Two of Telstra’s best MVNOs – Boost Mobile and Belong Mobile
Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO) resell Australia’s major networks – Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone. Two of the best Telstra MVNOs are Boost Mobile and Belong Mobile, giving you prepaid and postpaid alternatives to Telstra’s own lineups.
What you get with MVNOs are a cheaper way to access the major networks. Because these smaller telcos don’t have to worry about high overhead costs from managing network infrastructure, and typically focus on smaller, more specific sectors of the telco market, they’re able to offer cheaper plans.
Over the years, MVNOs have gained popularity amongst Australians. We’ve seen low cost operators take over almost half of the telco market in recent years, and this trend isn’t going to slow down any time soon.
MVNOs vs major telcos in Australia 2017.
Whether you want prepaid or postpaid mobile plans, there are MVNOs out there offering you some great, value-driven options. In this article, we’ll compare two Telstra MVNOs – Boost (prepaid) and Belong (postpaid) – to find out which gives you the better offers.
Boost Mobile vs Belong Mobile
Boost Mobile and Belong Mobile have a lot of similarities. They both resell the Telstra network and give you a lot of value and data for your money. But there are also a lot of differences, and we’ll focus on those to help you figure out which of these telcos is right for you.
- Boost vs Belong – Prepaid vs postpaid:
Boost Mobile offers prepaid plans, while Belong Mobile offers postpaid month-to-month plans. Neither of these telcos will lock you in, so you can cancel and move on to other telcos without worrying about breaking lengthy contracts. Deciding whether to go with a prepaid or postpaid plan is entirely up to you, but you should know the pros and cons of each before you decide.
Prepaid plans must be paid for before you can use the plan’s inclusions, while postpaid plans are paid after using the inclusions. But while this may be an advantage for postpaid plans, note that they usually require a credit check while prepaid plans don’t. With postpaid plans, you also run the risk of overage charges because you’re allowed to keep using the plan before paying, while prepaid plans cut off your usage once your recharge is exhausted.
Because choosing which type of plan to buy is entirely up to you, we won’t give any points to either Boost or Belong on this criteria. Figure out your needs and choose the type of plan that matches – prepaid or postpaid.
- Boost vs Belong – Expiry vs billing cycle:
Also consider how long it takes before your plan starts over. In the case of prepaid plans, that’s referred to as the plan’s expiry – when your usage period expires and you have to recharge. For postpaid plans, this is referred to as your billing cycle – when your month starts all over again.
Boost Mobile offers 28-day expiry on its prepaid plans, which is kind of a negative when compared to Belong Mobile’s monthly billing cycle. This is an advantage postpaid plans usually have over prepaid plans – the fact that they have consistent billing cycles. For example, a billing cycle might kick in consistently on the 1st of every month, which means you’d have at least 30 days consistently (31 sometimes, except February’s 28 days). Boost’s 28-day expiry means you might have to recharge around 13 times a year, compared to around 11 times on a 30-day cycle.
- Boost vs Belong – Plan range:
Belong Mobile offers postpaid plans. These plans include 1GB to 40GB of data, as well as unlimited standard national voice and SMS on all plans. If you run out of data before your next billing cycle kicks in, your browsing speeds will be throttled to 64kbps (kilobytes per second – extremely slow) but you can add an additional 2GB of data for just $10 (the industry standard is $10 for 1GB of overage data, so Belong is pretty good on this factor).
But Boost Mobile wins this round with a much wider plan range – they offer short expiry, normal expiry, and long expiry plans (their plans range from 7 days to 12 months). You’ll find plans costing anywhere from $10 to $300, offering 3GB to 240GB of data. But we’ll focus on Boost’s normal expiry 28-day plans here, considering we’re comparing them with Belong’s monthly plans. Boost’s 28-day plans cost anywhere from $20 to $70 and include 5GB to 79GB of data, along with unlimited standard national voice and SMS.
- Boost vs Belong – International/roaming
Most Belong Mobile plans don’t come with international calls. You’ll have to pay an additional $5 to get unlimited calls and SMS to select countries, unless you’re on their highest plan which comes with the international package already included.
Boost Mobile wins this round easily. All of their 28-day expiry plans come with unlimited international calls and SMS for 20 to 30 selected countries, along with an additional 100 to 300 minutes and SMS for 25 to 35 other selected countries. Boost also offers a $60 international/roaming plan with a 14-day expiry that includes 5GB data, 30 minutes calls and 100 texts, all to be used while roaming in 15 selected countries.
- Boost vs Belong – Data rollover vs data vault
Australian’s rank fair treatment as one of the highest factors considered when rating their telco. Fair treatment can be determined based on several other factors, and the way the telco treats data inclusions is one of the most important.
Boost Mobile takes this into consideration by offering all customers data rollover. That means if you don’t finish your plan data before expiry, whatever is remaining rolls over to the next recharge as long as you pay on time. But this rollover only occurs for that next month and won’t continue to roll over to other months if you don’t use it up.
Belong Mobile wins this round because they offer customers a data vault instead. The data vault allows customers keep their unused data forever, so long as they pay their bills on time. The data can roll over beyond the next billing cycle and into several other months to come, giving Belong the advantage over Boost’s rollover system.
- Boost vs Belong – Entertainment
Entertainment content in mobile plans have become a huge selling point these days. We’ve seen telcos offering everything from sports content to Netflix and music streaming. These perks really add an edge to a telco’s offers, putting them ahead of the rest.
Belong Mobile doesn’t have any entertainment content in their plans, so whatever you stream gets taken out of your plan’s data inclusion.
Boost Mobile wins this round because they offer, at least, some entertainment. Your Boost plan includes data-free streaming of Apple Music. You’ll still need to purchase an Apple Music subscription to use it, but you’ll stream for free without using your plan data.
- Boost vs Belong – Full Telstra network vs part Telstra network
Remember, both Boost and Belong are MVNOs reselling Telstra’s 3G and 4G network. However, MVNOs usually resell only part of the larger telco’s network, giving that larger telco a marketing edge over the smaller talco.
Belong Mobile falls into that category, reselling only part of Telstra’s network. This typically means that, while you get the benefit of the Telstra network, you don’t get the full range of Telstra coverage.
Boost Mobile takes this round as well because they resell the full Telstra network – they are the only Telstra MVNO with this advantage. That means that using a Boost plan is pretty much the same as using a Telstra plan.
Final words – So what’s the verdict?
Boost Mobile and Belong Mobile have several similarities, but their differences stand out. They both use the Telstra network, but while Boost gives you prepaid offers, Belong gives you postpaid offers. Choosing based on this criteria alone is your choice, but it should be based on your needs.
On other factors, though, we can make a more objective assessment. Boost Mobile wins out on most points, and it’s really not that close. There are other winners on the Boost side of things that we didn’t even address, like their add-ons for data, calls, and international/roaming extras. Boost even offers phones for sale if you want one, so you have a one-stop shop for everything you need.
The verdict? Boost Mobile wins it, based on the objective analysis we’ve given in this article. But at the end of the day, it’s really up to you and your needs. Use this as a guide to determine what those needs are, and choose your winner based on that.