If The NBN Sucks In Your Suburb, Consider Mobile Broadband

If The NBN Sucks In Your Suburb, Consider Mobile Broadband
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Mobile broadband plans used to come in two flavours – ‘bugger all data’ or ‘expensive as buggery’. They were chiefly used by metro home businesses with plenty of cash to burn. Thankfully, those days are now over.

Mobile broadband is an internet service provided over Australia’s mobile networks – typically via a SIM card that you insert into a wireless modem. For the past few months, the price of 4G mobile broadband plans has been steadily declining. At the same time, data allowances are getting more and more generous.

The result is that you can now get 100GB of data from a major telco for as little as $60 per month. While this wont suit every type of user – online gamers, we’re looking at you – it should definitely enough for an average family’s streaming and downloading demands.

Here are the best plans available right now. To find out more about each plan, click on the ‘Go’ buttons in our interactive table:

If you’re currently saddled with a crappy fibre-to-the-node connection, the plans in the above table can provide a genuine alternative to the NBN. Of course, this largely depends on your proximity to the ISP’s nearest mobile tower. But by and large, speeds are definitely improving.

In terms of customer service, reliability and overall bang-for-buck, it’s hard to look past Optus’ mobile broadband offerings which start at $65 per month. The plans also come bundled with a free $192 4G Plus WiFi Modem when you sign up to a 24-month contract. Here are the available options:

Just be aware that excess data is charged at $10 for every ten gigabytes you go over. So you’ll definitely want to use an internet usage monitor with these plans. You can find a couple of good free options here.

This story has been updated since its original publication.


  • After using Telstra’s mobile 50G plan for 12 months I have nil interest in wired broadband.

    Never a line drop out, pull in 14 gig file in 16 minutes, and a Netflix speed test of 115mbps ( higher than the NBN).

      • Hi Chris

        My 50gb account with Telstra is not cheap at $70.00 per month. But it suits me as I am hard pressed to suckup more 40gb per month. The modem Telstra supplied in the $70.00 is a Netgear Nighthawk – the best the is. And I am guessing no other modem will achieve the speeds I mentioned. https://fast.com/ ( the international standard) still shows my connection at 113mbps !

    • I’m so happy you have a positive experience! Mobile broadband is still a very expensive option vs wired ‘unlimited’ download option. Also the experience can vary allot depending on tower congestion. But it’s still great to hear an Aussie actually has a good internet story to tell 🙂

  • I too can attest to the wonder that is the Optus 500Gb plan. Almost never a drop out. Enough speed for two Netflix streams.

    I’m very happy, except because of what I do I need more than 500Gb of data sometimes. D/L’ing ISOs of operating systems or system updates on a new PC chews up the data.

  • yes it might be affordable, but congestion in my area is horrendous at peak times.
    early morning i can pull 100Mbps no problem, weekday peak maybe 10Mbps if im lucky, Sunday night, forget it, 100Kbps

  • Home broadband is around 19-20mbps on a good day and I get 1 TB limit. Does what I want as was getting 5mbps before so more than is a welcome change although would have liked quicker speeds and before long I’m sure 19-20mbps is going to start feeling like 5mbps.

    When I click over to 4G, I get around 85-90mbps but my current mobile plan only allows 50gb limit, unless I pay more but it can drop to 10mbps really easily depending on the mobile network.

    It’s also dependant on area. Walk 500m down the street and some people can’t even get decent mobile reception. Also, walk another 500m and a friend in a new estate is getting 80mbps on his NBN line. It’s a gamble wherever you are. Then 5G comes along and laughs at everybody with gigabit speeds.

  • Me again. I must say the major downfall of Mobile Broadband is port forwarding. In other words you will have difficulty using a security camera or any other device which sends data up to a HTTP site.
    Of course there are ways, like the modem/router I use, Netgear Nighthawk has an RJ45 port and a facility to port forward.

  • I live 3km from the Sydney CBD. Stuck on ADSL, waiting on second rate FTTN, and lucky to get 3mbps up/down in peak times on mobile broadband (I have tried Telstra, Vodafone and Optus). Meanwhile, if I go down to Jervis Bay, I can get 100mbps on the exact same networks. Those who desperately need the bandwidth for work and productivity can’t get it, whilst areas full of retirees have access to uncongested networks and (often) FTTH. Ridiculous state of affairs. It’s little wonder we’re sliding back towards recession.

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