Being a frequent traveller used to mean being cut off from your email and social media unless you were lucky enough to find a free or paid Wi-Fi hotspot. International mobile data has become a lot cheaper over the last couple of years, but it's still a little confusing depending on which Aussie carrier you use. If you don't want to shell out for your home telco's daily roaming rates or bundles, there's another legitimate option in Globalgig.
SIM card image via Shutterstock
Globalgig's prices have always been competitive, but the lack of 4G access in Australia meant there were better choices if you wanted to use it in-country. Not so any more — the new 4G Flexi plan from Globalgig works over the Optus 4G network in Australia, with pretty reasonable data pricing at 250MB for $5, 1GB for $10, 3GB for $20, 5GB for $30 or 10GB for $50 per month. Then when you leave the country, you'll pay 10 cents per megabyte pro rata in 22 countries (including the USA, UK and much of Europe) and 25 cents per megabyte in a further 17 countries for 3G access wherever available.
Beyond adding 4G, Globalgig has also rejigged its 3G-everywhere global roaming. If you're a frequent traveler over the Pacific, you'll want Go Europe & USA with plans covering most of those two continents and Australia with a monthly cost for included data of $20 for 250MB, 1GB for $30, 3GB for $50 or 5GB for $70. Hong Kong and New Zealand will set you back a flat 25 cents per megabyte.
Worldwide jetsetters, though, will want Go Global — a flat-rate for data in Australia and a massive 69 other countries at 250MB for $30, 1GB for $50, 3GB for $100 or 5GB for $170. If you're the kind of heavy data user that travels around the world on a regular basis — maybe if you're a technology journalist for Gizmodo Australia (and you're currently in Munich and Oslo and I hate you) — then this is the plan to get.
I'm a big fan of Globalgig, purely for the fact that it's a service that complements my own mobile contract with Telstra. Sometimes Telstra is a little cheaper with its international data roaming packs, but Globalgig's partnerships means it works in some places where Telstra doesn't have included data, and it's cheaper to boot. [Globalgig]