Telstra Mobile Review – Independent Australian Review

Generally, Telstra charge more for their plans, justifying the extra charge with claims that their network is better than the alternatives. The key question then is whether the additional cost is worth the additional network benefits. This Telstra Mobile Review provides an independent review of :

  • Telstra coverage (including 4G coverage)
  • Telstra’s Customer Service
  • Telstra’s Customer Satisfaction and Telstra’s plans.
  • How to get the best deal on the Telstra network

We tell you the truth about the quality of the Telstra network and offer you an alternative method of getting access to it, without paying the usual high Telstra rates.

Quick Summary

There are a few little known facts, below, which might surprise you about the Telstra network and how it compares to it’s competitors. However, as you’d expect, Telstra’s mobile network is better, especially for those who live and or work in Rural areas. Additionally, in building coverage is stronger in metro areas and Telstra’s 4G network covers twice the land area of the other networks.

Getting the best deal on the Telstra network

So, the Telstra network is better than the alternatives for in city building coverage and across the Australian outback. If you need good coverage, Telstra is the answer.

Need a SIM Only Deal On the Telstra Network ?

We recommend Cmobile

  • Cmobile are an MVNO, a Mobile Virtual Network Operator
  • Cmobile offer access to the full Telstra 3G network at a fraction of the cost of the Telstra brand’s own pricing.
  • Check out Cmobile plans here

What’s good about Cmobile ?

Cmobile’s is broad and offers a number of price points. We have selected the best of those, below. Or you can see the full range.

  • Cmobile offer access to the Telstra 3G network. Cmobile buy thousands of hours of calls, SMS and GB of data, in bulk. They then pass the savings on to you. Cmobile’s Blue plans use the full Telstra 3G network which covers more than 1.26 m square miles.
  • Cmobile use the full Telstra 3G network to cover 98.5% of the Australian population. Broad frequency use, covering lower frequencies offers better in door coverage in metro areas than rival networks.
  • Cmobile’s pricing offers best value access to the Telstra network. Some plans include:
    • Cmobile Blue $14.90 :
      Offers 100 minutes of calls / 100 SMS messages and 150 MB of data. This is incredible pricing is the best entry level value in Australia. See details.
    • Cmobile Blue $39.90 :
      Offers 300 minutes of calls – that’s 3 standard 2 minute calls per day / 300 SMS and 1.5 GB of data. Cmobile’s higher end plan pricing finishes at a price point which is less than Telstra’s retail pricing begins at. See details here.
    • Cmobile’s Data Led Plans :
      If you use a lot of data but not much else, as an increasing proportion of people do, then try CMobile’s data led plan. Where else will you get 3 GB of data on the Telstra 3G network for only $30 ? See details

CHECK CMOBILE BLUE DATA PLANS

Or you can read our review of CMobile.

Telstra Mobile Overview

Never out of the news, Telstra, Australia’s largest telco is worth around $12 billion dollars. Much of that value and most of it’s growth is coming from the Telstra Mobile division Telstra Mobile is the component of the Telstra Company which provides wireless network services (Telstra Mobile Phones and Telstra Mobile Wireless Broadband) to Australian consumers.

Telstra has the best coverage in Australia, judged by almost any criteria. The Telstra Mobile Network covers 99% percent of the Australian Population, suffers fewer dropouts ( when a call from your mobile fails or data doesn’t work when you want it to ) and has more 4G coverage than any other network.

It’s worth considering the investments that the other operators are putting in to their networks

  • In 2012, Telstra spent nearly $4 billion on network improvements, including their 4G rollout. Over 2013 and 2014, they invested more than $1.3bn in network infrastructure alone, spending an equivalent amount on frequency purchases.
  • Optus is spent $2 billion in 2013 / 2014 and has already improved in building coverage using a technology called 3G Plus. ( 3G plus offers better in building coverage with lower frequencies. )
  • Vodafone has spent more than $1 billion and have improved their network dramatically. Independent research shows they now offer the best metro network coverage.

Realising that they’re behind Telstra in both real and perceived Network Coverage and that it’ll cost a lot to catch up, Vodafone and Optus now have a network sharing agreement. In some areas, where Optus has good coverage but Vodafone doesn’t ( or the other way around. ) Both companies will they will share wireless network coverage and improve their performance relative to Telstra. More detail on Australian network coverage. 

Telstra Coverage – Detail on Telstra’s Network Coverage

There are a variety of independent information sources available to determine the quality of Telstra’s Network Coverage relative to Optus, Telstra, Virgin Mobile and Vodafone.

Key Facts on Telstra’s Australian Network Coverage :

Canstar Blue, JD Powers and The AIMIA ( The Australian Interactive Media Industry Association ) have all independently studied the Telstra Mobile Network, against Virgin Mobile, Optus, Vodafone / ‘3’ and found it to be the best performing network. See excerpt below.

Telstra Network Quality Review

Network quality is the defining characteristic of Telstra’s marketing. It’s a constant bone of contention between the networks. The reality is that Telstra’s network is better but their marketing heightens the difference beyond the truth. People perceive difference between the Telstra Mobile Network and it’s next best competitor, Optus to be much bigger than it really is.

There is nothing more personal than a network experience. The days of being convinced about the quality of a network, by reading the information available on the website of the telco are over.

Top Tip : Signing a contract with your telco is a 2 year commitment. Telstra’s plans can be $10 – $20 per month more than Optus, Vodafone’s or Virgin Mobile’s. Why not pick yourself up a prepaid SIM from the telco you’re considering and see what the network coverage is in your area. For example, try one of the Cmobile plans we mention above to see if it works for you. Spend a month with the telco you’re considering and see if the price premium Telstra charge for their coverage is warranted where you are.

Telstra Mobile 4G Review

4G, also known as LTE, is mobile network coverage. 4G offers data speeds comparable with what most people get at home through their fixed broadband connection.

Australia is one of the most advanced mobile phone loving countries in the world. Telstra launched 4G coverage in Australia in September 2011 far ahead of their next best competitor.

Since launch, Telstra Mobile now claim to cover around 85% of the Australian population. They have added more than 2.5 million customers to their 4G mobile network.

Remember though : To benefit from 4G, you’ll need to pick up a 4G capable device. Almost all Australian phones are still 3G, however, so only pay the extra for 4G speeds if you have a phone which requires that and you’ll actually benefit from the faster speeds.

The Australian Telco business has been tough for years. It’s been great for Australians. Phone bills have reduced year on year ( telcos call this declining ARPU – Average Revenue Per User. ) Inclusions have increased. Recently, realizing their price wars had hurt them, the telcos started to reduce the inclusions in their plans. In short, ( generally ) they are offering fewer inclusions for the same headline price.

Top Tip : Most modern Mobile Phones can be attached to your home wireless network and will find it when you get home. Many people play with their phones in front of the TV these days. Using your home network avoids using the telco networks meaning you can keep your Telstra wireless data for when you’re out and about.

Telstra Mobile Customer Service Review

Mobile Network coverage is only half of your experience with the mobile network you choose. If something goes wrong, you’re going to want it fixed quickly. You’ll probably end up interacting with the Customer Care department of your telco. This is where Telstra do not perform at all well according to the same independent sources as studied the Telstra Network.

Again, Canstar Blue and the AIMIA talked to hundreds of ordinary Australians. They determined that Optus’ Customer Service was the best in the industry.

Telstra Plans

Telstra’s opening price point for a ‘small’ plan, with no mobile phone is $50. ( 12 month contract commitment ).

If you want a mobile with it, you’ll have to stump up more. Usually, $10 – $15 per month more to cover the cost of the phone.

These prices are significantly more expensive than the alternatives offered by Optus, Vodafone, Virgin Mobile and Vodafone. Exactly how much they’re different varies by device and changes on a weekly basis. We track the best Telstra Price Plan Deals, and deals from the other Operators on our Product Pages. Check out the ‘Top Phones’ link at the top of this page.

Boost Prepaid $40 offers better value than Telstra’s Prepaid $50

Prepaid month to month

  • Deal 1

  • Per Month

    $50.00

  • Voice

    Unlimited Voice and SMS in Oz

  • Data

    5GB

    (including 2.5GB bonus for orders online)

Network

Boost use the Telstra Mobile network ! Now with 4G !

  • Deal 1

  • Per Month

    $50.00

  • Voice

    Unlimited Voice and SMS in Oz

  • Data

    5GB

    (including 2.5GB bonus for orders online)

Network

Boost use the Telstra Mobile network ! Now with 4G !

Telstra’s Mobile Network – Boost is now faster on 4G

Unlimited national talk & SMS ?

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Winner: Boost Mobile's $40 unlimited plan.

  • Boost use The Telstra Mobile Network : Boost is now faster on 4G !
    Boost Mobile Australia the only phone company in Australia ( apart from Telstra themselves ) which use Telstra’s 4G network. With Boost, you’ll get 4G in every major city in Australia, most of their surrounding suburbs, every airport for a big city and 600 towns nationwide.
  • Boost offer a $40 Unlimited price plan :
    For $40 per month, you’ll get unlimited national calls and SMS to other Australian numbers
  • 3GB of 4G data = Plenty of Data : ( PLUS ! extra 2GB every Weekend! )
    As well as unlimited calls and SMS to Australian numbers on the Telstra network, you’ll get 3GB of national data.

Boost’s prepaid offer is exceptionally strong in comparison to other Australian plans. It provides highly sought after access to Telstra’s Mobile Network, and now Boost is faster on 4G data ! Boost provide an almost unbelievable unlimited number of calls and SMS with the best Australian coverage and a more than adequate 3GB of data. You’ll also get a FREE GB to play with every Sunday on top of your 3GB allowance so you can watch YouTube to your heart’s content on the laziest day of the week.

Deal icon

$40 UNLTD® PRE-PAID SIM

 

Telstra’s Mobile Network – Boost is now faster on 4G

But don’t need unlimited ……?

BOOSTLOGO_BALCKTEXT_75x75

We recommend Boost Mobile's $20 Ultra SIM Prepaid Plan.

Never let it be said that Boost aren’t innovating ! The Sydney based telco recently launched a $20 per month price plan which services people on a budget who want access to the plenty fast Telstra Mobile Network. And, Boost are faster than they’ve ever been – they offer 4G data speeds. If you don’t need unlimited but you like a bit of data and you need good coverage, this might be the plan for you. You’ll get :

  • 100 minutes of talk time :
    That’s one and a half standard 2 minute calls per day. It’s more than I use !
  • Unlimited SMS :
    You can’t get better than free and unlimited and that’s what you’ll find in Boost’s $20 plan
  • 1GB of 4G data ( PLUS ! extra 500 MB every Weekend) :
    1GB of data is only slightly less than the average data allocation you’ll need each month. Especially when you think that 15% of the time, you’ll be using your free 500 MB of data. Each Sunday, you’ll be allocated 500 MB of 4G data to send picture messages when you should be in Church.

Boost are one of the best known, most reliable telco brands in Australia. Their use of the Telstra Mobile network gives them a highly sought after position which positively differentiates them against Amaysim who would usually be considered best in price at this $20 price point. Boost now provide 4G data speeds and have a standard data inclusion now of extra data on Sundays. And now, Boost’s $20 price point really does look like a winner for anyone with less than an average usage profile.

Read our full review of Boost Mobile.

CHECK BOOST $20

Just getting started with Boost ? Then you need a $2 Starter. Buy today and add the plan when you’re ready.

CHECK $2 Boost SIM

Deal icon

ONLINE OFFER: Get 50% off a $20 SIM when you buy online at boost.com.au.

Offer ends May 13, 2016!

Telstra Mobile Review – Summing Up

Signing up to a contract with a telco is a commitment worth several hundreds of dollars. It’s not something to be taken lightly. For most people, it’s a compromise. Key facts to consider are :

  • How important is Network Coverage to me  ?
  • Do I need a 3G or 4G speeds?
  • How important is Customer Care and Customer Satisfaction to me ?
  • How much am I prepared to spend per month ?

Consider :

  • Trialing the service you’re considering using a prepaid SIM for a month to see how good coverage is where you need it.
  • Stop wasting your money: Use Cmobile to get on the Telstra network.

Good luck finding what phone is right for you.

 

Sarah Kesteven

Having worked in 3 countries for 4 telcos on both voice and data products, Sarah is in a position to give you the inside track. Get beyond the marketing messages to the best plan for you.