The National Broadband Network has become a bit of a crapshoot – with emphasis on ‘crap’. Depending on the technology deployed in your suburb and the type of plan you plump for, you could be getting speeds as low as 20 megabits per second. This clearly isn’t good enough.
If you’re sick of sluggish, unreliable internet it might be time to consider an alternative to the NBN – namely wireless mobile broadband. (Scroll down to see the fastest plans you can get right now.)
As the name implies, mobile broadband is an internet service provided over Australia’s mobile networks – typically via a SIM card that you insert into a wireless modem.
It goes without saying that mobile broadband is equally dependant on location. If you’re out in the sticks, you’re unlikely to get super-fast internet speeds. With that said, mobile broadband tends to perform very well in metro areas where congestion is low – particularly when it comes to transferring data.
According to Ookia’s most recent speedtest report, Australia has average mobile broadband speeds of close to 50Mbps.
This was an improvement of more than 20% compared to the previous report and places us eighth in the world. (By contrast, Australia is currently ranked 58th for fixed broadband.)
In other words, when you’re in the right place with the right plan, mobile broadband provides some of the best average internet speeds on the Aussie market.
Naturally, the best mobile broadband speeds can be found on Australia’s major telco networks due to their larger 4G footprint and proliferation of towers. But which is best? In the below table, we compare plans from Telstra, Optus and Optus MVNOs (no Telstra MVNOs offer mobile broadband at the moment.)
To find out more about each plan, click on the ‘Go’ buttons in our interactive table:
So if mobile broadband is so great, why isn’t everybody using it? As mentioned, speeds are dependent on location – it’s worth enquiring about average upload and download speeds at your residential address before signing up to a plan.
You also need to consider your usage levels. While data caps are getting higher, they still wont be enough to suit every customer. If you regularly churn through over 100GB per month, you may want to stick with the NBN, warts ‘n’ all.
This story has been updated since its original publication.