Looking for a Cheap Pay-as-You-Go Data Sim for an Android Tablet

I've just acquired a second hand 4G/Wi-Fi Samsung Galaxy tablet. Most of the time, there will be Wi-Fi where I will be using it, but sometimes I'd like/need to use the 4G connection. In an ideal world, I'd get a no-ongoing-charge SIM card and buy "data packs" of various sizes as and when I needed them. Or, perhaps, a prepaid SIM with a data allowance that lasts for a long time.

Does anything like that exist?

Comments

  • You can use your main device for tethering.

    • Let's assume that it's not an option.

      • Catch
        Kogan
        Woolies
        Coles
        Belong

        • As far as I can see, none of those providers offer the sort of plans I'm looking for. Did you have specific plans in mind for any of the providers that you posted?

          The providers that you posted mostly seem to have month-by-month plans, where you get an amount of data that expires after the month. Or, they have long expiry plans where you effectively pay in advance for 12 months worth of monthly data.

          As I said, what I'm looking for is quite different. I'm unlikely to use 120GB or more of 365 day expiry data, so it's not economic to have to pay up front for something that I won't get to use. Kogan seem to have data packs, but just 3gb for 2 or 7 days is also not economic.

          The best I've been able to come up with so far is to buy half-price (or less) Optus prepaid starter packs that Woolworths many times a year. They had $10 for 35Gb last week. However, then I have to activate the sims each time, and that's not only a hassle, if you activate too many within a period of time, it can cause issues. Also, you have to activate the sims as mobile, not broadband, or you don't get the data advertised, and using them for broadband is against the terms and conditions. And you can't stockpile, because the offers expire in a way that is very unclear.

          • @pjetson: So, you have done your research and you are up the proverbialwith no paddles!!! This is how the mobile companies make money and us OZ barainers try to save money.
            Good luck.

          • @pjetson: In your original post:

            Or, perhaps, a prepaid SIM with a data allowance that lasts for a long time.

            In your reply:

            As I said, what I'm looking for is quite different. I'm unlikely to use 120GB or more of 365 day expiry data, so it's not economic to have to pay up front for something that I won't get to use.

            A bit contradicting, as what's in your reply was just in your head not in original post. Nonetheless, what I can read is you want a pre paid Sim (no on going fee), that lets you do PAYG but not charge $10/GB….

            Are you then looking for data pack options (e.g. boost / aldi / amaysim) How cheap are you looking? Is that a maximum recharge amount in mind?

            • @NeutralName:

              A bit contradicting

              Yes, a bit poorly worded on my part. Apologies. Have my comments since made it any clearer?

              • @pjetson: I think wording is fine. Is kind of like you want a flexible data plan without paying a year in advance but also has low $/GB, right? No such telco exist so this becomes a tradeoff exercise. I read your below comment - not knowing what you will use your tablet for when you are out (how much data you use, usage pattern etc) will limit your decision.The away from home use case is important for your selection.

                As your research may have uncovered:

                • If you use it for Google maps or occasional email - aldi PAYG is good in terms of okay data rates. If you top up once a year it is not too costly. Vodafone suggestion below is good too.

                • if you use it for video streaming / play ads enabled games - PAYG plans will not be economical. Suitable prepaid plans will be $20 for 30 days with 15GB from coles. Alternatives are catch or Kogan. The Sim expires after 6 months of no recharge.

                • If you use it for FaceTime / video chat - belong $10/mth with unlimited data (speed capped after 1GB) or Telstra $15/mth (speed capped after 5GB) will be good. I used that for a period while on a work trip to do basic video conference. However, I don't know how to pause for months you don't need. Alternative is woolies $60/6mth with 12GB. Half the expiry date at half the up front cost.

                So this is like dasher86's response expanded

  • I'd like a similar thing. The problem is, most long expiry plans come bundled with far more data than I'd need. I guess they are hoping for mugs like me who only use 20% of the quota they offer on a plan.

    If you look for data only plans, they aren't that much cheaper than a plan with all the calls and SMS's you want.

  • You could churn through sim cards like kogan, belong, amaysim, optus half price and others

    Not ideal to what you're after, but it is cheap. There are sometimes 3 month sim deals that work out v cheap so u might only need to buy a sim maybe 4 or 5 times in a year

    • You could churn through sim cards like kogan, belong, amaysim, optus half price and others

      That's what I've done in the past (Optus prepaid sims are often very cheap at Coles and Woolworths) where I infrequently stay at a property without internet. Launtel's "turn it on only when you need it" NBN has resolved that issue. I've love an option like that for mobile data!

      One problem with churning through bargain priced prepaid sims is that you're only allowed to have a certain number (is it six?) prepaid sims active in one name at the one time, and the carriers can sometimes leave "expired" sims active for a long time. I've resolved that in the past by registering some of the sims in the names of other family members.

  • The cheapest long-term plan I found (last year) was Vodafone's long expiry 365-day for $40 (click the Pay and Go tab). It charges 4c/MB of data, or about 1 GB on the base credit (in 512 kB increments). I use it on my old phone that's almost always on Wi-Fi and otherwise only uses a couple of text messaging apps that use minimal data. It does have data packs available if you see yourself needing a lot of extra data over a short period, e.g. $3/2GB/1day, $7/2GB/7days, $5/500MB/28days - depending on your usage patterns, these may be suitable for you. The credit does roll over on recharge if you don't use all of it that year.

    It's not much data. But it's enough for very occasional/minimal usage, and pretty cheap to maintain.

    The next cheapest option I think is the Aldi 365-day $95 data-only. It includes 30 GB of data, with rollover).

    There's also a $89 option with 15 GB but you'd need to find it in-store.

    Actually, Aldi has a 365-day $5 PAYG option as well. This one is 5c/MB so if you use almost no data, it works out better than the Vodafone one with a much lower minimum cost. The Vodafone one works out better if you use more than ~800 MB in the year. Keep in mind that the minimum recharge on this one is $15, unless you want to buy/activate a new service yearly.

    The other option, of course, is hopping on those 30/90-day deals, with the downside of needing to do the hop semi-frequently. That will give you a lot more data than the Vodafone plan but won't actually work out any cheaper over a year (~20GB/30days, ~$40+/year with the Kogan offerings).

    • This one is 5c/MB so if you use almost no data, it works out better than the Vodafone one with a much lower minimum cost.

      I think you're right, in that Aldi charges per KB. Still as a price comparison for OP: Aldi's 5c/MB will cost $50/1GB so if he uses more than 2GB he is better off to get the yearly SIM. But as you might read earlier he doesn't want that.

      It is unclear how much data OP uses on 4G to come up with effective suggestions, and provide specific plans.

      • Vodafone is weird. They say they charge in 512 kB increments, but in practice I've noticed that under 50 kB often goes free, and under 200 kB goes for 1c.

        • I know a few people that rorted that loophole whilst playing pokemongo. They would spin a few pokestops and then airplane it on and off. lol.

      • It is unclear how much data OP uses on 4G to come up with effective suggestions

        The OP (ie me :-) is also unclear about how much data he will use, which is why I'm interested in hearing about any and all possibilities.

  • Get a catch 60gb for $80 or thereabouts when on offer (combine with a code and gift cards)

  • Just pay $4.90 for one of these every month and don't worry about any plans (or slow wifi for that matter)…. ;-) https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/543472