Australia's telcos are at war with one another, and whoever wins, we do too. The price of data has dropped steadily throughout the year, and BYO SIM Only plans have been hit the hardest: you're now getting much more data for your hard-earned dollars.
While this so-called data war can look like a bit of a free for all, you can find clear battle lines in the fight of big vs. small. MVNOs are taking on the big guys with low-cost, high data plans with no contracts, while the big four are hitting back with even more data and bonuses like data-free music streaming, but the they'll want to lock you down for a year in return.
There's no right choice, and there's benefits to both options. You can either have the freedom of changing telco whenever you want - which can be useful if you're not familiar with a provider or if a better deal comes along - or you sign away a year of your life in exchange for better inclusions.
No one plan will suit everyone's needs, so we've picked out a few different ways to approach the topic. Best SIM only plans without a contract (and at least 10GB of data)
The best value SIM only plans might all come with contracts these days, but there's still great deals to be found from smaller telcos who tend to be far happier offering month-to-month plans. It is however worth noting that some no contract SIM only plans will attract an upfront setup fee.
Best SIM only plans with a contract (and at least 15GB of data)
If you're happy to sign a 12-month contract and lock yourself into one provider for the year, data inclusions tend to sky rocket.
Best SIM only plans with 20GB or more
If you need even more data, high inclusions plans with 4G data are now starting around $55. Around a year ago, the same money bought about 10GB; today this has nearly doubled. While Telstra's below plan is the most expensive of the four, it does include a year of one Foxtel Now starter pack, which is valued at up to $15 per month; not bad if you need an HBO fix.
Best SIM only plans under $30
Cheaper plans have also benefited from the raging data wars, and we're now seeing inclusions of around 5GB for $30 a month on no-contract plans.
Best SIM only plans on the Telstra network
If you're after that sweet, sweet Telstra coverage minus the Telstra price tag, MVNOs like Boost, Woolworths, and Aldi could be an excellent choice. You miss out on access to Telstra's ludicrously fast 4GX network, but Telstra resellers still tout regular 4G connectivity.
Best SIM only plans with data-free music
To help your data last longer, several carriers bundle in data-free access to music streaming services. Telstra and Boost will give you data-free Apple Music, while Optus and Virgin have Spotify, Google Play Music, and iHeartRadio unmetered on select plans.
So, there you have it. There's plenty of great options to consider, and even then, this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the sheer number of SIM only plans you could choose from. If you've found a better deal, let us know in the comments.
Alex Choros is Associate Editor at WhistleOut, Australia’s phone and internet comparison website. All his useful knowledge has been replaced with fun facts about mobile and broadband plans.