Comparing the Most Popular Unlimited Plans: Boost Vs Amaysim

Quick summary :

In our view, Boost and Amaysim sell the best unlimited plans on the Telstra and Optus networks respectively. Choosing between them for most people comes down, to two questions.

1. Do you live in a more rural area ? Boost’s network covers a large proportion of Australia than Amaysim’s.

2. Do you have a 3G phone or a 4G phone ? Amaysim’s data transfer speeds are faster. Amaysim’s network offers data access at 4G levels. Boost have 3.5G ( We explain what that is below. )

A bit more detail on Boost vs Amaysim :

Boost Mobile and Amaysim have a lot in common. They both :

  • Resell another phone company’s network :
    For a start they are both high on the list of Australia’s most popular smaller phone companies. These are sometimes referred to as Mobile Virtual Network Operators or MVNOs. These type of phone service providers often save customers money. They operate by leasing network access ‘in bulk’ from the big three Australian network owners. Since they buy in bulk, they get a better rate and they pass that benefit on to you.
  • Have a small range of plans :
    Neither Boost nor Amaysim confuse their potential customers with a huge range of plans to pick from. The larger phone companies usually have a suite of prepaid plans, a suite of postpaid plans and a bunch of bolt ons to navigate. Understanding the ins and outs of their plans, as a result, is arduous at the best of times. Boost have 2 plans. Amaysim have 3 plans. The result is a website and plan structure from both companies which is extremely easy to understand.
  • Have Unlimited plans are their hero offers :
    Boost Mobile and Amaysim also have a small range of plans and focus on selling their unlimited mobile plans. The unlimited plans from both Amaysim and Boost offer unlimited standard national phone calls and SMS within Australia on month to month contracts.

For all their similarities there are also clear differences. It is likely that one of these phone company’s service is better suited to your needs. Here’s what you need to help you to make an informed choice.

What are the key differences between Amaysim and Boost?

In addition to Amaysim’s support for both 3G and 4G mobile, and Boost Mobile’s restriction to 3G phones, there are significant differences between their respective unlimited mobile phone plans:

  • Cost :
    Boost’s Unltd plan is $40 per month compared with Amaysim Unlimited $44.90. Those who seek out deals from smaller phone companies tend to be extremely savvy about their phone plans and $5 can make a significant difference in how likely each plan is to be chosen.
  • Data allowance.
    Boost Unltd $40 has a 3GB per month data allowance while Amaysim Unlimited gives you 5GB per month. The data allocation really has to be considered as a whole along with Boost’s Extra Data ( see next point. )
  • Bonuses Data.
    Boost Unltd $40 gives you an extra 2GB of data every Weekend. Amaysim $44.90 ( often ) give you a 50% discount on your first month’s phone charge.
  • Prepaid or postpaid :
    Boost’s plans are prepaid only. Amaysim’s plans can be bought as either prepaid or postpaid.

 

Other differences to consider between Boost and Amaysim

Which Network Does Boost Mobile Use?

Boost Mobile operates over Telstra’s 3G mobile network. Telstra covers 99.3% of the Australian population with the signal Boost use. One of the big advantages of choosing a Boost Mobile SIM ( with Telstra ) is their excellent coverage in rural areas. However, if you have a 4G phone the most network might not be exactly right for you. The absence of the faster speeds provided by 4G networks, including Amaysim’s might discourage 4G mobile owners from getting a Boost Mobile plan.

Which Network Does Amaysim Use?

Amaysim operates over Optus’s 3G and 4G mobile network. Optus 3G covers 98.5% of Australia while their 4G service has reached 86% coverage. For users with 4G phones this gives Amaysim a clear advantage over Boost’s service speeds.

What does Boost’s ‘3.5G network’ mean?

The main difference you notice between 3G and 4G mobile is the faster data transfer speeds of 4G. On average 4G phones move data six times faster than 3G phones.

3.5G is an abbreviation for third generation mobile phone technology. Over the last thirty years mobile phones have gone through four generations of technological improvement when it comes to transmitting data across their networks. Each of these generations is a new ‘G’ type.

The main difference you notice between 3G and 4G mobile is the faster data transfer speeds of 4G. On average 4G phones move data six times faster than 3G phones. This is certainly an advantage when streaming video, or downloading large files, but for many users 3.5G speeds is sufficient. Especially if their phone is only 3G capable.

Who has more customers, Boost Mobile or Amaysim?

In September 2014, Amaysim CMO Christian Magel, said they had reached the 600,000 customer mark. Boost moved from Optus to Telstra back in 2012 and had to rebuild their base again on the Telstra network. At Optus, they were adding around 4,000 customers a month. Even if they sustained that at Telstra, they would only have 100,000 – 200,000 customers. Boost are almost certain to have the lower number of customers to their name.

Who has the best scores for customer satisfaction?

Customer satisfaction is affected by a range of factors with price, billing policy, signal coverage, and quality of support the main issues of concern. Measurements are very subjective. What one customer considers a satisfactory service level might not satisfy another customer. However, when it comes to customer service awards Amaysim has more impressive scores.

Amaysim proudly draw your attention to how an independent body bestowed two awards on them in 2014:

  • Canstar Blue’s Most Satisfied Customers Award – Prepaid Mobile Services
  • Canstar Blue’s Most Satisfied Customers Award – Mobile Phone Plan Providers

Amaysim also won their second prize in a row in the Mobile Phone Service Provider category of the Roy Morgan Telecommunications Satisfaction Awards (2014).

Will My Phone work on Boost Mobile or Amaysim?

The answer to this question depends on which sort of phone you have. In most cases changing the SIM card is sufficient to get working with either company.

In some, especially if you’re under contract with a phone company already, you might find that your phones is locked into the network you bought it from. If you have a phone locked into Optus (for Amaysim) or Telstra (for Boost Mobile) it should not be a problem.

If your phone contract is with a different network, and you find you cannot use a SIM card from another company, it is likely your phone is locked. In this case you need to ask your existing phone company to unlock it.

To work on the Boost network, your phone has to be 850 MHz compatible. This sounds like a nightmare to work out but it’s actually very easy. A quick Google of your handset type will reveal the frequencies it uses. And if that sounds too technical you can use the tool on the Boost Mobile website.

Can I Keep my Phone Number if I Move to Boost Mobile or Amaysim?

People often want to switch phone companies when they find out about cheaper plans, or they are moving to an area where another company gives better reception. Australian consumer law makes changing phone plans quite easy. In most cases all you need to do is sign up with the new company and get your old number ported (transferred).

Both Boost Mobile and Amaysim support the porting numbers. They emphasise different aspects of the process. In our view, these are the most significant parts of the process.

  • Not all channels at both companies can help you port :
    For example, you can activate your Boost Mobile SIM card via chat or their phone line but NOT if you via their website.
  • Your phone needs to be unlocked :
    Your mobile phone is going to need to be unlocked before the process begins.
  • You can’t transfer your credit :
    Any remaining credit with your previous company is not transferred so you should remember to use it up.
  • You’re likely to have to pay a month up front before you can port your number :
    If you choose one of their Unlimited, Flexi or Data Pack plans, you need to first make an advance payment.
  • The process is usually fast but can take up to 3 days :
    Porting the number can take 3 days, but during this time you can continue to use the old company’s SIM card.
  • You’ll need to clear any old debts :
    If your existing phone contract has not expired you might have to pay the old company an “early termination fee.” Their right to charge you varies according to your age (over 18) and the reason why you want to end the contract.

Summing up :

Everyone’s a winner with Boost and Amaysim. Whether you’ve got a 3G phone or a 4G phone, picking either is going to get you a better deal than going with Optus or Boost direct.

Amaysim are great where Optus coverage is good. If you have a 4G phone, they’re almost certainly the right choice.

If you have a 4G phone and live in a more rural area, you can either accept the 3.5 speeds offered by Boost or go to Telstra themselves and pay the extra for an unlimited plan. It’s not the most palatable choice, Telstra will charge you a great deal more for unlimited than either Boost or Amaysim.

 

You might also find these plans from Boost Mobile and Amaysim worth considering

 

 

Neil Aitken

Having worked in 3 countries for 4 telcos on both voice and data products, Neil is in a position to give you the inside track. Get beyond the marketing messages to the best plan for you.