Best Mobile Broadband Plans: Data for Your iPad or Android Tablet

05 August 2016

Woman using an iPad

When it comes to getting online, Mobile Broadband is one of the easiest and most convenient ways to do it. You can stick a data-only SIM in an iPad or Android tablet, or grab a compact, lightweight WiFi modem, so you can use it at home in the evenings and then pack it in a bag before leaving in the morning.

But for all of the convenience, Mobile Broadband can be expensive. As a general guide, you will tend to pay up to $10 per GB on cheaper plans.

Big data options

If you plan on using your new Mobile Broadband data at home you will need more data than you’d expect to use on your smartphone. Laptop web browsers use more data than the browsers on your phone, and sites like YouTube may default to high-resolution videos on your PC, which can be a real data drain.

Here are some of the plans including the most data per recharge:

Best value plans under $50

Hunting for value in broadband plans is quite easy to do. Essentially you pay a monthly fee for a set amount of data, so the best value plans are the ones with the lowest cost-per-gigabyte ratio. Here are some of the best value plan options under $50 per month:

Long-expiry plans

if you know that you will use your Mobile Broadband infrequently — perhaps as a SIM card inside your iPad — then a long-expiry plan will help you stretch out your data for as long as possible. Here are the best options for this sort of usage:

* Prepaid recharge price only. You will need a modem and SIM card first and will probably need to pay for a starter pack. These vary in price depending on whether a modem is included.

One thing all of these Mobile Broadband plans have in common is that there are no long-term contracts. Whether you choose a prepaid plan or an auto-renewing monthly option, you can switch at any time. Just remember that you might not be able to use the same modem, especially if you are switching networks, i.e.: from Optus to Telstra.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:
  • An accurate estimate of how much data you need can save you a bunch of money,
  • All Mobile Broadband Plans work on either the Telstra, Optus or Vodafone networks, so be sure you know which offers the best coverage inside your house,
  • Mobile Broadband modems tend to be locked to a network, so you might need to buy new one if you decide to switch providers,
  • Know what the excess usage charges are for your plan and keep an eye on your usage throughout the month,
  • Consider a plan option with a long expiry. There are several with 90, 180 and even 365 day expiry periods.

Woman with iPad image via Shutterstock


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