / 28 days
90GB $60 / 28 days

Source: Providers individual websites. Actual offers may vary. Comparison does not include all providers, products, or plan features. Valid August 2021.

Kogan prepaid mobile broadband

Kogan Mobile has two prepaid mobile broadband plans on the Vodafone mobile network, with either 8GB of data per month or 30GB of data per month. You can bring your own mobile broadband-enabled device, and choose between paying every 30 days or pay once for 365 days of service.

Kogan prepaid data-only SIM plans
Data Cost & expiry
8GB / 30 days $29.90 / 30 days
$329.90 / 365 days
30GB / 30 days $49.90 / 30 days
$549.90 / 365 days

Source: Providers individual websites. Actual offers may vary. Comparison does not include all providers, products, or plan features. Valid August 2021.

Yomojo prepaid mobile broadband

Yomojo offers multiple prepaid 4G mobile broadband plans on the Optus 4G Plus Network. Choose your data allowance starting at 2GB of data, up to 100GB of data, which renew every 30 days. Below you can find Yomojo prepaid mobile broadband plans.

Yomojo prepaid data-only SIM plans
Data Cost & expiry
2GB $14.90 / 30 days
7GB $19.90 / 30 days
15GB $34.90 / 30 days
50GB $54.90 / 30 days
100GB $79.90 / 30 days

Source: Providers individual websites. Actual offers may vary. Comparison does not include all providers, products, or plan features. Valid August 2021.

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Mobile phone plans on a contract

Prepaid and month-to-month mobile broadband plans offer flexibility, you can cancel and switch plans and providers when you want. However, if you are willing to lock yourself into a mobile broadband plan with a contract you can often find cheaper mobile broadband options, with bigger data inclusions.

Moose Mobile mobile broadband

Moose Mobile offers both month-to-month and 12-month mobile broadband plans. While you can sign up for their month-to-month mobile broadband plans, and get the flexibility to change and switch your service when you want, their 12-month plans offer the same data inclusions at a discounted monthly cost. Below you can find Moose Mobile 12-month mobile broadband plans.

Moose Mobile 12-month data-only SIM plans
Data Cost & expiry
7GB $15 / month
10GB $22 / month
15GB $25 / month
50GB $36 / month
100GB $58 / month

Source: Providers individual websites. Actual offers may vary. Comparison does not include all providers, products, or plan features. Valid August 2021.

Southern Phone mobile broadband

Southern Phone mobile broadband plans come on a 12-month contract, with plans starting at 7GB of data for $15 per month, up to a massive 100GB of data for $65 per month. In addition, Southern Phone guarantees their mobile broadband plans are certified carbon neutral by Climate Active, so you know your mobile broadband plan is helping the planet too.

Southern Phone 12-month data-only SIM plans
Data Cost & expiry
7GB $15 / month
15GB $25 / month
50GB $40 / month
100GB $65 / month

Source: Providers individual websites. Actual offers may vary. Comparison does not include all providers, products, or plan features. Valid August 2021.

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Cheapest mobile broadband plans: $20 and under

If you’re looking for a few extra GB of data on the go, you can find a couple of mobile broadband options for under $20. These plans are great to pop into a tablet or iPad for when your devices aren’t connected to your broadband, but probably won’t come with enough data to replace your normal home internet.

 
Provider Data Cost & expiry
Accord Mobile 7GB $20 / month
Aussie Broadband 5GB $15 / month
CMobile Blue 3GB $12 / month
CMobile Red 2GB $10 / month
Exetel 1.5GB $9.99 / month
Moose Mobile 7GB $18 / month

Source: Providers individual websites. Actual offers may vary. Comparison does not include all providers, products, or plan features. Valid August 2021.

5G mobile broadband

Despite the 5G network beginning to roll out across the country, 5G mobile broadband plans are still few and far between. Currently, the only 5G mobile broadband plans available are through two of the three network operators in the country - Telstra or Optus - on a select number of their plans.

You can expect to see more 5G mobile broadband plans from MVNOs in the future, as 5G continues to expand across Australia. With average speeds far faster than current 4G mobile broadband plans, and comparatively as fast as the fastest fixed-wired NBN plans, 5G mobile broadband will allow more people to do more online, from anywhere.

5G home wireless broadband If you’re looking to replace your home broadband service, 5G home wireless broadband through Optus, SpinTel, or most recently Yomojo, comes with unlimited data and potential download speeds over 200Mbps on the Optus 5G network.

Optus mobile broadband

Optus mobile broadband plans are available either prepaid or postpaid, with 5G network access on any of their postpaid plans. Below you can find a comparison of the Optus mobile broadband options available.

Optus data-only mobile broadband

Optus has three mobile broadband plans, with endless data, available on the Optus 4G and 5G network. All their mobile broadband plans have 5G network access at no extra cost, as well as endless data at 1.5Mbps. This means with a 5G enabled device, you will get premium data speeds on the 5G network, but if you use it all up you can continue to browse on your device at 1.5Mbps reduced speeds without worrying about excess data charges.

Optus data-only SIM plans
Data Cost & expiry
5GB $15 / month
25GB $25 / month
75GB $50 / month

Source: Providers individual websites. Actual offers may vary. Comparison does not include all providers, products, or plan features. Valid August 2021.

Optus prepaid mobile broadband

If you prefer a prepaid mobile broadband plan, Optus has four options available. While not on the 5G network, Optus prepaid mobile broadband comes with big data inclusions and up to 200GB of data rollover, for a variety of expiry periods from 28 days, up to 365.

Optus prepaid data-only SIM plans
Data Cost & expiry
25GB $30 / 28 days
30GB $60 / 90 days
50GB $90 / 186 days
80GB $130 / 365 days

Source: Providers individual websites. Actual offers may vary. Comparison does not include all providers, products, or plan features. Valid August 2021.

Telstra mobile broadband

Telstra offers both prepaid and SIM-only mobile broadband plans, with some 5G network access for both. Choose whether you want a data-only SIM card which comes with access to the 5G Telstra network, and endless data at 1.5Mbps, or pay upfront for a Telstra prepaid mobile broadband plan and get 5G network access with any plan on a 28-day expiry. Below you can find a comparison of Telstra mobile broadband plans.

Telstra data-only mobile broadband

Telstra SIM-only mobile broadband plans come with four data allowances from 5GB, up to a whopping 400GB of data every month. With Telstra mobile broadband, all plans come with endless data at 1.5Mbps, meaning that once you use up your data allowance at premium speeds you can still continue to browse on your device at reduced speeds. In addition, all Telstra mobile broadband plans at $20 / month and above have access to the Telstra 5G network for 5G-enabled devices.

Telstra data-only SIM plans
Data Cost & expiry
5GB $15 / month
30GB $20 / month first 12 months
$25 / month after
75GB $55 / month
400GB $85 / month

Source: Providers individual websites. Actual offers may vary. Comparison does not include all providers, products, or plan features. Valid August 2021.

Telstra prepaid mobile broadband

Telstra prepaid mobile broadband plans come with a number of different data allowances and expiry periods. This includes 5GB for 14 days, up to 180GB over 12 months. Telstra is also one of the only mobile broadband providers to offer prepaid 5G mobile broadband plans, with 5G network access available for both 28-day plans. In addition, you can rollover any unused data when you recharge before expiry.

Telstra prepaid data-only SIM plans
Data Cost & expiry
5GB $20 / 14 days
12GB
5G network access
$30 / 28 days
35GB
5G network access
$50 / 28 days
40GB $150 / 12 months
180GB $300 / 12 months

Source: Providers individual websites. Actual offers may vary. Comparison does not include all providers, products, or plan features. Valid August 2021.

Vodafone mobile broadband

Vodafone has both prepaid and postpaid mobile broadband plans on the Vodafone 4G network. In addition to SIM-only mobile broadband plans, Vodafone also offers mobile broadband modems if you need to connect multiple devices on the mobile network. Below, you can find both Vodafone data-only mobile broadband plans, and prepaid mobile broadband plans.

Vodafone data-only mobile broadband

Vodafone data-only mobile broadband plans are available on the Vodafone 4G network. Vodafone mobile broadband plans come with large monthly data allowances, and a 30-day network guarantee to make sure you’re happy with your service. In addition, Vodafone also has modems available to use on their mobile broadband network.

Vodafone data-only SIM plans
Data Cost & expiry
10GB + 20GB bonus data $20 / month
40GB + 30GB bonus data $40 / month
100GB + 50GB bonus data $60 / month

Source: Providers individual websites. Actual offers may vary. Comparison does not include all providers, products, or plan features. Valid August 2021.

Vodafone prepaid mobile broadband

Vodafone has a select few prepaid mobile broadband plans, including mobile broadband plans with a modem. Choose from 30GB of data for 30 days, or one of two 365 day plans, and get a $5 discount when you sign up for automatic recharge. All plans also include up to 50GB of data rollover when you recharge before your plan expires.

Vodafone prepaid data-only SIM plans
Data Cost & expiry
30GB $30 / 30 days
100GB $150 / 365 days
250GB $250 / 365 days

Source: Providers individual websites. Actual offers may vary. Comparison does not include all providers, products, or plan features. Valid August 2021.

What is mobile broadband?

Mobile broadband is, essentially, just data service for a device. Unlike mobile phone plans, which come with calls, texts, and other inclusions, mobile broadband plans come with more data and nothing else, and can be used to connect your tablet, iPad, computer, or other devices to the mobile network wherever you go.

Types of mobile broadband

While the idea of mobile broadband is a relatively simple concept, it’s important to know how you’re going to use it before diving in and purchasing a plan. Generally speaking, mobile broadband is either used for: a device with a SIM-card slot like a tablet, as a portable modem for one or more devices, or for use in the home as a broadband alternative.

Data-only SIM card mobile broadband

Many devices such as tablets, laptops, and iPads have 4G (and now, 5G) connections, allowing you to bring them on the go while still connected to the internet. If you have one of these devices, you’ll need a data-only SIM card to establish this connection. Most mobile providers offer data-only mobile plans in addition to their standard mobile phone plans, and the only difference between them is that with a classic mobile plan you can call and text, while with a data-only plan you get, as the name suggests, only data.

Pocket WiFi modem broadband

Pocket wifi takes a data-only SIM card and puts it in a portable modem. If you need to connect multiple devices on-the-go, you can purchase a data-only SIM card and pocket wifi modem and bring the internet with you. Pocket wifi might be useful for people who like to work in cafes, or who frequently commute by train and want to work on multiple devices during the commute.

USB modem

A USB modem is a small USB device with a data-only SIM card inside. You can plug it into your laptop and get a direct mobile broadband connection to that device. If you don’t want to carry around a pocket wifi modem, but still need to connect your laptop to the internet on the go, a USB modem can be a good alternative.

Home wireless broadband

Home wireless broadband is a little different. Unlike mobile broadband, which usually only connects to one or a couple devices, home wireless broadband is meant for in-home use and usually isn’t portable. It still connects your devices to the mobile network, just in your house rather than out and about.

Mobile broadband speeds

Mobile broadband connects your device to the mobile network which, up until recently, only included 3G and 4G. On the 4G network, it’s best to expect internet speeds of around 12Mbps, though this can sometimes get up to 20Mbps or even 100Mbps with the right network, location, and technology. At these speeds, you can definitely do most of what you need to do online - check your emails, browse social media, and stream videos - on multiple devices.

Recently, thanks to the 5G rollout in Australia, more and more providers are offering 5G mobile broadband. Though still in its infancy, the 5G mobile network has been shown to reach speeds of 200Mbps, which is comparably as fast as some of the fastest fixed-wired broadband connections on the National Broadband Network. At these speeds, almost anything you need to do on your mobile broadband device can be done almost instantaneously such as 4K streaming, video conferencing, and even online gaming on the go.

How much does mobile broadband cost?

The cost of a mobile broadband plan really depends on the amount of data you need. A cheap mobile broadband plan with a couple of GB usually costs under $20, while plans with 100GB of data will usually cost you around $60 or $70 per month. The price of your plan also varies, depending on if it’s prepaid or has a 12-month contract, as a 12-month contract will often get you a cheaper plan with higher data allowance. Choosing a plan through an MVNO, which are usually cheaper, or one of the network operators like Telstra, Optus, or Vodafone, who usually offer the newest technology such as 5G can also affect the price of your mobile broadband service.

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