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.
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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.