Getting the best of both worlds – a cheap phone plan with great coverage
It’s a natural time to be thinking about which is the best 4G phone company. It’s also a great time to be looking for a phone plan. You might not have felt if you’ve been under contract but the world has changed under your feet, in even the last couple of months.
The primary things which have changed are :
- Almost all Australian phone companies now have 4G data services. Previously, many were 3G.
- Vodafone’s 4G coverage has been independently verified as significantly improved.
- 4G data speeds offer reliable, high quality streaming of video to your phone. Some phone companies are now offering video content as part of their plans.
- Finally, we will be discussing two technical terms in this article.
- 4G – super fast data. We explain what it is and provide you a link to more information.
- MVNOs – MVNOs are network resellers – smaller phone companies. We explain what they are too, below.
Let’s look at those and see if we can find the best 4G phone company for you.
First of all – what is 4G ? ( Skip this if you know )
4G plans: Not sure what 4G / LTE is ? 4G also known as ‘LTE’ is superfast data on your phone. There is a lot of technical detail here – see the link below if you want that. 4G means you don’t have to worry about stutter videos. Your maps will load fast. 4G data is like being connected to your home wifi service while you are away from home.
Read our article which explains.
Critical to understanding how to find the best 4G phone company
How can MVNOs save you money
MVNOs save their customers money by leasing network access ‘in bulk’ from the three, major Australian phone companies. Then they sell it, to customers like you, at a significant discount.
With MVNOs, you can take advantage of lower rates, and SIMs that are contract-free. They almost always offer better deals than the major phone companies. They don’t have the same marketing spends to pass on in the costs they charge you. They don’t spend nearly as much on advertising their brand as the others. By keeping their business models simple, they reduce the support costs and pass the savings on to you. They also need to charge less because they’re not as well known as their multinational competitors.
By keeping their business models simple, MVNOs reduce the support costs and pass the savings on to you in their SIM Only plans.
It’s important to realize that the network coverage component of the ‘product’ the MVNOs sell is very often exactly the same thing being sold by Optus or Vodafone. The coverage you’ll get from an Optus MVNO is exactly the same as the coverage you’ll get from Optus itself. There are a few exceptions and ‘gotchas’ to think about. We’ve covered those in detail, below.
Myths about MVNOs: Prioritization
Some shoppers suspect that MVNOs are getting low quality network bandwidth. For example, minutes that aren’t used by carriers during peak activity. That’s just not true. In many ways, network access is like electricity. It’s a utility which is the same whomever or whichever company you buy it from. You will not get a lower priority on the network if you go with an MVNO.
Why are MVNO deals cheaper?
The MVNOs marketplace is highly competitive. The competition is focused where you want it. MVNOs have an agreed charter with the major phone companies. Each MVNO is set up to focus on servicing ( selling to ) a particular segment.
A segment is just a group of users. Here are a couple of our favorite MVNOs and the segments they are designed to address.