You can imagine that one day all internet will be mobile, untethered from cables, implanted directly into our brains. We'll look back at the spider-like routers in our homes with the same nostalgia that we feel when we think of screeching dial-up modems.
But before this inevitable internet brain-jacking occurs, we currently have three options for mobile broadband. You can get a SIM card and stick it in a tablet or an old phone, you can buy a 4G WiFi modem to carry about, or you can choose a Home Wireless product to setup at home instead of a fixed line connection, like the NBN.
While all three options operate in a fairly similar way, the plans are designed for different purposes, so it doesn't make sense to compare them side-by-side. Instead, let take a look at each separately.
Data SIMs for Tablets and Laptops under $30
If I were buying a data SIM for a tablet, I'd set myself a budget and then look for the plan with the most data. The value equation for this sort of product is very straightforward: the plan with most data for the lowest cost wins.
For the table above I've set a $30 price limit and all plans are prepaid or no contract postpaid. The leading Optus plan in the table has the most data, but only for the first recharge. With every recharge after, you'll get 5GB for $30.
This puts the Jeenee Mobile plan well in front. You get the same Optus 4G Plus network, 10GB and no contracts. The only thing to keep an eye on is the $0.02 per MB excess usage charge.
Mobile Broadband with a 4G modem
We'll assume that if you're in the market for mobile broadband that you want to use it a fair bit, and the truth is that the best deals are at the top end of the pricing spectrum.
Again, Jeenee Mobile stands out as a good option, with data priced at well below $1 per GB. If you don't need so much data you can cut $15 off the bill and choose a cheaper Jeenee plan or the $50 option from OVO Mobile, which also operates on the Optus network.
Home Wireless Broadband
If you're actually looking to use Mobile Broadband to replace your fixed line service, then VividWireless is still a great option, with the only unlimited data plans available.
You will save a lot of money swapping out unlimited data for a significant data inclusion, like 250GB. SpinTel, Jeenee Mobile and Exetel are all good options.
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.