MVNOs are gaining momentum in the telco market
Australia’s telco market is crowded. While there are only three major telcos in the country, there are many, many Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) – smaller telcos that resell the major telcos’ networks.
The crowded market means more competition, which results in some great deals for consumers. You can choose to go with a major telco or a smaller company and still have the exact same coverage – most of the time.
The exceptions are MVNOs that resell the Telstra network. Those MVNOs typically only get part of the Telstra network, not the full thing. However, Boost Mobile stands out as the only MVNO reselling Telstra’s full network, so you’re guaranteed the exact same coverage as Telstra if you choose a Boost Mobile plan.
Another great Telstra MVNO is Belong Mobile. Although they only resell part of Telstra’s network, they have some very competitive, value-driven, targeted offers and are recognized as one of the best MVNOs in the country.
So how do these MVNOs stack up against the major telcos? In this post, we’ll compare both Boost and Belong to Vodafone, Australia’s third largest telco. Such a comparison will give you a rounded picture of postpaid and prepaid plans, offered from both MVNOs and a major telco, so you know exactly which gives you the most value for your money.
Belong & Boost – Postpaid vs Prepaid on the Telstra network
Belong and Boost represent some of the best MVNOs on Telstra’s network. Telstra has the largest coverage in the country, so their MVNOs get the same bragging rights. But remember, Boost Mobile stands out as the only MVNO to resell Telstra’s full network, so they have a leg up on Belong in that regard.
Nevertheless, both MVNOs offer a range of value-driven plans to consumers, so you can’t really go wrong whichever way you choose. But there are some differences you should know about before we jump into a comparison of Belong and Boost to Vodafone.
|Belong Mobile||Boost Mobile|
|Postpaid or prepaid?||Postpaid month-to-month plans||Prepaid plans|
|Expiry/billing cycle||Monthly billing cycle||28-day expiry on monthly plans (Renew every 28 days)|
|Plan range||Only 2 plans||Wide range of plans from short expiry (7 days renewal) to normal expiry and long expiry plans.|
|International inclusions||Most of their plans don’t come with International inclusions - you have to add that for an extra cost.||Most plans, including all 28-day expiry plans, come with unlimited International talk and text to select countries. They also have a roaming plan.|
|Rollover or data bank||Data bank that allows you store unused data forever, as long as you stay on the plan.||Data rollover unused data to the next month only, as long as you recharge.|
|Entertainment||No entertainment content||Data-free streaming of Apple Music.|
Although Belong and Boost offer different plan ranges and inclusions, they still remain very competitive in the MVNO market. If you want a wider range of choice, along with some entertainment, Boost is the way to go. But if you’d like a straightforward offer that takes care of the basics, Belong is a great place to start.
We’ve seen how these two MVNOs stack up against each other. But how well can they stack up with a major telco?
Belong & Boost vs Vodafone – How the MVNOs compare to a major telco
As of 2017, nearly 50% of all plans were connected through an MVNO. This means that smaller telcos have become major competitors in the mobile plan market, giving the big telcos a run for their money.
MVNOs vs major telcos in Australia 2017. src
As a result, major telcos have had to readjust their offers. Where it was once common for the big telcos to have overly wide, complex plan ranges, they now have simplified plan ranges that make their offers more targeted – like MVNOs.
Vodafone is a great example of a major telco with targeted value-driven deals. They offer both postpaid and prepaid plans, which should make this comparison between them and Belong and Boost a fair one. Here’s a look:
|Belong Mobile||Boost Mobile||Vodafone|
|Types of plans (Monthly)||2 postpaid month-to-month plans||5 Prepaid 28-day plans||4 postpaid month-to-month plans and 3 prepaid plans|
|Plan range cost (Monthly)||$25 to $40||$20 to $70 (28-day expiry)||Postpaid month-to-month plans $35 to $70.|
Prepaid plans $20 to $50
|Data||10GB to 40GB||5GB to 80GB||Postpaid month-to-month 10GB to 150GB.|
Prepaid 25GB to 55GB.
|Standard national talk and text||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|International talk and text||Only Large plan includes Unlimited International talk and text to select countries. Other plans need a $5 add on for that.||Unlimited International talk and text to select countries.||Cheapest postpaid plan doesn’t include International talk and text, but other plans range from some International minutes to Unlimited. |
Cheapest prepaid plan doesn’t come with International talk and text, but other two prepaid plans include some international minutes.
|Data rollover/bank||Unlimited data bank forever||Rollover data for one month||No data rollover/bank|
|Entertainment and extras||No entertainment||Data-free streaming of Apple Music||No entertainment inclusions but you can add entertainment like Amazon Prime and others to your bill.|
Postpaid endless data - if you exhaust your plan data, you get unlimited data at 1.5mbps until next billing cycle.
Prepaid - get extra data with automatic recharge.
Belong Mobile and Boost Mobile are some of the best MVNOs in Australia. They both resell the Telstra Network, but Boost stands out as the only MVNO to resell the full Telstra network – Belong only resells part. This means Boost gets the benefit of the exact same coverage throughout the country as Telstra does.
But comparing these two solid MVNOs to Vodafone – the third largest telco – depends on your needs. If you’d like a postpaid month-to-month plan, then compare Belong Mobile’s plans to Vodafone’s postpaid plans. If you’d like a prepaid plan, then compare Boost Mobile’s prepaid plans to Vodafone’s prepaid plans. For cheaper deals, MVNOs generally win as they focus on the basics. For more extras like endless data, the major telcos like Vodafone usually win. The final verdict is up to you, based on what you’re looking for in a phone plan.