Quick summary – what’s the best SIM for your new phone ?
An increasing proportion of better informed Australian phone buyers are buying the latest mobile phones outright. If you are prepared to shop around, and you know where to look, it can very often be a smart decision to buy the phone yourself and add a SIM Only plan to it.
MVNOs or Mobile Virtual Network Operators are the best way to get great value from the major Australian networks without paying through the nose for it. MVNOs, like Vaya and Amaysim ( more on these two below ) are simply phone companies who do not own their own networks. The ones we recommend use the Optus network.
Our recommendations on the best SIM Only Price plans for the Samsung Galaxy S5 and HTC One M8 are:
- For average users :
We recommend Vaya Mobile’s $18 plan. You’ll get unlimited SMSs to Australian numbers, around 10 standard 2 minute calls per day and 1.5 GB of 4G data. Together, those things are enough to satisfy even a more than average user.
- For people addicted to their mobile :
We recommend Amaysim’s $44.90 unlimited plan. You’ll get unlimited SMS and calls in Australia and a huge 5GB of data. Note – the data with the Amaysim plan is 3G, not 4G. Both the HTC One M8 and Samsung Galaxy S5 are 4G devices so if the fastest data speeds are important to you, we recommend Amaysim.
- Addicted to your mobile and want 4G data :
Vodafone’s $50 Red SIM Only Plan. It too has unlimited calls to Australian numbers and 3GB of data for use in Australia. The 3GB of data included in this Vodafone Red plan, however, is 4G. Which is why it costs $10 a month more than the Amaysim plan.
How can I be sure these plans are the best value available ?
We have compared the value included in these plans with the best prepaid and postpaid plans from the major Australian phone companies and MVNOs. Since both Vaya and Amaysim use the Optus network, coverage is great. And, since neither Vaya or Amaysim have a network to keep building and improving, they do not have to charge those network build costs on to their customers.
More detail on the calculations
We’ve assumed a buy price of around $900 AUD for the phone throughout these calculations. This is slightly less than the official price but many people these days buy overseas and don’t pay the official price.
We’ve also made the decision not to include a low usage recommendation because if you were a low end user, you would not be buying one of the newest phones.
Here’s how we worked out our usage assumptions for average users :
- Average Data usage is 1 GB :
A variety of industry sources state average usage on the latest mobiles is around 1GB of data. Of course, like all statistics on usage, average data utilisation changes according to the user. We recommend that you check your billing history to verify the maximum data usage you have had.
- Average Number of Calls – 3-5 :
Estimates of the number of 2 minute calls people make vary. However, an indicative number of 3-5 is common. Across the different phone companies, average 2 minute calls are usually charged within caps at between $2.20 and $2.40 per call. That’s a requirement for around $400 worth of included value in the caps we’re comparing.
- Margin of error – 50% :
No one is so good at measuring and monitoring their usage that in every month they nail the average. We’ve included a margin of error of 50% above the average in the plans we’ve recommended.
Vaya’s $18 per month plan comes out on top for average users
Vaya has been recognised by Money Magazine as well as us for having the best value plans in market for average users. Vaya uses the Optus network so coverage is great, especially for those in metro areas. Finally, Vaya is a month to month plan so if and when you see a better offer elsewhere, you can get to it quickly. There is no commitment beyond the month you are in.
With Vaya, $18 per month gets you :
- Around 10 calls in Australia per day of an average 2 minute length. This is more than an average user would need.
- 1.5GB of 4G data for use in Australia. Again, this is more than the average user would need.
- Unlimited SMS. Nice and safe – since you can’t use more than unlimited.
Nearest equivalents for average usage based on our assumptions :
- Telstra’s SIM only plans don’t even start until $45.
They also require a 12 month minimum commitment. $45 gets you $550 talk and text and 500 MB all for use in Australia.
- Optus SIM only plans :
Cannot be recommended against Vaya. To get to even close to equivalent inclusions with Optus, you’ll have to take the $40 plan – which is more than twice as much as Vaya are charging. And critically, Vaya uses the Optus network !
- Vodafone’s SIM Only Plans :
Vodafone’s $45 plan gives you $700 included value and 1.5GB of data. That’s two and a half times the cost of Vaya.