Big Data: Aussie BYO plans with up to 10GB

26 August 2014

Finding a phone plan in Australia with a lot of data included can be a little confusing. Not only are there a range of plans from various carriers, but you also need to factor in different add-on data packs, auto-upgrade costs and whether or not you’re looking at 4G speeds.

Big data usually means big bucks, but going for a SIM-only plan can save you a bundle. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that because a phone’s monthly repayment cost on a contract is $0 that you’re not paying for it. SIM-Only plans (those that don’t include a handset) are almost always significantly cheaper than the ‘base’ rate of a handset plan. Yes, even if it says the repayment cost is zero dollars the chances are you’re paying for that phone somehow. Going SIM-only also means you won’t be locked in to a contract, so you can bail from your plan any time you like.

For the sake of ease we’ve compared the biggest data packs around, weighing in at around 10GB. If you're not quite after that much data, you can always check out our handy comparison tool.

Optus’ new plan setup is a little different. Going over your monthly data cap means no excess-usage fees. Instead, you’re charged $10 and another 1GB is added to your plan until the end of the month, after which your payment reverts back to whatever base plan you chose. It means that you only end up paying what you use, rather than what you think you might use.

If you prefer the idea of a steady identical payment each month then that’s easy enough. Most data packs from other carriers charge around $10 per 1GB anyway, so you may as well just set up a payment for what you think you’ll use and receive Optus credit towards your next bill if you happen to overpay.

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Combining the $60 Optus My Plan Plus SIM Only plan with $50 worth of auto-upgrades will get you to the 10GB threshold for $110 per month. This price includes unlimited calls and texts within Australia.

By the way, if you want to share that big data allowance with another device you can do that too. Optus charges a one-off fee of $5 to activate another data SIM tied to your account. That SIM can be put in any compatible device, which then has access to that whopping 10GB of 4G. If adding another device means you need more data then no worries. Just use as much as you like and pay the extra $10 per 1GB.

Amaysim operates over the Optus network and has become pretty popular in recent years for affordable prices where lower data caps apply, but how does it stack up when you get to 10GB? Not quite as well. It’s a bit more expensive than Optus and offers fewer call & text inclusions. More importantly, Amaysim only operates over 3G.

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If you’re still keen on going for big data with Amaysim then you can hit up the FLEXI plan + a 10GB data pack for $119.80 per month. That will get you 10.5GB in total, as well as $19.90 in call and text credit, which will do you for around 30x two minute calls and 100 SMS.

If you want to go really big then you can opt for the UNLIMITED plan with unlimited calls and text, with a total of 14GB once you add the same data pack. Total cost per month: $139.80.

Recently Vodafone has switched its plans up to resemble Optus’ new approach. Any time you go over your data cap on a Red Plan, Voda charges you $10 and another 1GB is added until the end of the month. Afterwards everything reverts back to the base cost. Sound familiar?

You won’t get data sharing, but you will get 300 minutes of international calls plus unlimited SMS & MMS both within Australia and overseas. Unlimited calls within Australia is also part of the package. This makes it a great option if you have long-distance commitments.

Click for the plan

For $120 per month you can combine the $50 SIM Only Red Plan with $70 of automatic data upgrades, giving you a total of 10GB usage. Once again the added data is a pay-per GB. You can make other combinations, such as pairing the $80 Red Plan with $40 of data add-ons which will also give you 10GB for $120, but you may as well have as low a base plan as possible just in case you have a light month.

Doesn't have any fancy data sharing or auto-upgrades, but it does give you access to Optus' 4G network.

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Unfortunately, the highest you can go with a Virgin SIM-only plan is 8GB. That combination is found by adding the $35 SIM plan with a $60 data pack, totaling $95 per month. This plan includes 1GB of bonus data; a deal that is currently set to expire on September 7 of this year.

If you want to reach the full 10GB you're going to need to go on a top-tier plan with a data pack. At this point you may as well get a new phone while you're at it, seeing as they're all $0 per month extra. You can check out the phones here.

For $130 per month you can combine the $100 Plan with a $30 data pack, giving you 10GB. You'll also receive $300 international call credit, unlimited text and unlimited calls within Australia.

This plan includes 1GB of bonus data; a deal that is currently set to expire on September 7 of this year.

Predictably, Telstra’s prices are a little higher, but you do get access to the huge Telstra 4G network with its impressive coverage.

Click for the plan

For $155 per month, you can get 9GB of data by combining the $95 SIM only plan with a $60 data pack. This also comes with unlimited talk, text and MMS within Australia.

If you really want to make it to 10GB you can add on another, smaller 1GB data pack for $15 more, totalling $170 per month.

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