Best mobile broadband providers

Need Internet access away from your home? We have the best mobile broadband providers for you.

Compare Broadband compares plans from the above providers and can connect you with our participating providers. Not all plans available from these providers are compared by Compare Broadband and depending on your location or service availability not all plans may be available to all customers.

Mobile broadband uses cell towers to connect to the Internet, so it works wherever there's a mobile signal. Unlike home Wi-Fi, it's not limited to your house which means that you can connect on the go. 

There are many mobile broadband plans to choose from, whether you want affordable options, unlimited data, or bundles with phone and internet. Explore providers offering these plans below or contact us for a free comparison of mobile broadband plans that fit your needs, location, and budget.

  • Mobile broadband let's you access the internet when you're away away from home.
  • It's suitable for light users, and does not require a fixed line connection.
  • If you wish to compare mobile broadband plans, we can help provide you with info on the best mobile broadband plans that each provider has to offer.

Last updated 14/12/2023

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Compare Broadband cannot guarantee that all plans or providers shown will be available at your property address. Connection and plan availability will need to be confirmed by the internet service provider. Additional charges may apply for non-standard connections.

Mobile broadband providers

In case you’re not familiar with mobile broadband, this internet is a type of connection that's delivered over a mobile network. It uses a reception tower-like how your phone does to connect to the internet. To make it a lot simpler, mobile broadband works like how you use your mobile phone as a hotspot. 

Call to let us help you find the best mobile broadband plan available to you.

Types of mobile broadband

To find the best mobile broadband plan, start by figuring out how you'll use it. Do you need it as a backup for your home Wi-Fi, for remote work, or just to stay connected while on the move? Answering these questions helps you narrow down your choices and find the plan that suits your needs.

In the market, there are four main types of mobile broadband plans: SIM-only, pocket Wi-Fi, USB modem, and home wireless broadband. Your choice depends on how many devices you want to connect and whether your device needs a power source, like a PC, or is portable, like a laptop for outdoor use. These factors are important to consider when making your decision.

SIM-only plans

Opting for a SIM-only mobile broadband plan is an excellent choice if you don't require a separate modem for your internet connection. This plan is designed for individuals who plan to use it on devices equipped with built-in 4G modems, such as tablets and laptops.

With this type of SIM card, the setup is incredibly simple – just insert it into your device, and you're instantly connected to the network. However, it's important to note that only one device can be connected at a time, unless, of course, you decide to use it as a personal hotspot.

Portable modems

A portable modem is a great choice for on-the-go internet if your device isn't 4G-ready. There are two types: pocket Wi-Fi and USB modem.

The difference? The USB modem connects to one device, while the pocket Wi-Fi acts as a hotspot for multiple devices.

USB modems are cheaper, but if you have many users, pocket Wi-Fi is more practical.

Home wireless

Home wireless is not portable like some options; instead, it needs to be plugged into a power source. It works similar to NBN broadband and comes with a modem or router that has Wi-Fi, so your family can connect to the internet.

Home wireless plans often offer more data compared to other options like pocket Wi-Fi, USB modems, and SIM-only plans. But keep in mind, you can't move around with it because it needs to stay plugged in.

The benefits of mobile broadband

While you've gained insight into the networks providing top mobile broadband offers, you might still be uncertain about adding an extra plan for yourself or your household. 

It's worth noting that opting for a mobile broadband plan is entirely optional, but it's essential to understand the advantages it can bring your way.

Great for moving around

If you don't have a permanent address, having a fixed-line connection registered in your name can be challenging or inefficient. It's important to keep in mind that service providers often levy fees for installing and transferring lines, which can add up if you frequently change addresses.

However, with a mobile connection, you're not reliant on the NBN or conventional copper lines. This means you don't need a fixed physical link from your location to the network, providing greater flexibility and ease of use.

It works as a backup

The majority of fixed-line connections rely on electricity, making them vulnerable to disruptions during power outages. Mobile broadband plans, especially those using SIM cards or portable modems, offer a distinct advantage – they don't depend on a power source to link your devices to the network. 

This means you can stay online even in the midst of a power outage or while waiting for your fixed-line connection to be restored.

Excellent for travellers

A portable broadband modem ensures hassle-free internet access no matter where you find yourself. It outperforms smartphone tethering as it doesn't drain your battery as quickly. 

Additionally, various networks provide roaming plans, granting you the ability to utilise your broadband plan even when travelling abroad.

Compare mobile broadband plans

Are you in need of a new mobile broadband plan? Compare Broadband is a free internet comparison service for all Australian homes. Our customers have independently rated us 5 stars, and we have a 4.8 out of 5 stars Trust Pilot score based on over 1,800 reviews

Talk to our Compare Broadband experts and learn which plans are best for your circumstances. 


What is Mobile Broadband?

Mobile Broadband is the blanket term used to refer to any wireless internet technology access; whether it’s a mobile phone, a tablet device, a dongle, a laptop - basically any device that can access the internet while on the move. Mobile Broadband is designed to be convenient and uncomplicated. There are many long-term mobile plans available, but if you feel more comfortable with a plan that ensures that you’re not spending money on data you don’t use, there are also many prepaid mobile plans out there.

Mobile broadband is suitable for light users who need to take their internet connection outside the home, or for customers who cannot access a fixed line service such as ADSL2+, ADSL1, Cable or NBN broadband. Mobile broadband plans range from less than 1GB to around 16GB a month. Heavy users should consider using a fixed-line connection such as ADSL2+ for most of their downloading, keeping their mobile broadband plan for light browsing when out and about.

As mobile broadband relies on the mobile phone towers instead of a fixed line for a connection, speed can be an issue for users. Mobile broadband providers cannot give users an estimation of the speed they can expect because there are so many variables. Speeds of around 1,500kbps would be considered good for mobile broadband, however, speed will vary throughout the day and depending on your location. Mobile broadband is best suited to light browsing, such as checking email, using online banking, or reading an online newspaper.

When shopping around for a mobile broadband plan, call a provider to check the service is good in your area before signing up. Each provider has a coverage map showing signal strength across Australia. Factors that may affect signal strength include hills, trees and buildings. Mobile broadband is also affected by congestion and may become slower at certain times of the day. You will need to decide whether you want a pre-paid or contract plan. Pre-paid is ideal for temporary use, but for longer-term a month-to-month plan offers better value.

Mobile broadband users require a modem and a SIM card to access their connection. Most mobile broadband providers offer a USB modem with a SIM already installed, also known as a dongle, which can be connected to a computer via a USB port. Some devices, such as an iPad, have a built in modem and all you need is the SIM card (or in the case of an iPad, a microSIM).

What is 4G Mobile Broadband?

4G is, at the time of writing, the most commonly available form of cellular broadband technology. It is short for “fourth generation”, a reference to its predecessors, 3G and 2G, that it surpassed in both performance and the marketplace. 4G was, until recently, also the best form of cellular technology that you could attain, but it has now been surpassed by 5G (which stands for, you guessed it, “fifth generation”), and it is expected that 5G will dominate the marketplace when it becomes more readily available in Australia next year.

How is 4G different to 5G?

As it is the latest step in the evolutionary chain of cellular technology, 5G is designed to offer a quicker and more efficient performance which will deliver better connectivity between multiple devices simultaneously, which is great news for the ever expanding Internet of Things. Early reports suggest that 5G is so quick that it can download content at an unprecedented rate of 20Gb per second. At these early stages, that number is more of a hypothetical top speed rather than a guaranteed promise, but if it can hit anywhere close to that download speed, we can probably expect to see 5G eliminate both 4G as well as the NBN, especially as 5G will also probably be the cheapest alternative. Well, that’s assuming 5G doesn’t get banned from our country! You should probably know that the flipside to 5G’s impressive performance is that it may possibly be emitting dangerous levels of radiation. Though Australian scientists and officials have officially declared that 5G is perfectly safe for public use, other countries aren’t so sure, with the city of Brussels going as far as shutting down a 5G pilot project, citing that 5G clashed with the Brussels’ safe standards of radiation laws. Time will tell as to whether that’s an overreaction or the beginning of the end for 5G (if not the beginning of the end for mobile broadband users), but for now, Aussie Telcos are still planning on making 5G a mainplace broadband alternative by 2020. 5G is not yet available nationwide, though Samsung, Ericsson, ZTE and Huwai have started offering 5G for carriers, and other Telcos, such as Telstra, have set up trials, such as the temporary 5G hotspots that Telstra set up in Southport for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. If you’d like to know more about 5G, check out our Ultimate Guide to 5G.

What is Unlimited Broadband?

Unlimited Broadband refers to a plan where you can use as an unlimited amount of data without being capped and without incurring an additional fee. Unlimited Broadband plans are very common these days, and exceedingly popular with people who stream a lot of content and/or share their broadband plan with other people in the household.

Can you get No Contract Unlimited Broadband plans?

You can, all the major ISPs (Internet Service Providers) will offer variations on a No Contract Unlimited Broadband plan. The flipside is that these plans won’t always be as affordable as certain contract or capped data plans, but if a No Contract Unlimited plan is your priority, then there are many good ones available.

What is the best mobile broadband plan?

There’s no universal answer to this, because the best for others is not going to be the best for you.

Need help? Get in touch with us!

Compare Broadband is a free internet comparison service for all Australian homes. Our customers have independently rated us 5 stars, and we have a 4.8 out of 5 stars Trust Pilot score based on over 1,800 reviews

You can compare any kind of Australia broadband online with us for free; all you have to do is enter your postcode or suburb in the white box, then click on “Compare”. We’ll then ask you to answer some quick questions regarding your average internet habits so that we can get a good idea of what sort of data would best suit. It’s a pretty quick and easy process, but if you have follow up questions or you’d simply prefer to talk to a real person, you can have a chat with one of our friendly broadband consultants on 1300 106 571. Our helpful staff are there to assist you from 9AM to 8PM Monday to Friday, and from 10AM to 5PM Saturdays (Australian Eastern Standard Time), so give them a bell if you have questions about any and all things broadband related. Again, it’s a free service for all Australian homes!

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