Media Release

Australians wasting $10 MILLION on excess mobile data charges

  • New research puts Australian excess data charges at $10.2 million
  • 55% of Australians have no idea how much data they use per task
  • Australians encouraged to take a closer look at their data usage and follow tips to minimise it

December 14, 2015, Sydney, Australia – A nationwide survey from one of Australia’s biggest comparison websites,, has revealed that not only do Australians go over their mobile data limits, they pay for it – more than $10 million, in fact.

The new survey of 1,351 respondents found that while two out of five Australians have gone over their data allotment, six percent do it regularly. Based on 17 million adults in Australia, and many major telcos charging $10/GB for every extra GB,’s research shows that Australians are regularly wasting a combined $10.2 million on excessive mobile data charges.

With 31 million active mobile phone accounts in Australia – equivalent to 1.8 mobile phones per adult – this figure increases to $18.6 million.

For many, this may simply be a case of negligence, with 55% of respondents stating they have ‘no idea’ how much data they use for different tasks. This compares to another 26% of respondents having ‘some idea’ of where their data goes.

Only a startling 19% of respondents were confident that they have a rough idea of their data usage. This confidence is questionable, however, considering 32% of these people had still tipped their data usage over the limit.

Angus Kidman, Tech Expert at says that while there are tips to reducing your usage, your best bet may be to find a more accommodating offer.

“Our survey found that the average Australian uses 2GB of data per month, but the fact that we’re seeing many people exceeding their allocated data usage and if you’re one of them it may be time to reconsider your current plan.

“Australians looking to minimise their data bills should look at where the bulk of their phone costs are coming from. The first step there is to work out whether outright plans are actually cheaper for your usage behaviours, or if a plan will provide you with better value.”

ActivityData use per hour
Video streaming1GB: standard definition (SD)

3GB: high definition (HD)

7GB: ultra high definition (UltraHD)

Surfing the internet10-50MB
Music Streaming50-100MB
Social Media10-100MB
Saving photos to a cloud service2-3MB


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The information in this release is accurate as of the date published, but rates, fees and other product features may have changed. Please see updated product information on's review pages for the current correct values.

About is Australia's most visited comparison website and has helped over 4.8 million Australians find better credit cards, home loans, life insurance, shopping deals and more since 2006. compares 250 credit and debit cards from 31 providers, over 300 home loan products, and information from 13 life insurance providers as well as online shopping promo codes, mobile phone plans, travel insurance and more. One Australian every five minutes is using to find better (Source: Google Analytics).

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