Comparing Plans On The Telstra Network

For some of us the most important factor when choosing a phone plan is the quality of the network. You don’t want to find yourself consistently without coverage. You might miss an important business call or find yourself stranded in the middle of no-where without an on screen map.

Did you know that Vodafone, Optus and Telstra are the only three mobile providers in Australia that actually own and run their own mobile network? All other mobile phone plan providers (e.g. Amaysim, Vaya, Yatango, Boost, CMobile) just rent access to one of these three networks! A couple great things about this are:

  1. You only need to decide between three networks which is best for you
  2. All the lower cost providers such as Amaysim or Vaya use one of the three well known networks. This is reassuring – even if the plan is cheap, the network isn’t.

All three mobile networks in Australia cover more than 96% of the population but there are some differences that may impact you. Check out our coverage review to get the latest information on the Vodafone, Telstra and Optus networks. It may help you decide which network is the best for your needs.

Made your decision? If you already know that the Telstra network is right for you then read on and we can show you how to access the Telstra network for a fraction of the cost!

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Comparing plans on the Telstra network and save money

With over 16 million customers and the most far-reaching network in Australia (covering an incredibly impressive 99.3% of the population) the Telstra network may well be your first choice. With rising profits and an eye watering $1 billion planned network spend in 2015 it is certainly a safe option! However, their prices are also pretty eye watering and you will pay top dollar for a phone plan if you go direct to the big T. In the old days if you wanted a mobile phone plan on the Telstra network you would pop down to the Telstra shop. These days it’s a whole different kettle of fish. There is a plethora of other providers that sell phone plans using the Telstra network. What’s great about this? Lots of choice brings the cost down. What’s not so great? Too much choice equals complexity and difficult decisions! Don’t stress, we can help with that. The main point to remember is that you can get a plan on the Telstra network from many different providers and they are usually FAR cheaper than going direct to Telstra!

Who are some of the companies that use the Telstra network?

  • CMobile
  • Boost Mobile
  • Lycamobile
Telstra Network or MVNO

Most popular plans on the Telstra network

We can tell you which phone plans are the most popular on the Telstra network – and by this we are not just comparing plans direct from Telstra, but from any company that sell phones plans on their network. Remember you can buy plans from companies like Boost Mobile and still have the benefit of being on the Telstra network!

Here are the most popular plans broken down by category.

Compare SIM only or BYO plans on the Telstra network with the competition

Grabbing a SIM only plan and using your existing handset rather than opting for a new one can save heaps and heaps of cash. Telstra, unlike most other providers do not offer SIM only plans on a no commitment basis. Unfortunately the minimum commitment is 12 months. These plans start at $45 per month. For this relatively high outlay of $45 a month with Telstra you’ll get $550 value for calls (worth over 200 two-minute calls), unlimited SMS’s and 500MB of data. If you don’t feel like committing to spending $45 a month for 12 months (which would leave you a minimum of $540 out of pocket over the year) then we have some GREAT news: You can access that expansive (and expensive) far reaching big blue 3G network for less money and for a lesser commitment. For example, take a peek at CMobile Blue. They use the Telstra 3G network and have plans starting from a teeny weeny $14.90 a month right up to $49.90 a month. There is no commitment and the inclusions are pretty generous.

Let’s compare the cheapest SIM only Telstra plan at $45 to Boost Mobile’s $39.90 plan.

Tables Comparing plans on the Telstra network 1

On the surface it looks like the Telstra plan is more generous with more talk time and unlimited texts. But don’t forget they are asking you to commit to 12 months. If you are a commitment phobe and are not ready for a serious relationship with the big T then strike up a casual affair with CMobile Blue 🙂

How does CMobile Blue stack up against the best SIM only deals on the market from the other big players: Vodafone and Optus. For this comparison let’s compare one of the most popular monthly price points (around $30 per month)

Tables Comparing plans on the Telstra network 2

As you can see, SIM only plans using the Telstra network are often not the best in the market in terms of price. CMobile pay Telstra to access their network and no doubt they have to pay a high price like the rest of us!! CMobile will be passing on the best deal they can to you, the consumer, but it can’t (and won’t ever in all likelihood) match the lower prices of Vodafone and Optus. If you don’t need the far-reaching big T 3G network and want a better SIM only deal then look at plans on the Vodafone or Optus networks. For example Vaya plans on the Optus network and CMobile Red plans on the Vodafone network will get you the best value in the market for SIM only plans right now. If you absolutely must have the Telstra network as you live in a rural area then CMobile Blue have great SIM only plans requiring zero commitment. They also start at a much lower price point than if you go direct to Telstra.

Compare Telstra Prepaid plans with the competition

When it comes to choosing a Prepaid plan on the Telstra network our recommendation would be to check out Boost Mobile. They use the Telstra 3G network and have some incredibly good value recharge options.

The Boost Mobile $40 Unlimited recharge will bag you

  • Unlimited talk
  • Unlimited text
  • Unlimited MMS
  • 2.5GB data (plus 500 MB if you recharge online until 30th March)
  • 30 day expiry

This plan is not only the best Prepaid plan on the Telstra network but it’s also the best value Unlimited plan on the Telstra network. If you haven’t heard much about Boost Mobile before, here are a few interesting points:

  • Boost Mobile is an MVNO. You can read more about MVNOs here. MVNOs offer some of the best deals in market and allow you access to the tier 1 network providers you know and often dislike, without charging nearly as much.
  • Boost Mobile offer cheap access to the Telstra 3G network. Telstra is a phenomenally strong brand and they’re known for having the best network in Australia. The Telstra 3G network Boost uses covers more than 90% of Australia. You can check Boost’s coverage using their coverage checker.
  • Great customer service. The company is popular and well liked fundamentally, because of its reliability and down-to-earth customer service. We have spent a number of hours on the phone to Boost’s offshore network centre and I can tell you, the staff there are extremely helpful.
  • Focused on youth marketing. Boost focus on the ‘Young’ and ‘Active’ segment, sponsoring a number of cool music and Ultimate Fighters as celebrity endorsements. Don’t be fooled, however. Even if you don’t meet the description of the marketing and you are an 80 year old grandmother, you can still get the benefit of access to the Telstra 3G network and Boost’s amazing $40 Unlimited with Boost.

How does the Boost Mobile $40 Unlimited Prepaid plan compare to the best Vodafone, Optus and Telstra Prepaid options? Take a look at our simple comparison table below to get the low down.

Tables Comparing plans on the Telstra network 3

Clearly, Boost Mobile provide the best value Prepaid deal! At the $40 recharge price point no-one else offers unlimited calls and texts. Optus offers unlimited calls and texts but you need to spend an extra $5 per recharge/ per 30 days. Also, let’s not overlook the data allowances. Boost offer a staggering 2.5GB (plus 500 MB if you recharge online until 30th March) which is more than all those big players who top out at 2GB.


Compare Telstra data plans with the competition

If you go direct to Telstra for your data only plans (otherwise known as a Mobile Broadband) you will discover their Explorer plans ranging from 1GB for $25 per month to 15GB for $105 per month. They ask for a 24 month commitment on these plans. If you want to go direct to Telstra for your mobile broadband but don’t want to commit to 24 months then check out their Prepaid Mobile Broadband options. Better yet, check out CMobile Blue's Big Data Plans. CMobile Blue’s plans use the Telstra 3G network, ask for no commitment and have data plans starting at a minuscule $19 per month! $19 gets you 1.5GB and if this isn’t enough for you then there is also a $30 option which gets you 3GB. Heading straight to CMobile Blue for your data plan will leave you smiling. Here’s why:

  • Access to the Telstra 3G network
  • 3GB for $30 per month compared to Telstra’s more exey plans (e.g for $25 a month you only get 1GB).
  • CMobile Blue plans allow you to stick your SIM card in your smartphone and make calls for15c per minute and send texts for 15c each. It makes a neat plan for those of us that love the data but aren’t so keen on talking and texting!

When comparing these plans on the Telstra network to the other big carriers there are some interesting points to think about:

  • If you are happy with a 3G network then check out Virgin Mobile as they have some awesome deals. For example an almighty 6GB for just $30!
  • For $30 at Optus you will get 4GB on their Mobile Broadband plan. For those that love the Optus coverage but are more cost conscious try out Vaya Mobile Broadband as they will give you 4GB for $29 a month.
  • If Vodafone is your network of choice and you are happy with 3G then check out CMobile Red as they have some better value deals than going direct to Vodafone.

Summary: Our favourite plans on the Telstra network