"Phone season" is well and truly in swing, with many of this year's big devices now available. There are a few more yet to be come, but a plethora of new phones is the perfect time for telcos to fight over customers looking to upgrade. This has led to some shakeups in the plan space, with plenty of new big data options.
There's been a clear shift toward high inclusion plans this year, with and Telstra and Optus both introducing 100GB options. Vodafone and Virgin Mobile haven't quite gone as far, but both have a 50GB and 30GB plan at their respective top tier.
Why get a plan with oodles of data? Well firstly, there's a much smaller chance of burning through your allowance, which means no top-up charges, and no bill shock. More importantly, a lot of data opens a lot of possibilities.
If you've got a 100GB plan, you could consistently stream video on your daily commute. You could tether your laptop instead of hunting for Wi-Fi. Or you could get a sharing SIM and use some of the data in a tablet or portable modem.
So if you're keen to go big, here are the plans with the biggest data inclusion you can buy right now.
Big Data And A New Phone
If you're after a "huge" data plan, you'll need to sign a 24-month contract in most cases. This will however also get you a new phone, typically without any extra handset repayment fees.
In addition to a big whack of data, Telstra and Optus also have roaming inclusions on their top-end plans. Telstra gives you unlimited talk and text and 4GB of roaming data per month in select countries, while Optus while offers unlimited talk and text and 1.5GB of roaming data per month while in "zone one" countries. And of course, Vodafone continues to offer $5 per day roaming on all its post-paid plans.
BYO Phone, Big Data, No Contract
The best value SIM only plans tend to be sold on a contract basis these days, but there are still great month-to-month offers to be found from smaller telcos. It is however worth noting that some no contract SIM only plans will attract an upfront setup fee.
You won't get quite as much data as on a 24-month contract, but we're still seeing plenty of plans with 15GB or more.
BYO Phone, Big Data On A Contract
If you're happy to sign a 12-month contract and lock yourself into one provider for the year, you tend to get more data for fewer dollars, especially when it comes to the "big four".
Once again, you won't get as much data as on 24-month contract, but there are still plenty of plans with at least 15GB.
3G Only Plans
If you're after a lot of data without a huge price, a couple of Optus MVNOs offer 3G only plans with large allowances. At the top end, you're looking at around $80 per month for 90GB on a no contract plan, which isn't bad when you consider Telstra charges almost $200 for 100GB.
The obvious catch is that 3G data is quite a bit slower than 4G, which could be an issue if you're also hoping to tether. You'll also probably notice a little extra latency, but services like Netflix, Stan, Spotify, and YouTube are still more than usable on 3G speeds. If you're unsure about 3G speeds, the good news is all these plans are available without a contract. If you take one up and you're unhappy, you can move back to a 4G plan after a month without any early exit or termination fees.
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.