The best (almost) unlimited mobile phone plans

The closest you’ll get to unlimited data comes with a 1.5Mbps speed cap.
Best Unlimited Mobile Plan

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PlanMonthly costUnlimited?Go to site
Vodafone $80 Red Plus$80150GB - then shaped to 1.5 MbpsSee Plan
Telstra $115 Extra Large Plan$115180GB - then shaped at 1.5 MbpsSee Plan
Optus One Plan$119No - 500GBSee Plan
Vodafone $40 Red Plus$4040GB - then shaped at 1.5 MbpsSee Plan
Plan
Vodafone $80 Red Plus
Telstra $115 Extra Large Plan
Optus One Plan
Vodafone $40 Red Plus
Monthly costUnlimited?Go to site
$80150GB - then shaped to 1.5 MbpsSee Plan
$115180GB - then shaped at 1.5 MbpsSee Plan
$119No - 500GBSee Plan
$4040GB - then shaped at 1.5 MbpsSee Plan

For those who watch YouTube videos on their phones, regularly upload stories and photos to social media or want to binge-watch Netflix shows on the go, worrying you’ll run out of data can be a constant stress. So, can you solve this by opting for an unlimited mobile data plan?

The short answer is that while there aren’t any truly ‘unlimited’ mobile data plans, there are many plans that do come close.

Plans from providers like Telstra and Optus come with speed-capped ‘peace of mind’ or ‘endless data’. What this means is that plans come with a limited full-speed data allowance. If you go over your allowance, you get unlimited mobile data, slowed to speeds of 1.5Mbps.

Let’s get down to the details.

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Why don’t telco providers offer unlimited mobile data on their plans?

According to the 2018 ACCC decision on false and misleading advertising for telcos, providers including Optus, Telstra and Vodafone are no longer allowed to market their plans as offering ‘unlimited’ mobile data. In reality, the 1.5Mbps speed cap placed on customers’ usage after they’ve exceeded their prescribed data allowance is considered a definite ‘limit’.

Best ‘unlimited’ data overall

Vodafone’s $80 Red Plus Plan tosses up an enormous 150GB for $80 per month, as well as unlimited national talk and text, unlimited international minutes to Vodafone’s selected Zone 1 countries and 300 minutes to Vodafone’s Zone 2 countries. 

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What does ‘unlimited’ data really mean?

While Vodafone promotes the Red Plus Plan as providing ‘endless’ data, you should know that once your 150GB data allowance has been used up, any additional data you use will be subject to a data speed cap of 1.5Mbps till your next recharge.

You can sign up to the $80 Red Plus Plan either by bundling your mobile data plan with one of 39 available handsets (with 24-month or 36-month handset repayments) or opting for a 12-month contract, BYO phone SIM-only plan.

Pro Tip: Even if you’re a data-hungry fiend on your phone, you might not need unlimited mobile data. Here are some popular mobile plans with at least 80GB, to satisfy your needs:

Best Telstra ‘unlimited’ data plan

Telstra’s $115 Extra Large Mobile Plan will give you an enormous 180GB for $115 each month with no excess data charges as well as data-free streaming of Apple Music and several sports programs. 

You’ll also have the chance to nab free 5G network access as long as you’re in a 5G area and get a 5G-compatible phone. 

Similar to Vodafone, Telstra doesn’t have excess data charges, however your mobile data will be subject to a speed limit of 1.5Mbps once you’ve exceeded your monthly data allowance. 

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How slow is an internet speed of 1.5Mbps?

With a 1.5Mbps speed cap, you’ll be able to carry out basic internet and social media browsing, music service streaming and potentially streaming videos in standard definition. You’ll probably find that pages will take significantly longer to load and you might have to wait for videos to buffer. In comparison, the average uncapped download speed on 4G is around 39Mbps while 3G downloads sit around 6Mbps on average.

Here are more Telstra ‘unlimited’ data plans:

Best Optus ‘unlimited’ data alternative plan

Optus doesn’t offer any ‘unlimited’ data plans, but arguably they go one better. With the Optus One plan you get a whopping 500GB of full-speed data for $119 per month. While Optus’ new plan is definitely pricey, it’s a tradeoff for gaining access to Optus’ priority network and at the time of writing tosses up the largest data allowance on a mobile plan we know about. 

With this plan, you’ll also get an optional Optus Sport subscription and 12 months free Apple Music trial so at least you don’t have to pay more for some additional streaming services. 

The biggest downside of choosing the Optus One plan over a Vodafone or Telstra’s ‘unlimited’ data plan is that with Optus there are excess data charges once you’ve hit your monthly data allowance. For example, every extra 1GB over the 500GB allowance on this plan will cost you $10. But with that much data, you’re unlikely to go over.

For those that don’t have a need for this much data but are dead set on Optus, you might want to consider one of the Optus Choice Plans: the $79 for 120GB or $59 for 100GB monthly data plans  would be our choice. Both are available as SIM-only, BYO phone or, or you can add a phone on a 24-month or 36-month repayment plan.

See more Optus plans:

Best cheap ‘unlimited’ data plans

Vodafone’s $40 Red Plus Plan provides 10GB for $40 per month at maximum speed and is the cheapest mobile data plan you can get that will give you ‘unlimited’ data. Like the other Red Plus plans above, you’ll be subject to a speed cap of 1.5Mbps once you’ve used up your full-speed data allowance.  While 10GB isn’t a massive amount for monthly usage, this is probably sufficient for the average user who can rely on home/work WiFi throughout most of the day.

For those keen to snag a bargain, Vodafone offers a bundle and save deal on all its Red Plus Plans, which could make this ‘unlimited’ data plan most attractive for those looking to maximise their savings. The Bundle & Save deal entails a 5% to 20% discount off your plan costs when you pool together multiple eligible plans under one account.

For those willing to fork up more a bit more for extra perks and benefits, also consider the Telstra $60 Medium SIM Plan for 100GB monthly. Available as either a BYO phone, SIM-only plan or as a no-contract phone plan with 24-month or 36-month handset repayments, you’ll also receive data-free streaming of Apple Music and select data-free sports streaming. 

To give you an idea of how this weighs up to other monthly plans within this price range that don’t qualify as ‘unlimited’, Optus MVNO Circles.Life is tossing up a 60GB monthly plan for $38, while amaysim provides a sweet steal with its $30 UNLIMITED Plan for 30GB per 28 days. If you don’t mind opting for a plan on contract, Moose Mobile’s 46 SIM Only 80GB monthly plan for $46 is good value too. 

Here are more mobile plans with at least 30GB per month:

Now that you know, here are your next steps.

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