These days, it’s common for a family to have two or more members with a different phone plan, and each person is likely to have different mobile data usage habits. Family phone plans can help with organisation, convenience, control over content, and can be especially helpful for reducing costs.
Family plans should simplify your monthly phone bill, have additional features such as a shared data pool between family members, and are very likely to save you money.
Here’s everything you need to know about family data plans.
What is a family data plan?
When you sign a mobile contract with your carrier, you get a set of inclusions that usually covers standard national mobile calling, texts and an allowance of internet data. Some plans also include international calling or other extra features. With these mobile contracts you are the sole owner of the plan, and only you can access your inclusions.
On the other hand, a family mobile plan lets you pool the features included in your phone plan, and allows every member to access them depending on their needs. Family plans are becoming standard on all big carriers. Many mobile carriers facilitate the convenience of sharing your inclusions across multiple SIMs on the same network. For calling and texts, shared plans don’t make a significant difference, as many of the plans that are applicable to this kind of sharing come with unlimited calls and texts as a standard inclusion.
However, data is normally a different matter. If you’re often left with unused data in your mobile plan while other members in your family constantly run out of data (running up large excess data bills in the process), being able to share your unused data makes sense.
Australian government statistics suggest that 97% of families with kids under the age of 15 were using the internet in 2017, mostly on streaming shows, playing online video games and browsing for homework help.
Title: Proportion of families with internet access from 2004 to 2017
Family phone plans, also known as shared data plans, offer a set amount of data that can be shared among multiple users. These plans include both unlimited calling minutes and text messages.
All major telcos now offer family phone data plans, with varying amounts of data at different prices. These plans ensure that there’s no overage charge for one user while others have unused data remaining. However, like standard plans, if users exceed the total data offered by the family plan then overage charges will apply.
Popular Family Cell Phone Plans in Australia
A family plan is a combination of plans linked to the same bill. Each user or device accesses their own plan, all of which are charged on the same bill. Unused allowance can be used by any person on any device linked under the bill.
Each telco handles data sharing across mobile plans with a different approach. In this article, we will outline the family plans from Optus, Vodafone, and Yomojo. Before signing up for any family plan, make sure you consider the usage pattern of each member in your family. Shop around for the plan that best suits the needs of each individual user.
Vodafone Data Sharing
Vodafone’s data sharing lets you link all of its standard postpaid mobile plans into a bundle, including Vodafone Red contract plans, SIM-only plans, tablet plans, and mobile broadband plans. However, the telco poses limitations on its data sharing. For instance, “Unlimited” Plus plans can only share their Max data with other Plus plans linked to the same bill. You can share data with a maximum of five Plus plans on the same bill.
Vodafone 12-Month SIM-Only plans
30GB total data + Unlimited standard national talk and text + Unlimited Standard text to overseas
40GB total data + Unlimited standard national talk and text + Unlimited Standard text to overseas + Standard international minutes from Oz
80GB total data + Unlimited standard national talk and text + Unlimited Standard text to overseas + Standard international minutes from Oz
Vodafone Month-to-Month SIM-Only plans
2GB total data + Unlimited standard national talk and text + Unlimited Standard text to overseas
4GB total data + Unlimited standard national talk and text + Unlimited Standard text to overseas
20GB total data + Unlimited standard national talk and text + Unlimited Standard text to overseas + Standard international minutes from Oz
Vodafone Mobile Broadband plans – with Modem
- $15/month: 3GB total data
- $30/month: 10GB total data
- $45/month: 30GB total data
Vodafone Mobile Broadband Modem SIM-Only plans for 12 month offer exactly the same data as do the plans with Modem.
Vodafone Mobile Broadband plans: Month-to-Month
- $15/month: 2GB total data
- $30/month: 7GB total data
- $45/month: 20GB total data
Optus Data Sharing
All Optus’ plans, including My Plan Plus mobile plans, My Plan Flex leasing plans, and My Mobile Broadband Plus plans are eligible for data sharing bundles. You can combine as many of these plans as you want together into a single bill. The total inclusions of all plans will be combined into one massive data pool, which can be shared by any device connected to one of these plans.
Note that data sharing is not applicable on Optus prepaid plans. The telco offers month-to-month contract options and traditional 12-month plans as well.
Optus 24-Month My Plan Plus mobile plans
4GB total data + Unlimited standard national talk and text
20GB total data + Unlimited standard national talk and text
50GB total data + Unlimited standard national talk and text + Unlimited standard international talk and text
Optus 24-Month My Mobile Broadband Plus
- $20/month: 3GB total data
- $40/month: 10GB total data
- $60/month: 30GB total data
Yomojo Data Sharing
Yomojo offers comprehensive and flexible mobile family plans that allow each family member to choose a plan that suits their unique needs. With Yomojo, you can add up to six devices to one plan. The more plans, the higher the discount you receive from Yomojo will be.
- 2 Lines – 5% discount
- 3 Lines – 7.5% discount
- 4 Lines – 0% discount
- 5 Lines – 12.5% discount
- 6 Lines – 15.0% discount
Here are Yomojo’s plans:
- 1GB $9.90/30 days 4G, with 200 minutes talk and unlimited text
- 2GB $15.90/30 days 4G, with unlimited talk and text
- 8GB $29.90/30 days 4G, with unlimited talk and text
- 10GB $34.90/30 days 4G, with unlimited talk and text
- 30GB $59.90/30 days 3G, with unlimited talk and text
- 90GB $89.90/30 days 3G, with unlimited talk and text
No lock-in contract means you can modify your plans anytime without worrying about cancellation charges. You can also add more data to your plan – 1GB for $11 or 2GB for $20, whenever you want.
Benefits of Family Mobile Plans
Shared data plans offer good value, especially for families with several data-hungry devices.
Lower Costs and Shared Bills
The most beneficial part of family plans is the lower cost. Many families have more than one device per person, and several people using data plans. The cost of these plans can add up quickly. A shared family plan shares data between all devices belonging to the family members that you want to link to the same bill. It often leads to a much lower bill, and no surprises.
No Data Wastage
If you’re uncertain about your monthly data usage and often have leftover data at the end of the month, family data plans will stop that data from being wasted. With a family data plan, unused data can be utilized by another family member who might runs out of data more often.
The future of Australian family plans
The growing dependence of the world on digital connectivity suggests that family data plans will ride in popularity in the future.
If you are in charge of paying the phone bills for your family, then pooling mobile data can be a convenient and cost-effective option. To determine which family phone plan is suitable for you, start by evaluating each member’s previous monthly bills to track their monthly data usage on average. Choose a plan that generously covers the total of all plan members’ monthly usage, plus a little extra in case someone uses more data in a particular month. Sharing is what families do, and these combined family plans make life easier when it comes to mobile data.