- There is little to pick between Boost Mobile and ALDImobile – these are two of the best prepaid MVNOs in the market.
- Both Boost and ALDImobile use the Telstra Mobile Network (now with 4G!) – this is just one of the many things these phone companies have in common.
- Generally, we recommend Boost.
They have better promos and we feel their generous data allowances over the weekend are a key differentiator which works in their favor. Everything else, in our view, is about the same.
Want more detail on each ?
We have full reviews of these phone companies :
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 network resellers (a.k.a. MVNOs) have been around for a long time. While that might not mean much to the 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 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. Let’s look at how you can separate the plans each have in market, starting with the similarities.
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 one that’s done, 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 them 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 ). But overseas call centers aren’t for everyone. Whichever you choose – Boost or ALDImobile – you’re getting one, like it or now.
- They use the same network :
Boost Mobile and ALDImobile both use the Telstra Mobile network. Remember though, their coverage is not as broad as the full Telstra ‘retail’ network. Telstra keep their full national network to themselves – it’s called their ‘retail’ network. ALDImobile and Boost get a subset of the full Telstra (retail) national footprint. Specifically, both Boost and ALDImobile get population coverage 98.50% . Compare the network Boost and 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 ?
- They both have 4G data speeds available through their SIMs :
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 outside their ‘retail network’ to 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.
- 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 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.
- 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, your interests and the interests of your phone companies are well aligned. You want to solve your problem quickly, ideally without calling in to them. (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.
- Sold at a variety of places around Australia :
Each has a huge retail footprint. 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 certainly true in cities) and you will see signs for Boost recharge and ALDImobile recharge.
What’s unique to Boost
- 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.
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.
- Cap Structure :
ALDIMobile have capped plans for lower level spends. Caps are a marketing tool designed to appear simple but hide the true nature of plan inclusions. A $ spend is not a metric which means something to customers buying a phone plan. They want to know the number of minutes they get (in the plan) . For example, most plans these days include ‘200 minutes for $15’ plus an allowance of data. Shoppers then get to decide on the plan that is right for them based on the number of minutes they dial out each month. With a cap structure, plan pickers are given a dollar value and told to compare that. E.g. this ALDImobile plan has $75 worth of voice value. You then need to calculate the cost of a ( ‘standard’ ) 2 minute call – typically something like $2.40 – and divide the dollar amount by the price of the call. In this example, a $75 bundle would get you around half an hour’s calls. ( $75 / $2.40) My guess is you stopped reading this paragraph a few lines ago because maths is boring at the best of times and not made more interesting with wordy explanations. You not being bothered to understand how they work explains quite clearly what the problem is with capped plans.
- 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.
Talking of which…
Which competitors should you consider ?
OVO Mobile – Included free content and great value plans
The OVO Mobile Range
OVO’s is a totally new way of looking at a phone company. Their plans are, in our view, at least as good value as you’ll find elsewhere. But on top of the usual calls and data, OVO’s include exclusive access to exclusive content. They launched their service with V8 Supercar content. Since then they’ve added Australian gymnastics and Audi R8 Customer Racing. OVO use The Optus 3G + 4G Mobile Network.
- Free OVO’s content – Audi R8s, V8 Supercars or Australian Gymnastics :
The price of the content is included in the monthly line rental charge you pay OVO for your prepaid plan. Importantly : You won’t see your data balance decline while you’re watching them, the streamed content is free.
- Live In car telemetry and track side commentary :
Up to 160 sensors all around the car ( V8s ) provide real time access ( during races ) to data that you can see visually on your phone. If you don’t have Foxtel, or you just prefer to listen to the radio broadcast – the track side commentary team are streamed live on OVO.
- Live Streaming of Australian Gymnastics events :
Watch them while they’re on or tune in at other times for exclusive training and performance content.
- Exclusive interviews and behind the scenes content :
OVO offer unique pictures, video, and access to stars of the sport including in depth interviews for all of their sports.
OVO Plans for your mobile
Picking an OVO plan is simple. All of OVO’s plans include Unlimited talk and SMS in Australia to Australian numbers plus superfast 4G data.
- $9.95 Unlimited = $200 standard calling and unlimited SMS / MMS + 1GB of 4G data.
- $14.95 Unlimited = $500 standard calling and unlimited SMS / MMS + 1.5GB of 4G data.
- $24.95 Unlimited = Unlimited national Talk and Text in Oz + 2GB of 4G data.
- $34.95 Unlimited = Unlimited national Talk and Text in Oz + 8GB of 4G data.
Unlimited = Unlimited national Talk and Text in Oz + 12GB of 4G data.
There’s heaps more to say about OVO. You can learn more about them and their unique content in our OVO review.CHECK OVO MOBILE SIM PLANS
All data is for use in Australia.
Best plan on the Vodafone network at $30 + above ?
Lebara use the Vodafone’s 3G + 4G network
Winner : Lebara $29.90 National Unlimited
If you’re after an unlimited plan with incredible included value or you make calls overseas, in our view, you need look no further than Lebara. Lebara use the much improved Vodafone 3G + 4G network which covers more than 96% of Australians. In recent ( mid 2016 ) tests, the Vodafone network matched Telstra’s for 4G coverage.Lebara 'National Plan' Unlimited $29.90 ( with 5GB of data )
This is the lowest price on our site for a plan which has unlimited Australian voice calls and SMS, anywhere in Australia. It’ll give you :
- Big Data on the Vodafone 3G + 4G network :
5GB should be plenty for even the most ravenous data eaters. This data inclusion has just been increased and now represents the biggest data bundle you’ll find on a plan of this sort.
- Unlimited voice calls to Australian numbers :
Your plan has unlimited included calls to Australian mobile and landline phone numbers on the Vodafone 4G network plus up to 150 international minutes included.
- Unlimited SMS :
Unlimited National texts. Nice and simple. You can send as many text messages each month to as many Australian phone numbers as you’d like to with no additional charge.
- Lebara use the Vodafone 3G + 4G network :
Remember, Lebara use the Vodafone 4G network. Vodafone’s network has improved dramatically since it’s lows of 2010. In major Australian cities, Vodafone’s network is as strong as Telstra’s or Optus’.
Get Lebara Mini Mega Plan $24.90 now with 1.5GB data included!
10c/ min for national calls and 10c/ SMS for national/international SMS
Best International Unlimited Voice & SMS + Huge Data?
Lebara’s cheaper international call rates cover all the major destinations including : UK, USA, Greece, China, Canada, Germany, Denmark, France, South Korea and Switzerland.
- Best value for overseas calls :
If you need to make calls overseas, Money Magazine awarded this plan the best value plan for that in Australia.
- 60 international call destinations :
Unlimited voice and SMS to 60 destinations including India, China, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, Pakistan, Lebanon, Bangladesh, UK, France, Greece, Italy, Germany. See the full list.
- Unlimited National Voice and SMS :
Call who you like when you like and you can text them too. All day every day. These are genuinely unlimited allowances for calls and SMS to other Australian numbers from your mobile.
- Huge 4G Data :
10 GB of 4G data (5GB + 5GB bonus ends 30/04/17) on the Vodafone network. on Again, you can add more mid month if you need to.
Or you can read our full Lebara Review.
Get Unlimited Plan Starter Pack for only $49.90 now with 10GB data included!
Unlimited calls to 60 country and Unlimited National Standard Talk,Text and MMS plus 10GB Data (5GB + 5GB bonus ends 30/04/17).
Boost Mobile and ALDImobile
There are so many similarities between them, the choice you make as to which is right for you comes down partly to a brand preference question and largely whether you use data on the weekend.
We favor Boost Mobile. Their proposition is clearer, they don’t mess around with Capped plans and they still have a couple of very useful plan options to cover both low and high needs.
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. It is so fast that you could download a film in minutes. The smaller footprint Telstra offer through Boost and ALDImobile, however, does have a meaningful effect. The coverage you get with both Boost and ALDImobile is just as good as the Optus or Vodafone equivalents.
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 extra data on Boost Mobile’s plans at the weekend. Not only is Boost’s range simpler and not only does that range avoid the use of capped plans (which are stupid and should be relegated to a thing of the past) but Boost give you noticeably more data in their plans. They do have the proviso that the additional data needs to be used on the weekends. However, the feedback we’ve had from visitors to our site which have taken the plan is that, since they’re away from the office at the weekend and tend to be out and about, away from their homes doing things with friends and family, the weekend is exactly what makes the difference to their data needs.
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.
The smaller size of the Telstra reseller network means you should be comparing your coverage needs with Optus network reseller and Vodafone network resellers too. The coverage you will enjoy is about the same between the Telstra MVNO network and the Optus or Vodafone national networks. And remember, neither Vodafone or Optus limit the speeds they offer resellers on their networks.