Can you ever have too much data in your phone plan? Never! The days of counting your megabytes are well and truly behind us.
And since virtually all phone plans include unlimited calls and messages, the relationship between how much data your plan includes and how much the plan costs is the easiest way to figure out value. There are other considerations, like whether you get sport streaming freebies or data rollover features, but the essential equation is data divided by dollars.
If you’re a big data bargain hunter, don’t shy away from a 12-month contract. Many providers understand that if they ask you to give up a bit of flexibility, they need to offer something special in return. For example, there are 12-month SIM Only plans from Optus that offer 10 times the data compared with the same plan on monthly terms.
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Big Data 12-month plans
Seriously, $1.50 per gigabyte is insanely good value compared to the price of data over the past few years. I remember when Kogan Mobile (version 1.0) shook up the mobile industry when it offered 4GB for $40 per month.
There are a few standouts in this list. The current Optus promotion with 30GB for $45 is great, especially when you consider all of the extra stuff you get with an Optus phone plan, like data-free music streaming, Optus Sport, and the option to stream video, like Netflix, data-free for an extra $5 per month.
But the clear winner is Think Mobile, and not just with its $30 plan. Think Mobile has even bigger data deals, and a mix of 6-month and 12-month contracts, where you can trade off some of the included data for a short commitment.
In terms of networks, the Think Mobile service runs on the Vodafone 4G network, Telechoice and Woolies are on the Telstra 4G network, and all of the other providers listed operate on the Optus 4G network.
No contract big data
Phone plan contracts are not for everyone. Considering how quickly the phone market shifts, it's not a bad idea to keep your options open. But it is interesting to compare the prices in the table above to the first table. The plans inclusions are basically the same, but you'll pay 30% extra or more for the flexibility to switch.
When you're looking at plans with this much data, it's important to keep an eye out for plans with 3G data only, like the plans from Jeenee Mobile and Exetel in this table. That's not to say you should avoid them either. You can get really good deals on 3G only plans, and for most people, 3G speeds will be more than adequate.
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.