CMobile mobile broadband plans compared

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CMobile is a 100% Australian-owned company offering simple mobile services, a choice of two carrier networks and good old-fashioned customer service.


For a company that hasn’t been around all that long, CMobile holds some old-fashioned ideas about how a mobile service should work. Plans should be simple. Lock-in contracts are usually bad for customers. Customer service should be real and easily accessible. Most importantly, customers shouldn’t have to compromise on these ideals to save money on their mobile services.

Though the company offers a range of mobile plans including calls, it also has a variety of mobile broadband offerings. As the name might imply, this is the only broadband service CMobile provides – no NBN and no ADSL or anything else.

CMobile Mobile Broadband Plans

Usually, when a mobile virtual network operator (or MVNO) offers a mobile service, it partners with one carrier network that provides infrastructure and that’s that. CMobile has taken the somewhat unusual step of partnering with two carriers, meaning it can offer plans on both Vodafone's and Telstra’s carrier networks.

CMobile calls these plans Red (Vodafone) and Blue (Telstra) for reasons which may be apparent, and though there used to be a more marked difference between the two offerings, today they’re pretty close in value which means customers can pick the network that best suits them.

CMobile offers four Red plans and four Blue plans, with data inclusions ranging from 3GB each month up to 10GB. Regardless of the plan or its colour, CMobile mobile broadband plans don’t include any calls, SMS or MMS – though you can use these if you need to, but they’ll be charged at pay-as-you-go (PAYG) rates.

CMobile’s Red plans, delivered on Vodafone’s 3G and 4G networks, are as follows:

  • Red 3GB for $15 per month
  • Red 4GB for $20 per month
  • Red 6GB for $30 per month
  • Red 10GB for $40 per month

On each of these plans, extra data is charged at 5 cents per megabyte (or $51.20 per gigabyte), standard calls (to landlines, mobiles and such) are 15 cents per minute with no flag fall, SMS are 15 cents each and MMS are 75 cents each. Customers would do well not to use too much excess data on CMobile’s Red plans.

The plans delivered on Telstra’s 3G and 4G networks, known as CMobile Blue plans, are as follows:

  • Blue 2GB for $18 per month
  • Blue 4GB for $25 per month
  • Blue 7GB for $35 per month
  • Blue 10GB for $40 per month

Like the Red plans, CMobile’s Blue plans also offer standard calls and SMS for 15 cents each, though MMS are a touch cheaper at 30 cents each, and excess data is charged at $10 per extra gigabyte, meaning that if you do go over, you’ll certainly pay for it, but it isn’t as expensive as the CMobile Red plans.

Unlike fixed-line services (eg, NBN or ADSL), mobile broadband providers typically meter both downloads and uploads, and CMobile is no different regardless of underlying carrier choice. Keep this in mind if you’re using a CMobile Mobile Broadband service to upload large amounts of data to the Internet (eg, photo backups) as this will reduce your mobile broadband allowance.

Being a mobile broadband provider, CMobile doesn’t offer any bells or whistles. There’s no zero-rated data for Netflix or other streaming services, no included email addresses you can use nor anything much else. CMobile’s service is a mobile broadband Internet connection, and that's it.

How does CMobile compare?

When comparing mobile broadband providers, cost isn’t the only consideration; customers also need to consider mobile network coverage in the places where they’re likely to use the service. The beauty of CMobile’s offerings is that customers can choose from two underlying carrier networks with slightly different value plans to meet their needs. Few other mobile providers offer this.

How do CMobile’s mobile broadband plans compare?

Unlike fixed-line products, the mobile broadband space operates a little differently – there are only three underlying carriers that provide services to MVNOs, and as a result, there’s not a huge price difference across the various plans on offer.

For example, there aren’t many mobile broadband plans for less than $15 per month, and at that price point, 2GB and 3GB inclusions are common. There are, however, some carriers offering quite a bit more at this price, with Jeenee Mobile, SpinTel and Moose Mobile the standouts here with their 5GB plans.


At this lower price point, CMobile’s 3GB Red Plan offers reasonable value on par with its competitors, while the CMobile 2GB Blue Plan offers slightly less value, but it is one of the cheapest plans available on Telstra’s network.

For the higher level plans, the mobile market gets a bit more crowded, and so there are a number of comparisons to be made. For example, as plans offering 7GB of data per month go, CMobile’s Blue 7GB plan is the cheapest way to get this much data on the Telstra network. However, it’s not the cheapest way to get 7GB – Vodafone offers this directly for less per month, and if Optus’s 4G network gives you better service, then Exetel has an 8GB plan for even cheaper.

Alternatively, at the same price point as the Blue 7GB plan, you can get up to 12GB of data with Lebara or 10GB a month through Optus directly. Vodafone also offers 12GB for a similar price, but only if you sign up for a 24-month contract.


At the top end, your $40 gets you 10GB on either CMobile’s Red or Blue plans. Both represent good value, especially the CMobile Blue plan on Telstra’s network which is the cheapest way to get this much data on Telstra.

You can, of course, get 10GB for less elsewhere. Catch Connect and Moose Mobile both offer cheaper 10GB plans on Optus’s 4G network. If you're happy to spend a little more, Catch Connect has a 30GB plan at a similar price point to CMobile's 10GB plans, while Kogan Mobile also serves up its own 30GB plan, albeit at a higher monthly rate.

For even more data, you can grab 50GB from Optus directly without spending a whole lot more, too.

Why should you consider CMobile?

Most mobile broadband providers only include data, with no ability to make calls or send messages, whereas CMobile does include calls and text, albeit at a modest PAYG rate. If you’re intending to use a CMobile SIM in a device which can actually make and receive calls as well as SMS, this may be a good option – though if you plan on making more than the occasional call, you might find better value with plans marketed as phone plans rather than mobile broadband.

Better yet, CMobile offers connectivity on two carrier networks (Telstra and Vodafone), though you can’t just switch between carriers at will – you will need a different SIM and plan, though with no cancellation or change fees, if your circumstances change, you can switch between Blue and Red plans as you need.

There are cheaper options available, though they typically use Optus's and Vodafone’s network; CMobile is among the cheapest providers giving access to Telstra’s wholesale network.

The downside to this is excess data costs. Though 5 cents per megabyte on CMobile Red plans might not sound expensive, it can add up very quickly. Just 1GB of excess data could cost you over $50, and on a 4G network, that could happen in just a few minutes if you’re not careful. If this concerns you, there are options from other carriers with significantly higher data inclusions and excess costs of $10 per gigabyte are pretty common (even from Vodafone directly in some instances).


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