The way we buy mobile data is pretty unusual, if you think about it. Unlike other utilities, like water and electricity, we're asked to estimate our usage in advance, and what we don't use, we lose. Worse still, if we underestimate our usage we might get slugged $10 for an auto data top-up.
It's no wonder that data rollover is a feature we're often asked about. In Australia it's difficult to find plans that let you carry unused data from one month into the next month, but it's not impossible. Here are some of the best.
Virgin Mobile is the trailblazer for data rollover, with the feature included in all postpaid plans, including no contract options, and in all prepaid plans except Long Expiry options. It is a great offer, and the only of its kind for postpaid plans in Australia.
The only catch is that the rollover data is used in the next month after the standard data inclusion, so you can't chain multiple months of rollover data together.
Telstra's rollover offer is generous, if a bit confusing. With Pre-Paid Plus plans, unused data rolls over to the next month, which is great. But with Beyond Talk, Long Life and Simplicity recharges only unused credit is rolled over — not included calls or data. In short, if you want a Telstra plan with rollover data, stick with Pre-Paid Plus.
Several of the plans in the Optus prepaid range include rollover, but the details are slightly different depending on which plan you’re looking at. The Prepaid Ultimate plan is probably best value, with unused data rolling over to the next month. Paired with unlimited music streaming, including Spotify, this is a pretty great deal.
Aldi Mobile is another option to consider. Data rollover only applies to its Large, X-Large and XX-Large Value Packs, but the good news is that you use rollover data before regular data in the next month, so you can continue to rollover data each month, unless you manage to use the whole lot.
Joe Hanlon is Publisher at WhistleOut, Australia’s phone and internet comparison website. He’s been writing about phones and plans for far too long.