Planhacker: How To Fill Your Phone With Cheap Data

Cheap mobile phone plans with dataImage: iStock

A smartphone without a big whack of mobile data is like a sports car without petrol in the tank. Almost everything we do with our phones requires an internet connection, so there is no point cheaping out on a plan with puny data inclusions nowadays.

The good news is that data keeps getting cheaper. The rise in popularity (and sheer volume) of mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) has put crushing pressure on the price we pay for each gigabyte, and if you're not regularly checking your options and switching then there is a good chance you are missing out. Here are the best deals.

If you're not in the habit of considering prepaid plans, as well as postpaid plans, make sure you take a look. Some of the best value MVNOs are prepaid only, especially those on the Telstra network.

Because most plans now come with unlimited calls and SMS, we can look just at data per dollar for this comparison. We've dived the plans into five categories to serve different budgets. As you can see, the most expensive plans do not necessarily have the best data. All plans are 4G.

(Note: Our website can take a few seconds to load the tables. We appreciate your patience!)

12GB for $45 (or $3.75 per GB)

10GB for $40 ($4 per GB)

Jeenee Mobile also has a plan with 15GB for $60 in case you need more data.

12GB for $50 ($4.16 per GB)

8GB for $35 - $36 ($4.30 - $4.50 per GB)

Obviously there are heaps of other plans and offers available. We've only included standard phone plan pricing - no short term offers - but these are definitely worth keeping your eyes open for. For example, Telstra had a great promo recently offering 10GB for $50 per month on a 12 month contract. There's pros and cons in there, but it was a great price for Telstra and a promo we'd expect to see again in the future.

Joe Hanlon is editor at WhistleOut, Australia's phone and internet comparison website.


    Even more data comes from Jeenee $79 for 90GB, or Ovo, or Vivid Wireless. Filling your phone with 12GB is not exactly 'full'...12GB gets 3 Netflix movies, 1 AFL game and some Spotify usage.

      Although the article is about maximum data for your dollar; companies are relying on their users to be "dumb" and stream EVERYTHING.

      Users can be smarter regarding their usage, by downloading content to their phones, as a lot of apps/services offer this now, and standard phone memory is increasing or is expandable.

      Netflix and Spotify, and now i read today Stan; now all offer "offline" modes; so users can download content to their phone (over their home internet connection or public wifi if they are smart) for use later.

      Also going with a 'name brand' carrier like Telstra also can have its advantages; you mentioned watching a game of AFL; Telstra offers the AFL Season Pass free to telstra customers (usually $100+), and the streaming of the content is unmetered - therefore all the AFL you can watch for free on your mobile, while you are out and about.

      Therefore you have the ability to get by on lower data limits (i have gotten by with 2.5gb for the past 2 years on Telstra; only once or twice purchasing the extra data pack - and i use all of the above with the exception to Stan.)

      At the coast, the ISPs have hit and miss coverage - so plans like Jeenee are only any good if you can actually GET decent coverage.

    That's true, there are a bunch of plans like the Jeenee one now, Spintel has a similar offer. The difference is that these plans work on the Optus 3G network, not the 4G network, which is one of the things we focused on here. Same with Vivid, which has a 10Mbps speed cap - plus it is not a mobile phone service.

    $50 15GB

    Or if you have at least two phones in the family consider Optus datapool. Grab two $25 per month 5Gb plans and combine them and share it or maybe $25+$35 for 15Gb.

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