Data is the lifeblood of an e-Nomad

If you’re an e-nomad, on the road full-time and working around Australia as we are, access to data through your mobile devices like phone, tablet and laptop is vital.

We own our phones and use the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) data plan with Telstra. For people reading this outside of Australia, there are only three major telco carriers in Australia: Telstra, Optus and Vodafone. Telstra has the lions share of the market and is the top choice for coverage if you want to do any travelling outside of the capital cities and in remote areas.

Our mobile data plans had 8GB each and are joined so we can use up to 16GB per month. About three quarters of the way through the month (November 2017) we were already 3GB over our limit with one week left. Telstra charge $10 extra per GB so we went to a Telstra store to see what options we had. We were able to upgrade to a newer plan for $9 per month extra for each phone. So for $59 each gives us 20GB, so 40GB in total per month.

We use Telstra Air and Telstra Hotspots where ever we can to save on data as usage does not count towards your quota, but hanging around a hotspot for hours just doesn’t cut it. You also tend to get moved on after setting up camp near one and firing up the BBQ and cracking open a beer!

Optus had a 200GB per month wireless plan for $70 per month but you needed to lock in for one year so we decided to pass on that for now.

So we will have to ration to about 1.3GB per day between us. We also turn all devices to Aeroplane mode overnight as well and when not in use to also limit data usage and save power, the other lifeblood of an e-nomad! Using the Telstra 24×7 app allows you to monitor your usage. It doesn’t update live so you need to generally wait overnight. One trick Googled was to pause all devices from data activity for a few minutes. This causes Telstra systems to update the information so you can see your usage quicker. It seems to work. Please let me know if there’s a better way.

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  • Cuppa 8 Mar 2019   Reply →

    March ’19. You have probably discovered it by now, but if not check out Boost Mobile. Full telstra coverage*. Currently 30Gb a month for $40 (+ extra 15gb bonus per month for first 5 months) with unlimited texts & calls in Aus, plus unlimited international calls & texts to a number of countries, & 200 minutes a month to many others, and rollover unused data to the following month when using auto renew each month.

    *except for 4GX which is irrelevant in most of Australia anyway.

    • Vic 9 Mar 2019   Reply →

      Thanks Cuppa. Would love to hear your experience with them on the Telstra network, especially in remote areas as I’ve read reports that these smaller companies using Telstra’s network don’t actually get given the same quality of service on the network as Telstra gives to their customers (and I’m not talking service from a human standpoint, but from a technology one). Have you ever compared the number of bars on 3G using Boost with someone on a Telstra service in the same remote location? Cheers, Vic

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