Best of the Best: Best-Value Mobile Plans - High Usage
GOLD WINNER: OVO MOBILE
What's interesting in this category is that what was once the key consideration - making phone calls - is nowadays taken for granted.
All three of our winners provide unlimited calls, texts and picture messages as standard. The new drawcard is data.
Since 2010, the number of smartphone users has tripled, while the time we spend on our devices has quadrupled.
Today, according to Lonergan Research, commissioned by Virgin Mobile, nearly two-thirds of Australians use a smartphone as their "main access to the internet" at a cost of $4.4 billion a year.
"This year, value in a high-usage mobile plan is represented by data," says Joseph Hanlon, editor of WhistleOut.
"If you're going to be streaming media while on the bus to work - be it listening to Spotify, streaming a podcast or watching YouTube videos - you've got to be thinking about a plan with at least 5GB."
This year our winner is OVO Mobile with 8GB for $34.95.
But just what is OVO Mobile?
Having signed a five-year deal with the Optus 4G network, this new player has established itself as a cross between a traditional prepaid mobile service provider and an on-demand video streaming service.
"OVO has burst onto the scene with a combo of great high-value, high-data plans with access to some interesting value-added extras," says Hanlon. "It's a unique selling point."
Through OVOPlay, customers can live-stream V8 Supercars, Audi Sport Customer Racing and Gymnastics Australia competitions. OVO has plans to include more sports.
With very little separating our top three this year, it's worth noting that each plan offers month-by-month terms - that is, no contracts.
"These days you can switch providers without having to worry about contracts or exit fees or changing your phone number," says Hanlon.
"It's really a risk-free experiment."