We don't have truly unlimited data mobile plans in Australia, but we've got a few options that come close. One of these is Telstra's 'Peace of Mind' data, a plan feature that’s now available across almost the entire Telstra mobile range. In the process, it has effectively killed the concept of excess data fees.
What is Peace of Mind data?
Peace of Mind data is how Telstra refers to plans with no excess data charges, although this phrasing isn't used as much now that the feature is available on most Telstra plans. Instead, you might simply see plans designated as having “no excess charges”.
While new Telstra postpaid mobile plans all have a fixed data allowance between 15GB and 150GB, Peace of Mind data means you’ll still be able to keep using your service if you run out of data, and you won’t have to pay extra. There is a catch, however: your speeds will be capped to 1.5Mbps.
That's a far cry from Telstra's 4G speeds, which typically range from between 50Mbps to 200Mbps in metro areas, but should still be just enough to stream in standard definition, sing along to Spotify, and scroll through social media. It won't be amazing, but it should feel better than getting stung with $10 per gigabyte of excess usage.
What plans come with Peace of Mind data?
Every Telstra postpaid mobile plan now includes Peace of Mind data as a standard feature. Here is Telstra's SIM-only range:
And here's a selection of smartphones you can get on Telstra plans:
Telstra mobile broadband and tablet plans now include Peace of Mind data too. Peace of Mind data isn't available as part of Telstra's prepaid range, however.
Can you get extra high-speed data?
Previously, Telstra would let you purchase extra blocks of high-speed data at $10 per gigabyte, but this has been scraped in the current plan range. Instead, if you've burnt through your allowance and need extra data at full 4G speeds, your only option is upgrading to the next plan tier.
Since Telstra's plans are contract free, you can change your plan size one per month.
Can you use Peace of Mind data overseas?
None of Telstra's standard postpaid plan inclusions work overseas. If you're on a Telstra postpaid plan, you'll pay $10 to use your phone overseas in more than 70 countries or $5 per day in New Zealand. This gets you unlimited talk and text, and 200MB of data per day. If you go over your 200MB, Telstra will charge you another $10, which gets you an additional 500MB with a 31-day expiry.
Note that Telstra's daily international inclusions expire based on Australian Eastern Standard Time, rather than the time zone of the country you're in.
Do other telcos have anything like Peace of Mind data?
If you're looking for unlimitedish data on a different telco, Vodafone is your only other choice. Select Vodafone plans come with "data that never ends" and it's almost identical to Telstra's Peace of Mind data. After you go through your full speed data allowance, you'll be able to keep using your plan capped at speeds of 1.5Mbps.
If you're after a Vodafone plan with data that never ends, you'll want to look for a "Red Plus" plan. Red Plus plans can be bundled with a new phone or picked up as a SIM-only option.
Alex Choros is Managing Editor at WhistleOut, Australia's phone and internet comparison website.