Unlimited data is finally here
After over a decade of not having any SIM plans with truly unlimited mobile data in Australia, Vodafone and Felix have put an end to the long wait.
Last year, TPG Telecom announced Felix Mobile, a fully digital sub brand that offers a SIM only plan that includes unlimited mobile data. Felix Mobile was launched after a federal judge allowed the $15bn merger between TPG and Vodafone to proceed, which resulted in the newly formed telco TPG Telecom. As a result, Felix Mobile resell the Vodafone 3G/4G network, just like other mobile sub brands under the TPG Telecom umbrella.
With two telcos now offering unlimited data inclusions in a SIM plan, which of them should you choose? In this article, we’ll highlight the differences between Vodafone and Felix Mobile’s unlimited plans to help you decide which one is right for you. Read on to find out.
What exactly is unlimited data?
We’ve seen telcos advertise mobile plans as being unlimited when they really aren’t. In For a while in Australia, unlimited plans were widely regarded as plans with unlimited standard national calls and texts, but not unlimited data. The ACCC admonished this practice in 2018, stating that, “Telecommunications companies should be wary of using absolute claims like ‘unlimited’ where that does not give a true picture to consumers of what is being offered”.
But over the years, we’ve also seen SIM plans from the major telcos that include data that never runs out. However, we are reluctant to refer to those plans as including unlimited data, because they typically throttle your download speeds to 1.5Mbps (or more, in some cases) once you’ve exhausted your plan data. While such plans help you avoid data overage charges, we found that 1.5Mbps really limits what you can do with your data, especially if you’re a heavy streamer.
We believe that a truly unlimited SIM plan shouldn’t put such a heavy cap on download speeds. There can be speed caps, but not so strict that it diminishes your Internet experience significantly. For instance, the lowest NBN tier caps download speeds at 25Mbps – that is enough for a comfortable Internet experience, even for users who frequently stream HD videos.
Vodafone vs Felix – Unlimited SIM plans
Both Vodafone and Felix have launched SIM plans that fall into our definition of unlimited data. However, these two telcos’ unlimited plans are very different from each other. Before we get into the details, here’s a table to help simplify the differences:
|Vodafone Ultra+ unlimited SIM plan||Felix Mobile unlimited SIM plan|
|Price||$84 per month||$35 per month|
|Type of plan||Postpaid month-to-month||Prepaid with auto-recharge|
|Network||Vodafone 5G||Vodafone 3G/4G|
|Speed cap||No speed cap||20Mbps max speeds|
|Standard national talk and text||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|International inclusions||Unlimited calls to select countries, and 300 minutes to other select countries.||No International calls and texts included. However, $5 add on available for unlimited International calls and texts to 40 select countries.|
The above table shows a lot of differences between the two plans, but we’ll take a deeper look at four key differences that could help you choose which plan is best for you:
Felix Mobile’s unlimited data plan has a maximum speed of 20Mbps. This means you can’t exceed 20Mbps at anytime while on the Felix plan, but your speeds and unlimited data remain the same throughout the month without any further throttling.
Vodafone’s Ultra+ plan, on the other hand, offers unlimited high speed data with no speed caps when using your phone. However, if you use your phone as a hotspot for other devices while on this plan, you only have 30GB of high speed data for that, after which your hotspot data will be throttled to 2Mbps. Hotspot data usage does not affect your actual plan data when using your smartphone.
4G vs 5G
Felix Mobile resells the Vodafone 3G and 4G network for now, and not their 5G network. It is difficult to assume that the Felix plan will eventually use Vodafone’s 5G network, because of their plan’s 20Mbps speed cap (5G is all about much, much faster speeds than that).
Vodafone’s Ultra+ plan, on the other hand, uses their 5G network. However, keep in mind that Vodafone’s 5G rollout is still in the early stages, so in many cases, your Ultra+ plan will likely use their 4G network if there is no 5G coverage available in your area.
Felix Mobile offer their unlimited plan for just $35 per month. Considering the plan includes unlimited data throughout the month, Felix have given great value here regardless of the 20Mbps speed limit.
Vodafone’s Ultra+ plan costs $85 per month. This is a far cry from Felix’ $35 per month plan, but the Ultra+ plan offers a lot more. The key spec here is that the Ultra+ plan has no speed limit, using the high speed 5G network throughout the month. This means the Ultra+ plan also has great value, depending on what your needs are.
Felix Mobile’s unlimited plan doesn’t include an International calls or texts. However, Felix offer an add-on pack for $5, which includes unlimited calls and texts to 40 select countries.
Vodafone’s Ultra+ plan includes unlimited calls to select countries, along with an additional 300 minutes to other select countries.
Both plans offer an add-on pack for International roaming.
Both Vodafone and Felix Mobile have taken bold steps to challenge the way data inclusions are sold in SIM only plans. They both offer unlimited mobile data in a telco market that hasn’t seen such plans in over a decade.
However, despite their similarity, both plans are quite different. We believe their most significant differences lie in speed caps and prices – Felix cap your speed to a maximum of 20Mbps throughout the plan for $35, while Vodafone offer high speed data throughout the plan for $85.
These differences can help you decide which unlimited plan is right for you. How much data do you need, and at what cost? Answering this question will help you find the best value for you in a phone plan.