Telstra vs Boost, Belong, ALDImobile, and TeleChoice

telstra comparison

So many telcos to choose from

With so many telcos in Australia, it can be difficult to choose a phone plan. Not only are there three major telcos in the country, but there are also many, many Mobil Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) that resell the major telcos’ networks.

Having such a competitive telco market means you’ll get a lot of great offers and deals that can save you money. But the countless offers out there can seem overwhelming.

In this post, we’ll compare plans from the largest telco in Australia – Telstra – and four of its MVNOs – Boost, Belong, ALDImobile, and TeleChoice – to give you the facts you need on a smaller scale. That way, you can decide for yourself which service provider fits your needs.

Telstra vs Boost, Belong, Aldimobile, and Telechoice: Network coverage

When choosing a telco, one of the first things to consider is network coverage. There are only three major mobile network service providers in Australia – Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone. These major telcos resell their networks to smaller telcos – MVNOs.

As a result, an MVNO’s network coverage depends on the major telco’s network they are reselling. In many cases, this means MVNOs have the exact same coverage as the telco whose network they resell.

But in Telstra’s case, they sell only part of their network, called Telstra Wholesale Network. Telstra makes an exception for only one telco, which we get to in this post.

Here’s a look at Telstra’s coverage as well as MVNOs’ coverage:

  • Telstra coverage
    Telstra has the best coverage in Australia. The telco’s 4GX coverage alone is 99.2 percent of the population, and its overall coverage (including 3G) is 99.4 percent. According to Telstra, they cover “2.5 million square kilometres – that’s 1 million square kilometres more than any other mobile network”.
  • Boost Mobile coverage
    Boost Mobile is the only MVNO that resells the full Telstra network; other Telstra MVNOs resell only part of their network. This gives Boost a great advantage in the MVNO market, as they boast of the best coverage in the country, the exact same as Telstra.
  • Belong Mobile coverage
    Belong Mobile also resells the Telstra network. However, they only resell part of Telstra’s network – the wholesale network. Telstra’s wholesale network gives Belong Mobile 4G coverage of 97.9 percent of the Australian population, and combined 3G and 4G coverage of 98.8 percent of the population.
  • ALDImobile coverage
    ALDImobile also resell Telstra’s Wholesale Network, giving it 4G coverage of 97.9 percent of the population, and a combined 3G/4G coverage of 98.9 percent.
  • TeleChoice coverage
    Like Belong and ALDImobile, Telechoice resell only part of Telstra’s network – the Telstra Wholesale Network.

Telstra vs Boost, Belong, ALDImobile, and TeleChoice: Pricing and data inclusion

Pricing and data inclusions play a major role in the value of your plan. Although Telstra might offer you a ton of premium features that its MVNOs don’t, are those features really worth the higher price?

Here’s a side-by-side comparison of Telstra’s pricing and data inclusions to that of its MVNOs:

 TelstraBoost MobileBelong MobileALDImobileTeleChoice
Type of plans4 postpaid month-to-month plans and 2 prepaid normal expiry plans (short and long expiry also available)5 prepaid normal expiry plans (short and long expiry also available)3 postpaid month-to-month plans4 prepaid plans6 postpaid month-to-month plans, 4 postpaid 12/24 month contract plans, or prepay 7 months or 13 months ahead.
PricingPostpaid month-to-month: $55 to $115.
Prepaid: $19 to $40 on normal expiry plans.
Prepaid normal expiry plans: $20 to $70Postpaid plans range from $10 to $40$15 to $45Postpaid month-to-month: $15 to $49.
Postpaid 12/24 month contract: $16 to $45.
Data inclusionsPostpaid month-to-month: 40GB to 180GB.
Prepaid: 8GB to 18GB (Check for bonuses)
Prepaid normal expiry plans: 5GB to 79GB.1GB to 40GB3GB to 50GBPostpaid month-to-month: 2GB to 55GB.
Postpaid 12/24 month contract: 4.5GB to 55GB.

Telstra vs Boost, Belong, ALDImobile, and TeleChoice: Customer satisfaction

Also consider a telco’s customer satisfaction history. If you plan on signing up for a plan, you want to know the telco will treat you fairly and solve problems quickly if any crop up.

Boost Mobile has been known for its high customer satisfaction rating, and closed out 2019 at 89 percent approval, according to the Roy Morgan Mobile Phone Service Provider Customer Satisfaction Report. ALDImobile was a close second with 85 percent, Boost was fourth with 79 percent, and Telstra was ninth with 78 percent.

Roy Morgan Mobile Phone Service Provider Customer Satisfaction Report

The Roy Morgan Mobile Phone Service Provider Customer Satisfaction Report ranked Boost Mobile as the telco with the highest customer satisfaction rating, slightly ahead of ALDImobile. Telstra was a far ninth. src

In Summary

With MVNOs gaining momentum in the Australian telco market, major telcos are no longer as dominant as they once were. While you’ll get premium features like entertainment content and Peace of Mind Data with Telstra, you’ll have to pay a lot of money for their plans.

Telstra’s MVNOs, on the other hand, give you great coverage and value-driven deals. You get the basics and some attractive data inclusions at great prices. Boost Mobile even offers data-free streaming of Apple Music as well as data rollover, while Belong Mobile offers an unlimited data bank.

And while major telcos tend to lag behind in customer satisfaction, MVNOs are impressive in that area. Boost Mobile and ALDImobile rounded out the top two most customer satisfying telcos in the country. Telstra, on the other hand, was far behind at ninth place.

Choosing the telco that’s right for you depends on your wants and needs. Figure out what those are, compare your options, and choose based on value. We hope you find this post helpful in making your right decision.

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.