Quick summary – The key differences between Boost and Aldi
- There is little to pick between Boost Mobile and ALDImobile – these are two of the best prepaid network resellers (MVNOs) in the market.
- While both claim to use the full Telstra Network, Boost are the only phone company have access to the full network coverage.
- With Boost, you’ll get the coverage and speed from your plan that you’d get if you went to Telstra themselves.
- Aldi use a ‘component’ of the Telstra Mobile Network.
- Generally, we recommend Boost.
- Boost have better promotional offers and we feel their generous data allowances and superiour coverage works in their favor.
- Everything else, in our view, every other feature you can compare between the companies, is about the same.
Want more detail on each? We have full reviews of these phone companies : You can read more detail on each operator in dedicated articles. Click here to read our Boost Mobile review or ALDImobile reviews.
Introducing Boost Mobile and ALDImobile
The first thing to say when comparing Boost Mobile vs ALDImobile is that you’re not going to go wrong here, choosing between them. Both of these prepaid plan network resellers (a.k.a. Mobile Virtual Network Operators – or MVNOs) have been around for a long time. While that might not mean much to the SIM Only shopper picking up a prepaid plan today, it does mean both have had a chance to hone their product suite.
The result is a range of plans across two phone companies which address the needs of a broad spectrum of users. What that means is, the plan you need could well be in front of you when you look at Boost Mobile and ALDImobile’s range. Let’s look at how you can separate the plans each have in market, starting with the similarities.
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Boost Mobile and ALDImobile have a lot in common
Here are the things that both Boost and ALDImobile have in common.
- Overseas call centers :
Most of the big phone companies (Optus, Telstra and Vodafone) have gone through the pain of putting their call center services overseas and then bringing them back to Australia. It’s cheaper to perform customer service overseas than it is to hire Australians for the position – Auzzies are notoriously expensive. But once the call center is shifted overseas, customers, historically, have become unhappy with the service they get and it all has to be moved back home. Smaller phone companies, who have tighter margins to manage (like Boost and ALDImobile) have little option but to leave their customer service functions outsourced and international. I have called both (Boost’s and ALDmobile’s) call centers on a number of occasions and found the staff I spoke to, to be friendly and proficient. I must say, the Boost Mobile facility was memorably good ( the representative I spoke to took the time to explain their new data charging extremely thoroughly). However, overseas call centers aren’t for everyone. Whichever you choose – Boost or ALDImobile – you’re getting an overseas call center, like it or now.
- They use the different networks :
Boost Mobile uses the full Telstra Mobile Network. If you choose a SIM from Boost, you’ll get access to what’s called the ‘Telstra Retail’ network. That’s telco insider talk for the fact that Boose Mobile are the only phone company, other than Telstra themselves, who have access to the full Telstra network – all 2.4m square Kilometers of it. ALDImobile use the Telstra Mobile Network. It sounds like the same thing, but it’s not. The Telstra Mobile Network coverage footprint is not as broad as the full Telstra ‘Retail’ network. Boost is fully owned by Telstra which explains the different treatment. ALDImobile get a subset of the full Telstra (retail) national footprint. Specifically, ALDImobile get population coverage 98.50% . Compare the network ALDImobile have then with their number 1 rival and the number of people and square kilometers which are covered are very similar. If you choose Optus – either Optus themselves or an Optus reseller like Amaysim you’ll get 98.50% population coverage and 1.2 . See ?
- Both Boost and Aldi have 4G data speeds available :
Boost Mobile was the first Telstra MVNO to get 4G data speeds. ALDImobile followed a few months later. 4G / LTE is superfast data. Remember though, Telstra limit the speeds you’ll get on either Boost or Aldi 100 Mbps. That is a ridiculously high data speed and, in practical terms no restriction at all. Telstra do it – again – to positively differentiate their own ‘retail’ network (which is not restricted to 100Mbps). If you’ve heard the term Telstra 4GX – you won’t get those speeds with either Boost or Aldi.
- They both round the data you use to the kB :
Every time your phone connects to the internet over the Telstra Mobile Network (i.e. your ALDImobile SIM or Boost Mobile SIM connect you to the Telstra network) you establish something called a ‘session’. A session can be something as little as a ‘ping’ (the smallest of all data messages) which validates the connection between your phone and something else on the internet. Or, you can use your entire data bundle watching super high definition streamed video. In the first case, the ping, the transaction might be a few kilobytes – a tiny amount of data. If you wrote it down, it might amount to a few letters. Per kB charging charges you for the ‘letters’ (tiny ‘bits’ of information) you transact. Per MB charging looks at that transaction and says ‘The minimum I charge is for a book ( as opposed to a few letters ) – a book is 1MB – so those letters count as a book.’ You won’t be surprised to hear that per kB charging is fairer. Anecdotally, we hear from customers they get up to twice as much, in a per kB plan, as the per MB equivalent.
- They are both prepaid providers only :
Not sure what the difference between a prepaid and a postpaid is? Check out our article on the subject. Prepaid services are, in our view, the best choice you can make when you’re picking a phone plan. They are entirely transparent, totally flexible and absolutely predictable. When you recharge your service with $30 (or $40 or whatever) you know that you will have to consciously perform that act again or you will never have to pay the telco any money, ever again. If you want to move phone companies to a better deal, you can do it at the end of the month you’re in. Perhaps less importantly, prepaid plans are easier to sign up to and do not require a credit check.
- They both offer great value :
Boost Mobile and ALDImobile’s plan inclusions are within a gnats whisker of each other. They are both, also, some of the best value plans in market.
- Their online facilities are fantastic :
When it comes to self service facilities, your interests and the interests of your phone companies are well aligned. You want to solve your problem quickly, ideally without calling in to their call center. (Working in telco they usually tell you each call to the call center costs them $5 / $10. Self Service transactions are ‘free’ ) As a result, phone companies want you to solve your problem online because it’s cheaper. The result is that both Boost Mobile and ALDImobile have fantastic self service facilities. You’ll find everything you need – the ability to recharge, usage information and FAQs ( with answers ) on both website and both Aldi and Boost have working, high quality self service apps.
- Boost and Aldi are both sold at a variety of places around Australia :
Each has a huge retail footprint, something you don’t get with every phone compnay. You can walk 200 meters from anywhere you are (this is always a difficult thing to say in Australia – some people live miles from anywhere – but it’s mostly true to say this and it’s certainly true to say it for those living in cities) and you will see signs for Boost recharge and ALDImobile recharge.
What’s unique to Boost?
- Better Network Coverage:
Let’s face it, network coverage is a key comparison criterion. Boost have the best network coverage footprint in the country. They are the only phone company to use the full Telstra Mobile Network – and to give you the coverage you’d get if you went direct to Telstra themselves.
- Much better promotions :
If you’re buying a Boost Mobile plan outside of a promo period, we suggest you hang around. Boost will have another soon. They have a series of rolling promotions to entice you across to them. Typically, you’ll get some money off the first month and often bonus data.
- Customer Service is better :
Our experience of their call centers is that Boost’s has the edge. Unfortunately, both call centers are overseas.
Boost’s plan range is very similar to Aldi. Both are prepaid and both have good data inclusions.
What’s unique to ALDImobile?
- They have a larger plan range :
Aldi’s range is confusing in our view. They have a total of 7 plans, four of which are unlimited (national call and SMS) plans with different data allocations. When you’re already comparing 15 or so phone companies, you narrow it down to a few including ALDImobile and then have to pick between 7 plans, it can seem overwhelming. Boost’s range is, conversely nice and clear.
- Data plans :
ALDIMobile offer a range of tablet / mobile data Boost Mobile do not. Quite as to why Boost Mobile do not offer these, we don’t know. ALDImobile’s are reasonable value for the small number of people who need this sort of plan.
- Distribution :
ALDImobile enjoy a retail network that has been established to sell groceries around the country. They have shops in many locations around Australia and this is a key element of the reason they sell so many plans. ALDImobile is a brand people recognize and which is reinforced each time they shop. The recharge vouchers and starter packs for their prepaid services are visible every time you shop there. Unfortunately, it’s this convenience which causes so many to choose an ALDImobile SIM plan – without sufficiently considering the alternatives they have available to them.
Boost Vs Aldi – We recommend Boost – they are the only phone company (other than Telstra) with access to the full Telstra Mobile Network.
Which Boost / Aldi competitors should you consider?
In Summary – On Boost Mobile and ALDImobile
There are so many similarities between these two phone companies, the choice you make as to which is right for you, comes down to some simple questions. Do you want the full Telstra Mobile Network? Do you have a brand preference?
We favor Boost Mobile. Their proposition is clearer, they have better network coverage and my personal experience is that their customer support and service is better.
Telstra is incredibly smart with the network it allows the MVNOs to resell. Limiting the data speeds to ‘only’ 100 Mbps is almost meaningless. I have seen data come down to my laptop at that speed in the past over the (full) Telstra network, but only rarely. 100Mbps so fast that you could download a film in minutes. The smaller footprint Telstra offer through ALDImobile, however, does have a meaningful effect. Boost cover nearly twice the landmass that Aldi do.
The difficulty in picking between Boost Mobile and ALDImobile, as we’ve seen above, is that there is far more in common between these providers than there is different. If we are to draw it down to a single component which effectively differentiates the two, it has to be the better network coverage on Boost Mobile’s plans. This is not to condemn ALDImobile. They are a credible player in the field and have a retail distribution footprint that would be hard to beat – were it not for the fact that Boost have access to every supermarket and servo in Australia.
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