OVO mobile broadband plans compared

Aimed at Australians looking for an alternative to the NBN, OVO offers mobile broadband services powered by the Optus 4G network.

OVO focuses on delivering mobile voice and mobile data services across the country. It relies on the Optus 3G/4G network, offering month-to-month pre-paid deals rather than locking customers into long-term contracts.

Customers can buy a modem when they sign up or bring their own, but keep in mind that OVO is a "mobile" broadband service not fixed wireless like NBN's regional offering. As such, OVO offers mobile voice services but not PSTN or VoIP home phone services.

OVO mobile broadband plans

On the data front, OVO's pre-paid mobile broadband plans start at 50GB for 30 days and span the following four plans:

  • Small, which includes 50GB of data over 30 days for $49.95
  • Large, which includes 100GB of data over 30 days for $69.95
  • X-Large, which includes 150GB of data over 30 days for $89.95
  • XX-Large, which includes 250GB of data over 30 days for $99.95

These prices are just for a SIM card, with the option to bring your own 3G/4G modem or buy one when you sign up. There are no set-up fees, and no early termination fees as you're on a pre-paid deal rather than a contract.

It's important to note that unused data doesn't roll over to the next month and you're only permitted to recharge once every 30 days. By default, your account will automatically recharge every 30 days, although this can be disabled.

If you use up your data allowance before the end of the month, you can purchase a top-up of 500 MB for $5 or 1 GB for $10 but only up to a total of 3GB of additional data per month.

If you're looking for something a little lighter on the wallet, you might instead opt for the OVO prepaid data plans. These smaller offerings operate much the same as the plans above, albeit with smaller data caps and price tags:

  • Small, which includes 5GB of data over 30 days for $19.95
  • Large, which includes 15GB of data over 30 days for $39.95
  • X-Large, which includes 50GB of data over 30 days for $49.95
  • 365, which includes 50GB of data over 365 days for $99.95

OVO extras

OVO's larger mobile broadband plans are ideal for sharing among multiple devices, and the best way to do this is with a 3G/4G modem. If you don't already have one, OVO sells the portable Huawei E5573s-606 Wi-Fi modem for $59. It comes with a built-in battery, recharged via micro USB.

Alternatively, you can opt for the $199 Huawei B315s-607 Mobile Broadband Router which is better-suited to supporting a house full of devices. Running on AC power, it features three Gigabit LAN ports, a WAN port and a USB port for connecting external storage or a printer. It also supports an optional external antenna if you're struggling to get reasonable Optus reception.

OVO's mobile broadband customers can also take advantage of OVO Time which provides access to OVO's streaming sports service OVOPlay. OVOPlay includes V8 Supercars, the 400 Thunder Australian drag racing series, the Australian Esports League, Gymnastics Australia and Waterpolo Australia, plus live streams of Hit and Triple M radio stations from across Australia. These streaming services are unmetered when accessed via the OVO website or OVO Time mobile app.

How does OVO compare?

As OVO only offers prepaid 3G/4G plans, it makes sense to compare it to competing prepaid or month-by-month mobile providers. Keep in mind that you might need to purchase a 3G/4G modem to take full advantage of your new service. Also be aware that since OVO relies on the Optus 3G/4G network, data speeds and reliability will depend on Optus coverage in your area.

How do OVO's mobile broadband plans compare?

OVO prices its mobile broadband plans quite competitively, although they're not quite the cheapest out there. Especially at the higher data tiers, rivals like Optus, Spintel and Exetel offer larger caps at lower prices.

Why should you consider OVO?

Connecting your entire household via mobile broadband makes sense for some homes, particularly if you're still waiting for the NBN or you're not happy with the NBN connection technology offered to you. Prepaid mobile broadband can also be more convenient for renters than a fixed line service on a long-term contract.

In return, however, you need to account for mobile blackspots and also recognise that mobile networks are typically more vulnerable to congestion than fixed-line networks.

OVO's pricing for its mobile broadband plans is respectable, but the more data you need each month the more you will benefit from shopping around. Also keep in mind OVO's limitations on recharges, which might cause trouble if you max out your 30-day data allowance.

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