We’ve requested them for years in Australia, however with the current limitations in place, are unlimited data mobile plans really worth the hype?
If you asked me 18 months ago the one thing I’d like to see my telco introduce, without a doubt my answer would’ve been an unlimited data mobile plan.
Fast forward to the present day and unlimited data mobile plans are starting to trickle into the Australian market - albeit the plans some providers are claiming as ‘unlimited’, contain limitations that make you quickly question whether they’re actually ‘unlimited’ after all.
No one likes the thought of their download speeds being throttled, however for some people, the safety net of these supposed unlimited plans is exactly what they've been longing to hear.
slow speeds anyone?
As it currently stands, the unlimited data mobile plans available in the Australian market, give you a base allowance of data (ranging between, 40GB-120GB and starting around $60/month).
The catch being, that once you go over your chosen base allowance, you can keep using data, however your download speeds will be slowed down significantly and capped at 1.5Mbps – (with the average 4G download connection speed in Australia being 33.76Mbps – it’s a massive reduction)
Now to be fair, if we were in the year 2000, a download speed of 1.5Mbps would of made us happy as Larry, however in this day and age, speeds this slow, simply can’t handle the demands of modern content and you’ll quickly find yourself in a non-stop buffering zone – no thanks!
Note: It’s worth noting that if you want a higher base allowance, you’ll need to fork out extra $$.
is there a genuine need for unlimited mobile data?
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to let you know how important seamless connectivity is in 2018, we need to stay connected to live our lives, but just how much mobile data do we really need?.
With Wi-Fi connections available in our homes, schools, workplaces and not to mention Wi-Fi hotspots on public transport and many public places – do we really need a pool of unlimited mobile data at our disposal?
While data consumption continues to grow for many of us, according to the Telsyte Digital Consumer Study (2017), close to 10 million Aussies (42% of the population) in fact use less than 1GB of mobile data a month.
A recent ABS Internet Activity Survey, also suggested the average data usage sits at around 2.2GB per month, and while data usage is indeed on the rise for many other users, it goes to show that unlimited data on our phones, doesn’t necessarily make sense for a large majority of us – especially if it’s going to cost more.
the final word
I’m a heavy mobile data user myself and power through loads of content online (including Youtube videos, Netflix and lots of Spotify).
With that said, I’m smart with my connectivity, and always latch on to Wi-Fi at work and home. Most months I find myself landing between 12-15GB worth of usage each month.
Even if you’re someone who chews through data at a high rate, there’s much cheaper plans on the market that you should probably consider first, before diving into one of the new unlimited plans on the market (how does 15GB for $40 sound?)
Here at amaysim we have a number of great-value mobile plans that cater to a wide range of usage habits, ranging from just 1GB/$10, all the way to 20GB/$50).
If you’re unable to get a fixed broadband service for your home, then an unlimited data mobile plan may provide some value if you’re a low volume data user.
With this said, the speed shaping means you’ll need to fork out a fair bit of money to get a decent data allowance, and you’d likely be better off combining a solid home internet plan, with a mobile plan that matches your actual usage - this way you won’t end up wasting money on an endless supply data, you’ll likely never end up using.