What competitors to ALDIMobile should I consider ?
- Aldi mobile use a sub set of the Telstra Mobile Network – which covers around 1.2 million square miles.
- Belong Mobile use the same network as Aldi and often have better deals. Belong are a postpaid plan provider which some find easier to manage than prepaid services like Aldi’s.
- Boost Mobile DO use the FULL Telstra 3G and 4G network – they’re the only phone company in Australia, apart from Telstra themselves, who do use that network.
- The Optus network covers approximately the same number of square miles as Aldi do.
- Alternatives to Aldi on the Optus network include OVO Mobile, Amaysim and Moose Mobile. Each has their own strengths and weaknesses so make sure you check out the reviews ( under the links on each of their names. )
Which network do ALDIMobile use ?
ALDImobile use ‘parts of the’ Telstra Mobile Network.
Remember though, if you take a SIM from Aldi, you will not get the full Telstra (‘Retail’) network. Telstra provide a smaller coverage footprint through their resellers. The coverage you get differs by the town you’re in, of course, but you’ll find that you’ll have a similar signal on Aldi as you might get if you took a SIM from Optus’ or one of the phone companies which resell them.
You can check the specifics of ALDImobile’s coverage here.
And if you’d like more information on national coverage, you can find that on our coverage page.
What isn’t so good about ALDI Mobile’s plans?
Aldi is a perfectly good phone company. However, make sure you go in with your eyes wide open. Here are the things we don’t like about their plans.
- Aldi’s ‘Out of bundle’ data pricing is among the highest in the industry:
ALDIMobile charge 5 cents per MB for data used outside your bundle. So, if you have some money in your balance and you’ve used your 3GB of data in your ALDI plan, you’ll be charged 5c per each MB you use. Doesn’t sound like a lot, right ? Wrong. It is perfectly possible to use a GB extra (it’s called ‘overage’) in your plan very quickly. And a single GB would cost you more than $50 at this rate! Aldi’s out of bundle charging is one of the most expensive on the market.
- Overseas call centers :
Not everyone minds but some do. The best NPS and customer satisfaction scores in the reports we review go to Australian call center staff. Aldi’s is overseas. Customer service never seems important until you want to use it. When you do need to give them a ring, getting the message across quickly is very important. If you go with Aldi, just keep that in mind.
- Lack of a roaming facility :
We can only guess this is for reasons of fraud risk : Aldi have no facility to take your phone overseas and use it to make calls. This is way too restrictive for us, we are not aware of a single other phone company which does the same thing.
- Only prepaid :
Most people know ALDIMobile are a prepaid provider. Some find postpaid plan alternatives to be easier to manage.
Can I keep my phone numbers if I go with ALDImobile or some of the other providers on this page?
Yes, you can. We write about this all the time because we know everyone needs to be clear they can keep their phone number before they’ll move. You can find out more in our article on the subject.
Do ALDIMobile have a self-service app ?
Yes they do. And it’s a good one. Nice and easy to use and it has all the key features you’d expect. This is something Aldi have done to improve their service since we first wrote a review of their service. They should be congratulated.
What’s the ALDImobile Recharge Window / ‘expiry’ period ?
ALDImobile’s Recharge window / expiry is pretty much the industry standard these days – 30 days. It might not sound like much but remember, those extra couple of days add up to nearly a month if you use the service for a year.
- We offer better deals from providers other than ALDI
- Aldi don't use the full Telstra 3G and 4G network
- Consider better deals from alternative phone companies
- ALDI are not always best value for the spend
- Data charging for overage is very high
- Only have prepaid plans - no post pay options
- Too many plans, can be confusing.
The 60 second guide to ALDImobile
As usual, we’ll start with the key points about ALDImobile for those of you in a hurry. This is our 60-second guide to the critical information you need on ALDImobile. We expand on each point in the article below.
- ALDImobile are a reliable high street brand that most Australians know.
- They’ve had a prepaid plan range for the last few years.
- ALDImobile now have a suite of several plans ( some would say too many ).
- The higher end unlimited range offers a useful suite of data options to cover most real-world needs.
- They’ve also added a Data Vault feature.
- However :
- ALDImobile’s plans are not always the best value for the spend ( we explain which providers are, below. )
- Their network may well not be as good as you think it is ( it’s not the full Telstra network – coverage is closer to Optus’ national coverage ).
- And ALDImobile’s plans are only available as prepaid variants. There are postpaid options out there which may suit some people better.
- And their out of bundle ‘overage’ charging is very high ($50 per GB!).
Let’s get into the devil in the detail of ALDImobile and see if they’re right for you.
This Month’s Hot Offers
What you need to know about ALDImobile Prepaid Plans
ALDImobile have been in Australia for years. Their parent, ALDI, sell groceries and thumb their nose at the Coles and Woolies, brands we all love, and which we all know charge us too much for the food they sell. Critically, for this discussion of ALDImobile’s prepaid plans, they have invested substantially in their brand since their arrival here. They now have a growing reputation in telco and a lot of quiet, happy customers. ALDImobile plans will appeal to price-conscious shoppers who like to research things closely before they buy. ALDImobile’s brand stands for the choice of product over product name. They even say ‘like brands, only cheaper’ in their advertising. The idea is simple: They invest in ‘own brand’ products – let’s say a can of beans. They make it look like the real Heinz can, charge less, and challenge you to tell the difference. I’ve eaten those beans and there’s not a lot of difference.
Why is all this talk of beans relevant to phone services, you might well ask. It’s relevant because ALDImobile’s approach to their prepaid plan service is essentially identical. ALDImobile are an MVNO. An MVNO is a smaller phone company which resells one of the tier 1 networks – i.e. resell part of Telstra’s, all of Optus’, or all of Vodafone’s Australian cellular network. ALDImobile resells part of Telstra’s mobile network.
How ALDImobile’s Prepaid Service Works
- Buy the SIM :
You can do this online or in store. They’re pretty good about keeping the playing field even. If you buy online, there is no charge for delivery or connection. Your first SIM comes preloaded with $5 when you buy from ALDImobile.
- Activate :
Once you have the SIM in your possession just go to the app ( you can download the ALDImobile Self Service app from the iTunes or Google Play store ) or login online to activate the SIM.
- Charge / recharge her up :
Using a recharge voucher or through an online facility add some value to your SIM. You’ll renew this every 30 days or so. ALDImobile also sell ‘scratch cards’ which provide you a voucher code that can be entered in online to recharge your entitlements. You can buy those in an ALDImobile store which is obviously convenient if you shop at one regularly.
What we like about ALDImobile’s prepaid service
Aldi are no slouch when it comes to helping you save money on your bills. Here’s what you’ll get and love if you take a SIM from them.
- ALDImobile are big enough to be reliable :
ALDImobile are not going to go in and out of the telco business like Kogan have. You might remember that a few years ago, Kogan set themselves up as a phone company through an intermediary to Telstra. Telstra didn’t like it and so caused the intermediary to fail.
- They also do tablet plans :
ALDImobile are one of the few companies who offer tablet data plans. If you have a tablet computer and want to put a SIM in it, check out the tablet plans we recommend.
- Broadened range :
ALDImobile have 3 very popular plans (S, L, and XXL) but they have a lot more plans and offers than that. In fact, their actual range is very broad, boasting of data plans, Long Expiry, and even PAYG plans with a 365-day term ( which not every phone company does ). In some ways, we think this range is actually slightly too broad, given the number of competitors out there. ALDImobile also offer a family plan that allows up to 4 users share 56 GB of data on the same subscription account. This can be beneficial for groups that include a mix of both heavy and light data users, where a balancing act bet such users might naturally occur, reducing the need to spend more money purchasing individual data packages. All in all, even though they only offer prepaid plans, ALDImobile’s plans are quite flexible — you can even change your plan every month and take advantage of the auto recharge feature, which essentially turns your prepaid plan into a postpaid-like plan that makes it very difficult to overspend on your monthly service fee.
- Add data at a pretty standard $10 per GB :
This is all but an industry standard charge now and far preferable to the alternative – running out of bundle data and incurring overages, the terribly high cost of which we explore below.
- Data vault feature :
ALDImobile now offer a data vault feature that they refer to as ‘Continuous Data Rollover’. This allows you to hold on to your unused data forever, if that’s what you’d like to do. The whole idea is that you get to keep what you paid for. This is becoming an increasingly common offering amongst phone companies on the Telstra Network, including Belong Mobile and even Telstra themselves. This is perhaps the fairest way for telcos to treat data.
- 30-day recharge window :
Optus, Vodafone and Telstra have all moved to a 28 day recharge window in their month-to-month prepaid retail plans. ALDImobile are one of the remaining few who don’t do the same thing. ALDImobile’s recharge validity window is still 30 days, which puts them alongside Amaysim, Boost and most of the tier 2 phone companies. This might not seem like a huge difference but if you take a 30-day plan with the same entitlements as a 28-day plan, you’re basically getting nearly 10% extra for free. Over the course of a year, that can add up.
- Solid self-service app :
ALDImobile have a mature, effective self-service apps that allow customers to avoid the call center. Customers can use the easy-to-use app for a number of account-related services, including changing their plans once a month.
What we don’t like about ALDImobile’s prepaid service
- Not always best value :
Despite their brand promise, ALDImobile have stepped into an extremely dynamic and very changeable environment. Selling phone plans is even harder than selling groceries. Buying the beans is an easy comparison. You’re up against Coles and Woolworths. Selling phone plans, you have literally 20 competitors. ALDImobile cannot always be the most affordable.
- Not always the best rates :
Their PAYG rates are 12 cents per minute, which is pretty standard. But ALDImobile are not the best value across the range.
- The network is not as good as you might think it is :
ALDImobile’s prepaid service uses the Telstra Mobile Network – now with 4G ! That language is true – but also misleading. The network ALDImobile use is not the ENTIRE Telstra network. Instead, they resell a part of the Telstra network, which puts their coverage on par with the alternative telcos. This takes away from the Telstra branding behind the ALDImobile coverage claim, and should result in you checking out other providers that will likely give you more data for less and/or at a broader price-point range. You can find out more about Australian network coverage here.
- Out of bundle charging :
ALDImobile’s out-of-bundle data charging is incredibly high. To give you an example : Imagine you charged your SIM with $100 and used an ALDImobile $25 ‘L’ Pack. It comes with 2GB of data which is a reasonable inclusion at this price point. The plan is $25 so you’re left with a $75 hanging balance. You use more than your 2GB of data that month. You go over by 1GB. Your remaining balance is $20 ! ALDImobile will charge you $55 for that GB of data. To give you an idea, Amaysim would charge around $10 for the same event.
- ALDImobile offer only prepaid plans :
There are other providers out there, notably Amaysim, who offer their plan range as either prepaid and / or postpaid. Prepaid is not right for everyone. Postpaid plans can be better for those who have more money. Those who manage their finances better, see prepaid as more of a children’s thing or need the convenience of not having to recharge their SIM. You can see a full range of postpaid plans, including Amaysim’s, on our SIM Only Plan page.
- Don’t have the specials the others have as frequently :
Prepaid plans are usually on offer. Phone companies, whether they are large or small, know that with prepaid there is no contract to keep you tied in. That means that they’re not the best value across the range on a normal day. Throw in a competitor promotion and you could very easily save yourself a good deal more by shopping around.
- Overseas customer service :
We prefer Amaysim’s customer service. On their unlimited plans, customer satisfaction rates are as high as 96%. Amaysim’s call center is in Chatswood; ALDImobile’s is overseas. It doesn’t always affect the quality of communication between caller and support operative but some people find that the cultural background differences mean that support calls take longer when trying to get their issue resolved.
This Month’s Hot Offers
Summing Up – I’m 50% / 50% on ALDImobile
ALDImobile’s Prepaid Services are going to be right for some people. The problem I have with them is that they’re not right for everyone. Unfortunately, since ALDImobile have such a retail presence, people seem to default to them through laziness. We all lead busy lives and we’re all dragged in a lot of directions at once. But just because you’re staring at an ALDImobile SIM at checkout does not mean you are best off picking it up.
There are better deals out there if you know where to look. Make sure you compare ALDImobile, as we have on this page, with the best of the competition. Boost Mobile use the same Telstra Mobile Network that ALDImobile does and we believe they offer better value ( and the same 4G speeds ) at both the $20 and $40 price points. Amaysim and OVO both use the Optus network, which has pretty much the same footprint of the one that ALDImobile are reselling. They too should be amongst your comparisons.
For those who want options on the Vodafone network, especially those with 3G phones, you might like to consider Lebara.
ALDImobile’s plans are good, don’t get me wrong. They’ve learned a lot since their first launch. They have filled the obvious and heinous self-service gap. They now provide their customers with an app which allows them to self-service and recharge their plans. They’ve broadened their range and added 4G speeds to what they offer customers. They even have a data vault feature, which is probably the fairest way to treat customers’ data. Their service is now convenient enough and offers good enough value to be a serious contender against the competitors we‘ve mentioned for your dollar.
Extra Resources – Articles of use to Prepaid Users
- Prepaid plans now have streamed audio included in them :
You may not be aware of one of the biggest improvements to prepaid plans since they were originally devised. 2016 saw the release of prepaid plans which have streamed audio included in them. If you already have a Spotify, iTunes Music, Google Music or IHeartRadio account, then you might like to find out more about streamed audio in phone plans.
- Entertainment options are becoming common :
You may also have started hearing about the increasing inclusion of entertainment options in prepaid and SIM Only phone plans. We also examine Optus’ mobile phone plan Entertainment options, Telstra’s mobile phone plan Entertainment options and compare the two.
- Prepaid vs postpaid vs month to month :
We’ve given a short explanation on this page but if you want more detail on the types of phone plans in Australia, this is it. In Prepaid vs postpaid vs month to month, we explain and the best value alternatives you have and when it makes sense to use each type.
- Prepaid vs Postpaid –the simple trick to getting the best value :
The tier 1 telcos ( Optus Telstra and Vodafone ) all have both prepaid and postpaid plans. Sometimes they have both types of plan at the same price point.
- Does it make sense to buy a Phone myself and add a SIM ? :
It’s often even cheaper to buy your own phone and add a SIM ( including a prepaid SIM ) to it. We explain how to go Buying a phone outright and adding a SIM.
- Data Rollovers :
Considering a plan with data rollover in it ? We explain why they’re not the real solution to the real problem with prepaid plans.
And, remember, before you buy, read the CIS (that’s the Critical Information Summary–a clearly written definition of what is and is not included in the plans from these phone companies) before you buy. You need to be confident in the plan you choose yourself. You’ll find the CIS on the Vodafone website.
Compare all of our prepaid plans
If you need another network, you might like to check our Best Prepaid Plans Page and compare all the plans ( including every one mentioned on this page. ) A list of best value plans using the Telstra, Optus and Vodafone networks.COMPARE THE BEST PREPAID PLANS
See all SIM Only plans
If you need another network, for example you’re after an unlimited plan with Telstra coverage, or you live in a city and you’re happy with Vodafone, you might like to check our SIM Only Comparison page and compare all the plans ( including every one mentioned on this page. )COMPARE ALL SIM ONLY PLANS