Unlimited mobile data plans
Telstra, Optus, Vodafone and felix have the closest thing to unlimited data in Australia. Pick up a plan from $35 per month.
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Most "unlimited" data plans in Australia give you a certain amount of full speed data, then let you keep browsing at a reduced speed. One thing they all share in common is that you won't be charged for excess data use.
Compare unlimited data mobile plans
Keep in mind that all the plans showing below come with no excess data charges, which makes them "unlimited" data. The GB amounts shown on some plans indicate the amount of 'full speed' Internet you'll get, but you'll get slower speeds after you reach this limit.
How does unlimited data work in Australia?
"Unlimited" is a misleading term when it comes to mobile data – at present, there are no plans in Australia that offer truly unlimited data without a catch or caveat. Instead, this is how most "unlimited" plans work:
- Full speed data. The plan's stated monthly data cap matters – everything will work normally until you've exhausted this allowance.
- Switch to "unlimited" data. Nothing will change with your calls and texts, but your data will swap from full speed to "unlimited" mode until the next billing period.
- Reduced download speeds. Unlike full speed data, "unlimited" data is restricted to speeds between 1.5-25Mbps, depending on your plan and provider. This can make for a noticeably slower experience, since full 4G speeds average around 50Mbps in Australia.
The exception to this rule is new mobile provider, felix. felix offers unlimited data with no monthly cap, but your speed will be limited to 20Mbps the whole time. This is just under half of the speed you'll usually get on a mobile plan that isn't speed capped.
Some other plans might advertise themselves as "unlimited", but this often refers to calls and texts in Australia, rather than data use. Make sure you double check the plan features if a provider other than the three we've mentioned describes its plans as "unlimited". This type of advertising may become less common as unlimited calls and texts increasingly become the norm.
Circles.Life 100GB for $38 SIM-Only PlanOver 20% off for 12 months - pay $30 for 100GB of data per month. Plan reverts to $38 for 100GB per month after 12 months. T&Cs apply.
How fast is unlimited data?
Different providers handle unlimited data differently, imposing various speed caps on your "unlimited" data. This is how three providers handle it.
- Telstra. All of Telstra's SIM-only plans restrict your download speeds to 1.5Mbps after you've run through your monthly data allowance.
- Optus. Just like Telstra, all of Optus's SIM-only plans come with "unlimited" data. Once you hit your monthly limit, your download speeds get slowed down to 1.5Mbps but you won't get charged for your excess usage.
- Vodafone. Vodafone's speed caps for downloads past your allowance are 2, 10 or 25Mbps depending on what plan you pick, with more expensive plans having higher caps. Vodafone SIM-only plans currently have the fastest speed available tied to "unlimited" data. Some of their prepaid plans come with "unlimited" data capped at 1.5Mbps.
- felix. When you subscribe to felix, you don't get any full speed data whatsoever – instead, all of your data is capped at 20Mbps, no matter how much you've used.
Wondering what these speeds are like in real life? Here's an idea of what you can do with each.
|Speed||What is it good for?|
|1.5-2Mbps||Browsing, social media, emails, music streaming.|
|10Mbps||Standard video streaming, video calling, downloading small audio files.|
|20-25Mbps||HD video streaming, syncing to the cloud, downloading medium sized files.|
As you can see, the lower speed caps aren't great for much beyond basic browsing and social media. The higher speed caps of 10 to 25Mbps that Vodafone and felix offers are better, since they're similar to the bottom two tiers of the NBN and allow you to do a lot more.
Which is the best unlimited mobile data provider?
The best provider will depend on what you need out of your mobile plan, and what you want to use it for. If you intend to stream, for example, you'll want at least 5Mbps and up for your unlimited data.
Here's a breakdown of what these three providers offer:
|Full speed data available||40GB-180GB||10GB-500GB||10GB-150GB||0GB (all data is speed capped at 20Mbps)|
|No lock in contract|
|5G access||(on most plans)|
|Extra plan features|
All providers are month to month only, meaning you can switch providers any time you want. The bigger providers - Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone - both cost more monthly than felix, but they come with extra features and the chance of 5G access. Here's what you can get from the bigger providers:
Telstra's extra features:
- 5G access. On Medium or larger plans, you can access Telstra's 5G network if you have an eligible 5G device and you're within its serviced areas.
- Telstra Air Wi-Fi. Gain access to over 1 million free Telstra Air Wi-Fi hotspots across Australia on any Telstra plan.
- Free sports streaming. You won't use up any of your data when you stream certain sports like AFL, NRL and others.
- Free music streaming. No data use when listening to Apple Music, but you'll need your own subscription.
Optus's extra features:
- Optus Sport. If you're a fan of the Premier League, you'll love your exclusive access to Optus Sport on its plans. You'll get access to live streams, interviews, and highlights.
- Optus Perks. This is a rewards service offered by Optus which gives customers access to entertainment deals such as discounted movie tickets from HOYTS.
- 5G access. Optus's 5G network is actually on par with Telstra's. You'll get access to Optus's 5G network if you're within its coverage area and have a 5G-capable device.
Vodafone's extra features:
- Discounts on bundled plans. Putting your plans together on the same account can make you eligible for discounts.
- International minutes. All but the cheapest plan offer minutes for calling or texting various countries around the world.
- Network satisfaction guarantee. Drop your plan with no penalty if you aren't happy with Vodafone in the first 30 days of service.
- $5 roaming. You can get Vodafone's $5 international roaming pack for use when you're overseas.
felix, on the other hand, sells carbon-neutral plans, and so it has an eco angle the others lack. It's also a prepaid subscription service while the other three are postpaid, although this isn't so important with "unlimited" data offered. It just means you pay for your plan at the start of the month, rather than at the end. felix might be a good choice if you're looking for an entry-level "unlimited" data plan, but you'll need to decide whether 20Mbps is fast enough for what you're looking to use your phone for.
Finally, Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone both sell handsets on contract with their plans, so if you want to get a new phone, including the iPhone 12, you can do so with them.
Are unlimited data mobile plans worth it?
Unlimited data is tempting, but it's important to think about how much data you use – it's probably less than you think. An unlimited mobile plan is only worth it if you'll get more value out of it than you would with a cheaper, limited data plan.
That means it's mostly down to your data habits when you're out of the house. If you regularly stream videos and download sizable files on the go, unlimited data (of a sufficient speed) could be worthwhile. But if you mostly check social media, browse, or message your friends while you're out, unlimited data will do very little for you.
To find an estimate of how much data you use each month, check out our mobile data usage calculator.
That being said, if you're looking to get a new phone on a plan and are tossing up between providers, Telstra or Vodafone might be more appealing to you thanks to their "unlimited" data options.
Unfortunately, if you're hoping to use an unlimited data plan as a substitute for a home Internet connection, you're out of luck. These plans specify that you can only share the connection to personal devices and that it can't be used as a home Internet substitute.
Don't need unlimited?
If you don't think an unlimited data plan is right for you and you'd rather have a high monthly data limit, compare these high data mobile plans that provide at least 40GB a month.
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