October 19, 2018

Unlimited Mobile Data Deals are Coming to Australia

Today, mobile phones are a basic lifestyle requirement and making phone calls is only a fraction of what we do with them. When we aren’t talking on them, we are using GPS, watching videos or streaming music. All of these functions use data.

With telecom companies providing a wide range of mobile plans, it’s a serious business to compare mobile phone plans in Australia. By the end of the year, it is predicted that Australian telcos might even roll out unlimited usage plans to cater to consumers’ increasing use of data.

In the US, telecommunication companies have unlimited data deals available and trends in the US seem to roll out in Australia a few years later. And this is something that Australian consumers want but this may not come cheap. High-level plans in the US cost around $100 per month. It might be a similar price for unlimited data in Australia.

You can shop for anything online and mobile plans are no exception. You can compare mobile phone plans online at any time so finding a good deal is easy, however, is highly recommended to do your own research because not all networks will appear online. It is definitely worth your time to work out whether you need to spend extra to upgrade to an unlimited data plan.

Unlimited mobile data plans are not yet available in Australia but there are mobile companies that offer great deals for your data needs.

Are you considering an upgrade? Ask yourself these questions:

  • What are the new features that you will get?
  • If you don’t upgrade, how much will you save?

You can still save money by not upgrading to an unlimited data plan especially if you have paid off your phone. There are a range of providers and plans that can still save you money in the long run. In general, an upgrade is not necessary if you don’t have a real need for it.

Do you have other ideas on mobile phone plans? Share your insights in the comments section.

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Entertainment Features in a Mobile Plan

Staying in touch with our loved ones, friends, and work is the main reason why we have a phone in the first place. Nowadays, a mobile phone is so important that it’s quite hard to get through the day without it. Aside from calling and sending text messages, you can do other things like storing information, taking pictures, watching videos, playing video games, keeping track of your calendar, staying updated with news, etc.

The entertainment part attracts a lot of phone users which is why most mobile phone plans these days offer a range of entertainment features that meet different requirements.

Here are the common features that mobile phone plans usually offer:

Social Media

As sociable human beings, it’s great to be able to access social media accounts through our mobile phones. Sharing photos on Instagram, saying anything on Twitter, or browsing posts of our friends on Facebook are easily done in an instant through our mobile phones. For instance, Moose Mobile gives you 500MB data for about $8 per month with their Moose 8 SIM plan, while OPTUS My Prepaid Daily Plus offers 500MB data for a minimum of $10. These plans include calls and SMS.

Gaming and Watching Videos

Our busy day-to-day lives usually don’t give us the luxury of  turning on our TVs or gaming consoles and watching for a long time. The beauty of a mobile phone plan is that it allows us to watch our favourite shows or play video games wherever we go, keeping us entertained while commuting or taking a break from work. Playing online games and watching videos have become such important functions in mobile phone plans that brands keep coming up with entertainment features that cater to the needs of different users.

However, these functions may require a hefty amount of data. With OPTUS’s $10 SIM Starter kit, you can get 15GB for seven days. Vaya’s data-only plan gives you 5GB for $19 per month, or 15GB for $39 per month. OVO Mobile has 5GB for $19.95 per month, and 15GB for $39.95 per month.

Most mobile phone plans have these entertainment features, but there are other plans that offer more. It’s all about finding which plan has the features that you need and prefer, and ensuring that you get what you’re paying for. Do your research and compare mobile phone plans to help you decide.

Do you have other ideas on mobile phone plans in Australia? Share your insights in the comments section.    

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Top 4 Tips for Using Your Mobile Phone Overseas

When overseas, whether for business or pleasure, being able to use your mobile phone is helpful in staying connected. Most phone companies offer an international roaming service which will let you use your mobile phone while in a different country – with a fee, of course. This feature may vary depending on the phone company so, when buying a phone, make sure to compare mobile plans and see if this service is being offered.

Here are some tips for using your mobile overseas:

Tip #1: Know if you can use international roaming

Check with your mobile phone plan provider if you can use international roaming in your destination. Note that your phone will not work automatically in every country. To avoid inconvenience later, ask your provider if you can use your phone overseas. In some cases, they can activate international roaming even before you leave for your trip.

Tip #2: Know the charges involved

It’s more expensive to use your mobile phone in a different country.  There are higher charges when you make calls within a country that you’re visiting, calls back to Australia, send SMSs, and use data services. Make sure to ask your phone company about the international roaming charges to avoid being surprised when you see your bill after your trip.

Tip #3: Buy a local SIM card

It can be cheaper to use a local SIM card at your destination. You can buy one at airports and some establishments. Just make sure to inform your family and friends about your local number so they can contact you.

Tip #4: Use Wi-Fi

In this day and age when staying online has become an essential thing, many areas have Wi-Fi hotspots. If you don’t like to deal with international roaming charges, look for a Wi-Fi hotspot in your destination, turn off global roaming on your phone, and connect with family and friends through social media and apps such as Skype and WhatsApp. In many cases, hotels and local coffee shops have Wi-Fi hotspots.

Before using your mobile phone overseas, make sure that you know what your phone company will be charging you when you need to make and receive calls and messages as well as when you use data on your phone or tablet.

Again, when you’re buying a new phone and you know that you’ll be travelling outside the country, compare mobile phone plans and choose one that lets you use international roaming.

Do you have other ideas on mobile phone plans and tips for using your mobile phone overseas? You can share your tips in the comments section.

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What is a Data Sharing Mobile Plan?

Mobile phone plans give you flexibility in managing your data allowances and the cost that it comes with. All mobile service companies offer a wide range of plans to choose from and some of them are perfect for those with minimal data needs and those who are always online.  Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone are just some of service providers in Australia.

Mobile data sharing contracts are new in Australia. These contracts allow groups of people, like families, to share a single data allowance so the data that isn’t used can be shared to other users since data allowance is quite expensive.

Data sharing plans vary among companies but all have the following characteristics:

The number of sharers in the plan is limited

Usually, a maximum of 10 users can share a single contract, whether it’s from Optus, Vodafone or Telstra.

Any group can subscribe to shared data

It doesn’t matter what relationship the subscribers have with each other.  They can join as long as they agree on a single bill.

One of the sharers is the leader to whom the data allowance is given

The leader then distributes the allowance to the sharers, and takes charge of the bill.

Expandable data sharing groups

You can add new devices at a later stage of the plan.

There are some options to consider that could give you a better deal other than signing up a data sharing contract. One is to choose a cheap phone plan with low data allowance if you don’t use more than 2GB of mobile data. A prepaid mobile plan is also a better choice than data sharing because this gives you limit on your data usage. No excess usage means there’ll be no extra cost to cover. With postpaid plans, there is a fixed amount to pay every month.

If you exceed your allowance, you will be charged accordingly. Wi-Fi is also a cheap alternative to data sharing. Activating Wi-Fi hotspot and your device can let you share your data to other people around you. According to ACCAN, activating your mobile Wi-Fi hotspot is cheaper because phone companies do not charge for the usage of your mobile as a Wi-Fi hotspot.

There are several brands that offer data sharing mobile plans. If you’re thinking about getting one, make sure to compare the features of different services being offered to get the best deal.

Do you have other ideas about mobile phone plans? Share your insights in the comments section.

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The Pros and Cons of Having a Mobile Contract versus Prepaid Mobile

There are benefits to both prepaid and postpaid mobile plans, to choose the right one you need to think about your needs.

Mobile phone plans in Australia have always been about convenience. They came with a new phone, and you never had to worry about running out of credit, as it is a ‘use first, pay later system’.

However, prepaid recharge options have changed a lot in recent years, and the fear of having no credit is no longer necessary. Also, with the entry of low-cost providers, prepaid mobile plans are a reasonable option for those looking to get the best value mobile plan. Here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons of both prepaid mobile plans and mobile phone contracts:

Prepaid Mobile Phones

With a prepaid plan, you buy credit and then use it up over time. Unlike, mobile contracts, prepaid plans do come with a phone for free, you must buy it outright or use one you already have.

The biggest advantage of prepaid is that you only pay for what you use.  If you’re going overseas for a holiday, simply don’t buy any credit that month. You’re not locked into any monthly commitment, in fact, you can recharge as often or as little as you like. Moreover, if you don’t like your current provider or find a better deal elsewhere, it’s incredibly easier to swap.

Most providers offer a couple of prepaid packages targeted at different users. You may have the option to choose these kinds of packages:

  • Long expiry.
  • Loads of SMS and data.
  • Unlimited calls.
  • Cheap international calls.

These days’ prepaid services can also be recharged quickly, either automatically from a credit card or through an app.

The downside to prepaid is that you need a phone to go with it. Also, heavy users will end up paying more for unlimited use on prepaid, than you would with a locked-in contract.

Mobile Phone Contracts

Mobile phone contracts in Australia are good for those who want convenience. If you are willing to pay for the more expensive plan, you should be able to get a great phone and unlimited everything.

The biggest downside is that you are locked-in to a contract, usually for two years. If you want to cancel the contract, you will still end up paying roughly the same amount as if you simply let the contract run out. So, if you lose or break your phone, you still have to pay for the contract. You can get insurance to cover your phone, but it costs extra.

In reality, mobile phone plans are overkill for most users, or they encourage you to use more than you actually need. If you truly do need a lot of call credit, and internet data, and want a top of the line phone every two years, then plans can be a good option.

When comparing options, work out the entire cost over the full contract period or two years. For instance, if you buy a $400 phone, and recharge $25 on a prepaid plan each month it will cost you $1000 over two years, or $40 a month for two years.

So, a mobile phone plan with the same phone and similar call/data value would need to be less than $40 a month to be good value.

Another way to look at it is if you are willing to spending $80 a month on a mobile plan for two years it would cost you $1920. That means you could buy a $1000 phone and would have $35 a month to spend on prepaid credit.

If you’re comparing mobile phone plans and are looking for the best value, make sure you work out the total cost. While a mobile phone plan offers convenience, it will most likely be more expensive over time. Prepaid offers more flexibility and control over costs.

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