What are the advantages of taking a SIM Only plan ?
Fundamentally, SIM Only plans offer customers less risk when they sign up. When you’re choosing a network, if there’s something you don’t like about the coverage in your area, or the service the company you choose offers, with a SIM Only plan, you don’t suffer the frustration of being tied in to a provider. For years, the typical deals you’d get from an Australian telco were a phone and a plan. For many, the call and text package is the only important part of the arrangement.
Put simply, a lot of people don’t need an expensive phone. SIM Only plans are ideal for people who just want just the voice minutes, texts / SMS and data offered in a plan instead of getting a new phone at the same time. Most people find that they can reduce their monthly outlay on phone company services with a SIM Only or BYO Plan. SIM only or BYO plans are playing an increasingly important role for phone purchasers in Australia.
The rate of technology change increasing. It’s leading to new and more impressive handsets being in market every quarter. People expect that their freedom will constantly expand. Standards of living are always rising meaning more people can afford to buy their handset outright. Many people, especially younger family members have phones ‘handed down to them.’ For anyone who has their own phone, a SIM Only plan is a good choice.
The SIM only proposition from Australian phone companies services some needs that contract plans do not. At the same time, SIM Only plans retain and in many cases improves on some of the great rates that contract plans offer.
All of the major Australian networks offer a SIM Only deal. Vodafone and Virgin Mobile call the facility BYO Mobile – or Bring Your Own mobile. Telstra are the only Australian phone company who require you to sign up to a 12 month contractual term, before you can get the benefit of their rates.
How can I be sure my phone will work with the new SIM Only provider ?
Whichever phone you choose, you’ve got to make sure it works with the same frequencies available from the phone company you’re considering. Each phone has a number of frequencies or ‘bands’ which it uses to access the phone company your agreement is with. Years ago, your phone would only have had two or three of these bands or frequencies. The number of frequencies that phones work with has increased over the years. The latest iPhones now work with 14 different bands !
A key call out here is that Telstra phones ( that’s phones you got under contract with Telstra ) are likely to work on the 850 MHz network. Only Telstra use the 850 MHz network in Australia. If you want to move across to Telstra, make sure your phone works on that frequency.
Can I use any mobile phone with SIM card?
Very much so. If you bought your phone through a carrier, give them a call and ask for the phone to be “unblocked” before you get a new sim
Can I keep my phone number with SIM only mobile deal?
Yes you can. You’ll see an option for this whichever phone company you go with. They’ll remind you while you’re checking out. You give them your current number and, by the time your SIM card arrives, it’ll have your existing number attached to it.
Are SIM Only plans 4G ( superfast data ) enabled?
Erm, mostly, yes, they are. Especially the new ones. There are a couple of exceptions. 1 ) If you’re on an older Vodafone plan ( something you started paying for in 2012 or earlier ) than you might have to call customer service to get 4G added to your SIM Only plan. This may involve you buying a ‘Data Bolt On’ from Vodafone which will entitle you to the new network speeds. 2) Amaysim use the Optus 3G network. At the moment, they do not offer 4G speeds for any of their SIM Only plans. If you want 4G, you shouldn’t take Amaysim.
What is a SIM technically ?
In simple terms, your SIM is a key you can use to get on to the network of the phone company you choose. Since the phone company knows it’s your key specifically ( that it belongs to you ) it / they can charge you for using the network. Technically, SIM cards are integrated circuits which store your personal identification information on them. This information is then used to identify and authenticate the SIM later.
What do I need to know before I take out a SIM Only contract with a phone company ?
Remember, you might need to update the settings on the phone so that you can use data services like email, internet and picture messaging, PXT ( MMS ) etc. Usually, if you’re having problems, a quick survey of the support forums for your phone company will help you establish the right settings. If you need to, you can give them a call and they will help you set yourself up on their network. Because the agreement you have with your phone company is still post paid, you are likely to have to work through their credit check process in order to get one.
The rules they have in place might be far less stringent than those you would have to oblige in order to be provided a phone. However, providing a SIM to you does still represent a credit risk to the phone company. In theory, some customers could take out a SIM only plan, go overseas and run up roaming bills for thousands of dollars which represent a real cost to the phone company. A credit check is required to minimise the risk.
Which SIM Only Plan is best for calls home ( International )?
The answer to this sort of question always depends on the specifics of your calling habits. However, there are a couple of useful things we can tell you. Virgin Mobile’s SIM Only plans are the only plans from the major phone companies which include International Calls ( they are taken out of the SIM Only plan included value at reasonable rates. ) Virgin Mobile use the Optus network so coverage is good too. Amaysim will charge you a small amount for calls to the major destinations, like the UK or the USA – for example, those destinations are charged at around 6c per minute.
What if I need a Nano SIM ?
Don’t worry. If you have an iPhone, the phone companies now have a regular supply of nano SIMs. Again, you’ll be offered the option of choosing a Nano SIM during your online checkout process.
What if I have BlackBerry ?
First of all, congratulations. They’re great products and you probably cop it for having such an old phone ! You’ll need to contact your specific phone company before you sign up to see if your BlackBerry will work with a SIM Only plan. Make sure you do it before you sign up. We recommend the chat facility that the phone company has on their website. There may be a small incremental fee to cover access to the BlackBerry service.
Why get a SIM only / BYO Plan?
SIM Only (also known as BYO – Bring Your Own – Mobile) used to be the best kept secret in telco. (Telcos are just telecommunications companies like Optus, Telstra, Virgin Mobile or Vodafone Australia.). Now SIM only plans are some of the best sellers in Australia’s Smartphone plans market and make up around 40% of the phone company’s business.
If you’re looking for a great value deal on calls and already have your own device? Well then read on, you’ve hit the jackpot.
SIM Only : Get the SIM card from the phone company – no phone involved
SIM only is a service which is also known as BYO mobile by some phone companies. This sort of plan offers you a connection to the phone company’s network and its network services – voice, text, data, international calling etc. However, you will not get a phone with the plan!
Order online for the best deals and, when you order your SIM from one of the phone companies, you’ll receive it in the post. In the package that arrives you’ll see a SIM (that’s a Subscriber Identification Module by the way) which is the way the Service Provider ( phone company ) can attach you to their wireless network and offer the services you’ve come to enjoy. Like voice. And SMS. ANd, perhaps most importantly these days, data.
Just put the new SIM in your existing phone and you’re away.
Remember, if you bought your phone ( the one you’re trying to put this new SIM in to ) under a contract from one of the phone companies, you might have to give them a call to unlock it.
Whether you’re buying your phone outright or taking a SIM Only deal – you can keep your existing phone number.
Where can I get the best deals on SIM Only Plans ?
You’ve come to the right place. We’re here to give you quick, easy and reliable insight in to the Australian market for SIM plans.
In our view, network resellers offer the best deal on Telstra, Optus and Vodafone’s networks. Network resellers are smaller phone companies which don’t own their own telecommunications network. Generally, we advise our visitors to choose one of these smaller phone companies. They’re also known as MVNOs. MVNOs are Mobile Virtual Network Operators.
These companies rent their network access from the major phone companies like Optus, Telstra and Virgin Mobile. Then they resell that network to Australians and they ( usually ) provide much better rates for access than you’ll get from the major players.
What is an MVNO / network reseller ?
MVNOs or network resellers are companies like Lebara, Cmobile and Amaysim. They are brands which work in parallel to the major phone companies that most people dislike – Optus, Telstra and Vodafone. MVNOs use the networks of the major phone companies. For example Amaysim uses the Optus 3G network, Yatango uses Optus 3G and 4G, Cmobile resell both Vodafone and Telstra.By keeping their range simple and targeting a segment ( a specific group of users with an identifiable trait ) they build a small market but serve it well.
If you have an average usage pattern ( i.e. the way you use your phone is like most people ) then Amaysim Flexi is probably the right phone for you. And whether you have one of the latest 4G phones or a tried and tested 3G model, Amaysim are likely right for you. Here’s why.
Spend about $20 per month : If you are looking to cover average phone usage, you have a 3G / 4G phone and you are looking to spend around $20 per month, we recommend Amaysim’s $19.90 plan.
Gives you 3 or 4 calls per day : Calls and data inclusions are the most critical part to any plan. With this plan, you’ll be able to make 3 or 4 calls per day. This is approximately average usage and covers most people. Remember, you’ll be able to receive as many calls as you’d like, free of charge.
500 MB of 3G / 4G data on the Optus network : You will also get 500 MB of 3G /4G data to use each month. Unless you are in to YouTube videos when you are out and about, this is probably an adequate level of data. Amaysim use the full Optus 3G / 4G network . That’s not part of the Optus 4G network, not most of it. It’s the whole entire Optus 4G network. You’ll get coverage wherever they have a signal ( Optus’ 3G network currently covers 98.5% of the Australian population ) and the latest 4G speeds in 4G coverage areas.
Free SIM delivery : Unlike some, Amaysim’s SIMs are delivered free of charge.
Flexibility : If you decide you want to change plans, you can move up or down without charge. You will have to complete the month you’re in.
Reliability : Amaysim are one of the largest small phone companies in Australia. These phone companies are sometimes known as MVNOs or Mobile Virtual Network Operators. Amaysim are a reliable brand been around for a long time in Australia and are as reliable as they come.
Best customer satisfaction in the industry : An enormous 96% of all Australians who are with Amaysim would recommend them to a friend. It’s uncommon in telco to find a company that people like.
If you have a 4G phone and want access to the Optus network, we recommend Yatango. Yatango’s rates are substantially cheaper than Optus’. They also use the entire Optus network. Not part of it, or a component of it – Yatngo use the whole 4G network. As Optus adds more coverage, Yatango gets to use it immediately. In addition, their range has a good deal more flexibility to it.
Build your own Optus 4G plan : Yatango have a plan configurator which gives you any and all permutations of voice, SMS and data on the Optus 4G network which gives you complete control over the plan you choose. Give it a go and choose the exact number of minutes, SMS, Data and international calls you need.
Unlike most, Yatango also have a range of plans with unlimited voice and SMS. Starting at $27.90, you’ll get unlimited calls and SMS in Australia but no voice. To that, you can add some very affordable data.
Want an Unlimited plan : Yatango’s have range of plans which offer unlimited voice and SMS in Australia along with with multiple data options. Again, these are cheaper than Optus’ own equivalents.
If you are a super user of your phone – in other words if you’re addicted to using it, you want to use the Optus 3G /4G network and you want the reassurance and flexibility of a large allocation of data then we recommend Amaysim’s Unlimited plans – now with 4G data :
Unlimited calls and SMS to Australian numbers + 6 GB of 3G / 4G data = $54.90
Unlimited calls and SMS to Australian numbers + 4 GB of 3G / 4G data = $44.90
Here’s why we recommend Amaysim :
Perfect if you need either 3G / 4G Data : Amaysim use the full Optus 3G / 4G network. That’s not part of the Optus 4G network, not most of it. It’s the whole entire Optus 4G network. You’ll get coverage wherever they have a signal ( Optus’ 3G network currently covers 98.5% of the Australian population. ) You’ll also get the latest 4G speeds in 4G coverage areas.
Unlimited calls and SMS to Australian numbers : Their unlimited plan offers unlimited calls and texts to Australian numbers.
Unrivaled data – 4 or 6 GB ! : It also includes an incredible data allocation. You can choose between either 4GB or 6GB of 3G / 4G data on the Optus network.
Research released in July 2014 shows that 96% of customers on the Amaysim Unlimited plan would recommend it to their friends. Amaysim offer incredible value, amongst the best in the Australian market. They also have market leading data inclusions.
In our view, Boost’s unlimited plan is the best unlimited prepaid plan in market on the Telstra network.
Boost use Telstra’s 3G network : Boost Mobile Australia are one of the only phone companies in Australia which operate on the Telstra 3G network. Telstra’s 3G network coverage 99.3% of the Australian population – more than any other network.
Boost offer a $40 Unlimited price plan : For $40 per month, you’ll get unlimited national calls and SMS to other Australian numbers
2.5GB = Plenty of Data : As well as unlimited calls and SMS to Australian numbers on the Telstra network, you’ll get 2.5GB (+ 500 MB if you recharge online until 30th March) of national data.
Boost’s unlimited offer is exceptionally strong in comparison to other Australian plans. It provides highly sought after access to the Telstra network, an almost unbelievable unlimited number of calls and SMS with the best Australian coverage and a perfectly adequate 2.5GB of data.
If you think you need more data than 2GB then check out Amaysim’s unlimited plan, below.
Best Unlimited Voice and SMS in Australia on Vodafone’s network ?
If you’re after an unlimited plan with incredible included value or you make calls overseas, in our view, you need look no further than Lebara. Lebara use the much improved Vodafone 3G network which covers more than 96% of Australians. If you live in a major Australian city ( and more than 70% of people do ) then look no further than Lebara for the best value unlimited plan.
This is the lowest price on our site for a plan which has unlimited Australian voice calls and SMS, anywhere in Australia. It’ll give you :
Unlimited voice calls to Australian numbers : Your plan has unlimited included calls to Australian mobile and landline phone numbers on the Vodafone 3G network.
Unlimited SMS : Unlimited National texts. Nice and simple. You can send as many text messages each month to as many Australian phone numbers as you’d like to with no additional charge.
Big Data : A huge 2 GB of 4G data. 2GB should be plenty for even the most ravenous data eaters. You can also add another 2GB of 3G data for $20 more on the Lebara website when you recharge if you wish.
Lebara use the Vodafone 3G network : Remember, Lebara use the Vodafone 3G network. Vodafone’s network has improved dramatically since it’s lows of 2010. In major Australian cities, Vodafone’s network is as strong as Telstra’s or Optus’.
Best value for overseas calls : If you need to make calls overseas, Money Magazine awarded this plan the best value plan for that in Australia.
50 international call destinations : Unlimited voice and SMS to 50 destinations including India, China, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, Pakistan, Lebanon, Bangladesh, UK, France, Greece, Italy, Germany. See the full list.
Unlimited National Voice and SMS : Call who you like when you like and you can text them too. All day every day. These are genuinely unlimited allowances for calls and SMS to other Australian numbers from your mobile.
Enough Data : 2GB of 3G data on the Vodafone network. Again, you can add more mid month if you need to. But not many go beyond 2GB of data.
Starter : The starter range gives you the basics : enough calls and texts to get you through the month if you don’t use your phone much.
Texter : Texter plans have unlimited SMS included in them for another $2.50 a month. If you don’t use apps like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger these days, instead of SMS then the extra money spent on unlimited SMS will make a whole lot of sense for you.
Global : The Global element to the range includes a range of plans
30% off if you take contracts : TeleChoice are one of the few SIM Only providers who will give you better rates if you are prepared to commit to a contract for 12 months. After bad experiences with Kogan and some other smaller phone companies who took the money for SIMs and then closed down, we can’t recommend these plans just yet. However, 30% off is 30% off and these might be right for you.
3G enabled : The Telstra 3G network covers 98.8% of the Australian population. Coverage with this TeleChoice SIM will give you around the coverage an Optus SIM will provide. 3G SIMs will work in any phone. However, if you have one of the latest 4G phones, you won’t get the best data speeds possible with that device.
Best in market for low end Telstra plans : We recommend Telechoice for anything less than $30 per month if you need the reassurance of coverage on the Telstra network.
Flexibility and Zero Risk : Telechoice’s SIM Only range have the same features as other SIM plans from network resellers. You’ll have no commitment beyond the month you’re in. This gives you the freedom to move to a better deal if one becomes available. And you don’t take on any risk. The contracts we recommend are month to month. If you want to cancel, you can cancel. Don’t like it ? Throw it in the bin.
Remember : International SMS, National MMS and 13 numbers are not included in your cap with TeleChoice at this time.
SIM only plans offer users the flexibility to change plans as often as they want. This flexibility comes in many forms. Most providers let you move up and down plans very easily, whenever you want to. So, if your usage requirements rise with time, or decrease, you’ll be able to flex without penalty. The reason it’s so much simpler is that there is no phone to consider. When you take a phone out under contract, the phone plan your on contains a hardware / handset subsidy component. Move plans ( on a plan with a phone ) and they have to recalculate the payment you owe, perhaps charging you ETPs or Early Termination Payments. With SIM Only, no phone, no hassle.
Since most people are not tied in to a contract on a SIM only plan, they are not locked to providers. Almost all SIM Only plans ( except a couple from Telstra ) are no contract plans which means you will experience freedom you are not used to, when dealing with your phone company. If they overcharge you, annoy you with their customer service or, something simple happens like you see a better deal in market, you’ll be able to change your provider at the end of the month you’re in.
SIM Only users can move around to new companies when they launch. Australian telco is, believe it or not, a dynamic place. Phone companies are always being added to the market. Cmobile, for example is a new phone company which offers best in market rates for low end plans – that’s anything below $20. They also have some spectacular and innovative data led plans to service those with a new ‘smart’ mobile phone. When you’re on a SIM Only plan and you see a new provider you’d like to try out, just give them a go.
And, since the SIM Only plan you’re buying doesn’t involve the phone companies having to worry about covering the cost of the phone hardware you’ve bought, they are almost always much cheaper than the contract equivalents
How to make SIM Only work for you
Hopefully this is obvious – you’re going to need your own phone !
The phone you’ve got will need to be ‘unlocked’ phone. ( You can unlock your phone with a call your current service provider to do that, they might charge you. )
Ordering online usually pays off. As always and you’ll get it delivered to you quick smart and many of the Service Providers offer ‘2 months free’ or similar. Amaysim offer an unlimited plan which often has an introductory offer ( e.g. 50% off first month ) you can click hereto find the latest info on Amaysim and their best deals.
You’ll be able to keep your own number by taking the ‘porting’ option when you move across to your new provider, nice and easy in the checkout process. ( To be clear, you can do this in retail too. )
Note : Some phone companies want you to take out a contract ( pretty much only Telstra and even then, they only require contracts for some of their plans. ) Almost everyone else does not require a contract. Of course, if you do, you will lose the flexibility of the month to month option of you choose them.
What is the SIM Only market being driven by?
More and more people are buying their phone outright, themselves. It’s worth noting that phones bought outright don’t always turn out to be cheaper when you factor everything in ( transport of the phone from overseas to you, risks, time for delivery, wasted time when the phone shows up. )
And there you have it. So long as you love your existing device, SIM Only is, without question, the scheme for you. You’ll be able to keep the phone that you obviously love and, best of all, because you don’t have to ‘pay off’ a new mobile, your calls will be substantially cheaper.
Payment options for SIM Only or BYO plans
The phone companies have a number of different payment options. They have typically offered everything from
At one end of the spectrum. The purchaser has no more commitment than what they’ve spend on their initial SIM or a recharge. Customers pay at the start of the billing period with prepaid. Prepaid used to be the realm of the teenager. Now some of the best SIM Only pricing you’ll find is on a Prepaid Plan. I use one myself. Here’s how to get one of Australia’s best prepaid plans.
At the other end of the spectrum. The key difference is that customers pay at the end of the billing period. Typically, that’s a month in arrears ( behind. ) In Australia, 24 month contracts are the standard. Elsewhere, 12 month contracts are just as common. There’s more commitment involved with a contract – of course. Contract plans often come with a phone. Phones cost many hundreds of dollars. So, if you want out of a contract, you end up paying for the phone, before you can leave – that’s those ETPs I mentioned before. You may have heard of these Early Termination Fees which were incurred when individuals decide they want to get themselves out of the contract before the contract term had finished.
PAYG plans are a type of SIM Only plan in exactly the same way that prepaid and postpaid are. PAYG plans make the most sense for people who spend $5 to $10 per month on making calls to other people. Remember though, with a PAYG SIM in your phone, you’ll still receive as many phone calls as you would with any other plan. If you’re the popular one and people call you all day, PAYG might just be right for you.
Just as you’d expect, PAYG plans charge you each time you make a phone call. Rates of 7c per minute are typical. With the average call length being around 2 minutes, you’ll quickly see, if you do the maths, that once you’re making a couple or more calls each day, it makes more sense to invest in a plan with a cap value – like Vaya’s $18 for example. However, if you only make one call a day, you’ll often get your PAYG bill in for less than $10 per month. Paying $10 per month to keep a phone service active which you rarely use means people use PAYG SIMs for older family members who don’t make that many calls, for use in ‘Glovebox’ phones ( phones you keep in your car’s glovebox in case of emergencies ) and in older ‘feature’ phones.
From a phone company point of view, PAYG SIM Only plans are a subset of their postpaid range. Like all the other SIM Only plans we have information with on this page, PAYG SIMs have the benefits of SIM Only plans. You can put a PAYG SIM in to your existing phone without taking a new contract. You have the freedom to move to a better PAYG plan, from another provider, the minute one becomes available.
Be careful with PAYG phone plans
If there’s one thing to be careful of with PAYG plans, it’s using data. Typical data rates on an Ausstralian PAYG plan are 5c per MB. That doesn’t sound like a lot but average usage these days on a smart mobile phone like an iPhone is often over 1GB per month. That’s around 1000 MB or $50 per month just for the data in your plan ! Think ahead and be warned – if you have a smart mobile phone like a Galaxy S5 or an older phone on which you do a bunch of internet surfing, PAYG plans are almost certainly not right for you !
Between prepaid and Contract, sits SIM Only.
Payments are still made a month in arrears. However, there is nothing like the level of commitment that a contract plan usually involves. ( At the moment, in Australia, Telstra are the exception to this rule. Many SIM Only plans from Telstra involve a 12 month commitment. You can usually leave your SIM only commitments with one month notice. That is, you can leave once you’ve paid the month you’re in. )
Are SIM Only packages delivered faster than phones ?
If you order your SIM only SIM online, it will be posted to you and you are likely to receive it the next day. SIMs are delivered faster than it takes to get a phone to get to you.
Why are there different sizes of SIM cards & how can I be sure I pick the right one ?
Space is at a premium in phones. The smaller the area taken up with standard components, the smaller, and more lightweight, the phone can be. Less room for a SIM means more room for a bigger battery, a bigger processor or a thinner chassis.
Nano SIM cards are simply smaller than other types of SIMs which is why Apple wants to use them.
Can I trim my SIM down to make it a Nano SIM so it’ll go in my iPhone 5x ?
We wouldn’t recommend that ! You can invalidate warranties inserting SIM cards in to phones that weren’t ‘expecting them’.
How do I know what type of SIM my phone takes ?
You need a Nano SIM if : Do you have an iPhone with the number 5 in it ? Specifically, that’s the iPhone 5s, 5c or 5 ? If so, you need a Nano SIM. Apple have been using Nano SIMs on every version of their iPhone since the iPhone 5 launched in 2012. They’ve also started using Nano SIMs in some of their other products such as the iPad Air.
You need a ‘full’ SIM if : You’ve got an old phone then you need a full SIM. But it’ll have to be really old. We’re talking as old as the 2007 Apple iPhone 3Gs, a Samsung Galaxy Note or a Samsung Galaxy S2 ?
You need a micro SIM if : You have any other type of phone – you need a Micro SIM. It’ll probably come to you as a Combi SIM ( also called a Multifit ) SIM.
Do SIM Only plans have ETPs or Early Termination Payment?
ETPs ( Early Termination Payments ) are contract exit charges. They are usually charged to recover the cost of a phone and, sometimes, as a penalty to discourage you leaving your phone company. It’s likely that in 2014, there will be some phasing out of this sort of charging.
Some argue that penal ETPs are unreasonable charges to apply to an account and that they are, therefore, illegal. Recent experience with similar charges imposed by banks resulted in the banks having to refund customers who were charged similarly high transaction fees.
You should always check the CIS ( Critical Information Summary – it’s a piece of literature available wherever you see the plan details, which explains the details of the plan you are signing up to ) for details of the ETPs you are accepting responsibility for. However, it is unlikely that you will be subject to any ETPs with a SIM only contract, especially if you are not receiving a phone as part of the plan you’re signing up to.
My SIM Only SIM Card is the wrong size – what do I do ?
Don’t worry about it ! Probably the simplest thing to do is to go in to a store for the phone company you’re with. They’ll be able to sort you out – and don’t worry, the swap over will be free .The SIM will be activated for you in store there and then, using their billing and provisioning systems.
When are SIM Only plans most useful ?
SIM Only plans are a fantastic way to keep personal calls and work calls separate. You can use your work phone for work calls and have the latest phone so you can take emails out of hours if you need to. An increasing range of handsets have 2 SIM capability. Some plans, notably Vodafone’s being better for roaming prices, SIM Only can be the smartest choice for the busy professional with a demanding social life.
When can I take advantage of SIM Only / BYO mobile rates ?
You can start right now. Remember, if you had a phone under contract, that contract ends at some point ( usually, it’s after 2 years. ) From the point your contract ends, you can keep your phone and start getting the new, better rates of a SIM Only plan.
What do I need to know about Telstra SIM Only Plans ?
The structure of SIM Only plans is similar between the major phone companies. Here are the notable differences for Telstra’s SIM only plans.
Be sure about the 850 MHz. First of all, before moving over to Telstra, make sure the phone you have chosen supports the 850 MHz bandwidth. You can do this by checking the phone on the Telstra website. Telstra are the only Australian phone company which use the 850 MHz frequency and, unless you bought the phone you have from Tesltra in the first place, there’s a good chance it won’t work on that frequency.
Telstra insist on contracts Telstra’s SIM Only plans are only available under contract The minimum term for many of Telstra SIM Only plan is currently 12 months.
Telstra’s plans are also substantially more expensive than the competition. Given recent announcements about the quality of the other Australian phone networks, we would recommend that you avoid taking out a Telstra Everyday Connect plan. In metro regions, you’ll get better coverage and much, much lower rates for data and voice, with Vodafone.
What do I need to know about Vodafone’s SIM Only plans ?
Vodafone has a large suite of SIM Only plans. You’ll save $10 per month taking the Vodafone SIM only plan option, compared to the equivalent plan, which comes with a phone. None of Vodafone’s SIM only plans require you to take out a contract Vodafone’s BYO plans start at $20 per month. Higher price points offer a broader array of options. For example, you can choose to have infinite SMS or infinite voice calls to other Vodafone mobiles for as little as $50 per month with a no contract / SIM Only plan.
Vodafone is attempting to encourage customers to move to higher price points by including ‘Value Adds’ for above average spend. On some of their higher spend ‘Red Plans’ priority customer care and facilities to add roaming bundles are available.
Vodafone also have a habit of adding some extra love to their SIM Only plans. For phone companies, SIM Only plans are something of a God send. Every company has limited budget. A lot of the phone companies budgets are tied up in ‘subsidising’ handsets. When you get the phone for $0 up front, that’s subsidising. SIM only plans don’t require this subsidy budget allocation. SIM Only is also an increasingly important part of the Australian market. This means that when the phone companies are under pressure to hit their sales targets, often, the most efficient way for them to do that is to bolster the inclusions in their SIM Only plans. Vodafone appear especially keen to do this. Recent promotions have included $100 Visa Gift Vouchers, 2 months free or ‘Double Data’.
What should I be careful of when it comes to SIM Only Plans from all the phone companies ?
Remember the CIS ( Critical Information Summary ) By law, each of these phone companies must show the CIS. The CIS or Critical Information Summary details exactly what is and what is not included in their SIM Only Plans. It is expressed in simple to understand terms. It’s only a couple of pages long. You will be able to find the CIS on any of the pages on the phone company websites where the details of the plans are shown. The CIS is an important document you should appraise yourself of before you buy.
What should I know about Optus’ SIM only Plans
The nicest feature of Optus’ SIM Only plans are that you can’t get bill shock any more.
Optus’ plans are called ‘My Plans’. Optus will automatically add extra voice or data, at reasonable rates, when you need it. What frequencies does the Optus network operate on if I bring my own phone ? In order for your phone to work on the Optus network, it will need to work on the 900 MHz, 2100 MHz, 1800 MHz / 2300 MHz frequencies.
It will also need to be unlocked from the network you bought it from, if you bought it under contract.
Data Plans and SIM Only
If you need more data or your SIM only plan you will be able to add it in later. Each of the phone companies will allow you to add any of the standard facilities you would get on contract plans to a SIM Only Plan. If you’d like to add data in the form of a data pack, or insurance for your phone, for example, you’ll be able to do that, no trouble. ( Note, sometimes insurance has to be added within 30 days of signing up to the plan. )
How can I track the usage on my SIM Only account ?
Like other plans you buy from the phone company, you will be able to track your usage using the downloadable app. You can get these in the iTunes store or Google Play store. Most of the phone companies ( and certainly all of the major ones – Virgin Mobile, Vodafone, Optus and Telstra ) allow their customers, including their SIM Only customers to set up usage alerts on their SIM Only accounts. Thresholds are flexible according to your needs but commonly, people set the system up to notify them by text alert when they’ve used 80%, 85% or 90% of their bundle allowance.
Still got more questions ?
If you still have more questions about the specifics of a SIM Only plan, from any of these companies , you have a couple of options. First, you can check in with their chat staff. Second, you can post the question on our SIM Only page. Navigate to it through the scrolling phones bar at the top of the page.