Choose the right Australian
Phone Company and Plan

  • Optus, Vodafone, Telstra and Virgin - each is unique
  • Optus' 4G coverage now on a par with Telstra's
  • Entertainment options in plans are increasingly common
  • Smaller phone companies are also an option
  • Consider Kogan Mobile, OVO, Boost and Yomojo for best value

SIM Only Plans from the Top 4 Australian Phone Companies

Vodafone

Vodafone $30 SIM Only Plan

3
Value

Unlimited standard calls and SMS in Oz

Data

3GB

CONTRACT

12 Months

Network

Vodafone 3G + 4G

Includes
COST PER MONTH

$30.00

Vodafone

Vodafone $30 SIM Only Plan

3
Value

Unlimited standard calls and SMS in Oz

Data

1GB

CONTRACT

Month to month

Network

Vodafone 3G + 4G

Includes
COST PER MONTH

$30.00

Optus

Optus My Plan Plus M2M SIM Only (Online) $35

5
Value

Unlimited calls to STD AUS mobile & landlines. Unlimited STD national and international (selected countries) SMS & MMS

Data

1.5GB per month. Additional data $10 per GB.

CONTRACT

Month to month

Network

Optus 3G + 4G Plus

Includes
COST PER MONTH

$35.00

Telstra

$39 S BYO Plan

3
Value

$500 national talk & text

Data

2GB

CONTRACT

12 Months

Network

Telstra 4G Mobile Network

Includes
COST PER MONTH

$39.00

Vodafone

Vodafone $40 SIM Only Plan

3
Value

Unlimited standard calls and SMS in Oz

Data

15GB

CONTRACT

12 Months

Network

Vodafone 3G + 4G

Includes
COST PER MONTH

$40.00

Vodafone

Vodafone $40 SIM Only Plan

3
Value

Unlimited standard calls and SMS in Oz

Data

3GB

CONTRACT

Month to month

Network

Vodafone 3G + 4G

Includes
COST PER MONTH

$40.00

Telstra

$49 S Casual Plan

3
Value

$500 national talk & text

Data

2GB

CONTRACT

Month to month

Network

Telstra 4G Mobile Network

Includes
COST PER MONTH

$49.00

Telstra

$49 Mx BYO Plan (online plan)

3
Value

Unlimited National Calls & SMS

Data

10GB

CONTRACT

12 Months

Network

Telstra 4G Mobile Network

Includes
COST PER MONTH

$49.00

Optus

Optus My Plan Plus M2M SIM Only (Online) $50

5
Value

Unlimited calls to STD AUS mobile & landlines. Unlimited STD national and international (selected countries) SMS & MMS

Data

6GB per month. Additional data $10 per GB.

CONTRACT

Month to month

Network

Optus 3G + 4G Plus

Includes
COST PER MONTH

$50.00

Telstra

$59 M BYO Plan

3
Value

Unlimited National Calls & SMS

Data

15GB

CONTRACT

12 Months

Network

Telstra 4G Mobile Network

Includes
COST PER MONTH

$59.00

Optus

Optus My Plan Plus M2M SIM Only (Online) $60

5
Value

Unlimited calls to STD AUS mobile & landlines. Unlimited STD national and international (selected countries) SMS & MMS

Data

9GB per month. Additional data $10 per GB.

CONTRACT

Month to month

Network

Optus 3G + 4G Plus

Includes
COST PER MONTH

$60.00

Vodafone

Vodafone $100 SIM Only Plan

3
Value

Unlimited standard calls and SMS in Oz

Data

25GB

CONTRACT

Month to month

Network

Vodafone 3G + 4G

Includes
COST PER MONTH

$80.00

Telstra

$99 XL BYO Plan

3
Value

Unlimited National Calls & SMS

Data

30GB

CONTRACT

12 Months

Network

Telstra 4G Mobile Network

Includes
COST PER MONTH

$99.00

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You might also like to consider these plans

OVO

OVO $29.95

5
Value

Unlimited standard calls and SMS in Oz

Data

5GB

EXPIRY

Month to month

Network

Optus 3G + 4G

Includes
RECHARGE COST

$29.95

Optus

Optus My Prepaid Daily Plus

5
Value

$2 a day gets you: unlimited standard national talk and text when you recharge from $10.

Data

500MB

EXPIRY

$2 Daily Level expires at 11.59pm local time. Minimum recharge is $10.

Network

Optus 3G + 4G Plus

Includes
RECHARGE COST

$2.00

Minimum spend is $10
Optus

Optus Prepaid Ultimate Plus $30

5
Value

Unlimited standard national talk and text

Data

10GB MyData with rollover up to 10GB + 10GB Video Streaming.

EXPIRY

28 days

Network

Optus 3G + 4G Plus

Includes
RECHARGE COST

$30.00

Belong Mobile

Belong Mobile $30

5
Value

Unlimited National Calls & SMS

Data

5GB + 5GB welcome gift

NO CONTRACT

Month to month

Network

Parts of Telstra 3G/4G network

Includes
COST PER MONTH

$30.00

Minimum Total Cost $30
Think Mobile

Think Ultimate $30 Plan

2
Value

Unlimited standard calls and text in Oz

Data

5GB

CONTRACT

Month to month

Network

Vodafone 4G

Includes
COST PER MONTH

$30.00

Moose Mobile

Moose 34 Sim Only

5
Value

Unlimited standard calls and SMS in Oz

Data

10GB

CONTRACT

Month to month

Network

Optus 3G + 4G Plus

Includes
COST PER MONTH

$34.00

OVO

OVO $34.95

5
Value

Unlimited standard calls and SMS in Oz

Data

8GB

EXPIRY

Month to month

Network

Optus 3G + 4G

Includes
RECHARGE COST

$34.95

Kogan Mobile

Kogan MEDIUM $29.9 - 30 Days

5
Value

Unlimited standard calls and SMS in Oz

Data

6GB

EXPIRY

30 days

Network

Vodafone 4G

Includes
RECHARGE COST

$4.90

Belong Mobile

Belong Mobile $35

5
Value

Unlimited National Calls & SMS

Data

5GB + 5GB welcome gift

NO CONTRACT

Month to month

Network

Parts of Telstra 3G/4G network

Includes
COST PER MONTH

$35.00

Yomojo

Yomojo Unlimited $39.9

5
Value

Unlimited standard calls and SMS in Oz

Data

7GB

CONTRACT

Month to month

Network

Optus 4G Plus

Includes
COST PER MONTH

$39.90

OVO

OVO $49.95

5
Value

Unlimited standard calls and SMS in Oz

Data

14GB

EXPIRY

Month to month

Network

Optus 3G + 4G

Includes
RECHARGE COST

$49.95

Belong Mobile

Belong Mobile $45

5
Value

Unlimited National Calls & SMS plus International Standard Calls & SMS to 10 countries.

Data

15GB + 15GB welcome gift

NO CONTRACT

Month to month

Network

Parts of Telstra 3G/4G network

Includes
COST PER MONTH

$45.00

Belong Mobile

Belong Mobile $50

5
Value

Unlimited National Calls & SMS plus International Standard Calls & SMS to 10 countries.

Data

15GB + 15GB welcome gift

NO CONTRACT

Month to month

Network

Parts of Telstra 3G/4G network

Includes
COST PER MONTH

$50.00

Moose Mobile

Moose 14 Sim Only

5
Value

Unlimited standard calls and SMS in Oz

Data

1GB

CONTRACT

Month to month

Network

Optus 3G + 4G Plus

Includes
COST PER MONTH

$14.00

OVO

OVO $19.95

5
Value

$500 standard calling and unlimited SMS / MMS in Oz

Data

2GB

EXPIRY

Month to month

Network

Optus 3G + 4G

Includes
RECHARGE COST

$19.95

Yomojo

Yomojo Unlimited $19.9

4
Value

Unlimited standard calls and SMS in Oz

Data

2GB

CONTRACT

Month to month

Network

Optus 4G Plus

Includes
COST PER MONTH

$19.90

Sorry! we couldn’t find more plans :(

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Common questions about the major phone companies

What Is ‘Entertainment’ or ‘Content’ as part of a new phone plan ?

Entertainment ( also known in the industry as ‘content’ ) options in phone plans are increasingly common. It means that you’ll get something in your phone plan that you didn’t get before. If you get the right plan from Optus, Telstra or Virgin Mobile, you’ll be given access to included streaming audio or video as part of what you pay them for.

In practical terms, when you see that entertainment is included in a plan, it means you’ll be able to listen to music from an internet radio service like Apple Music ( with Telstra ) or Pandora / IHeartRadio / Spotify / Google Play music with Optus  or Virgin Mobile.  It may also mean that you can watch TV programs on your phone – for example EPL sports – that’s English premier League content or the AFL / NRL ( from Telstra. )

Entertainment in plans is a new thing. That’s why it’s so complicated. We go in to the nuts and bolts of what the phone companies offer these days in the articles on this page.

What are SIM Only plans ?

SIM Only is an industry term for BYO Phone plans. SIM Only is an umbrella concept which comprises any agreement with your phone company – Prepaid / On Account / Month to Month in which they do not provide you a phone. Alternatives include leasing the phone from the phone company or contracting with them, usually for 24 months.

These days, many people are buying a phone outright and adding their own SIM to it. Many save up to 30% over the course of their contract by doing so. See our article below for more details.

Why is data key to the decision to buy a phone plan from one of these companies ?

Most phone companies offer plans with unlimited talk and text ( in Australia, to Australian numbers ) these days. The difference between the plans is network quality  and the amount of data which is included in the plan.

The trick to picking the right plan is often to think first about how much data you will need and then to find a plan which provid

Why are smaller phone companies sometimes better than big ones ?

Smaller phone companies ( also known as MVNOs in the industry ) often sell the same network as bigger phone companies and charge less. As you will see in the article below, if Entertainment options are not your thing, smaller phone companies might be able to help.

If all you need is a plan with some voice minutes, SMS and a generous data allowance ( and let’s face it, at the moment, that’s most people ) then a smaller phone company might well be right for you. We have included plans from smaller phone companies on this page.

What are the reasons you don’t recommend Telstra ?

Most Australians think Telstra have the best 4G network  and are prepared to pay a premium to get it. The reality is that, in terms of availability, Telstra’s 4G network is on a par with Optus’ – but the plans Optus sell are cheaper.

We show you actual network statistics to prove the point in the article under ‘continue reading.’

What are my alternatives ?

Well, it depends which network you want. But, if you are prepared to consider a smaller phone company for your SIM Only plan:

  • On the Vodafone network, we often recommend Kogan Mobile. They use the full, entire Vodafone network and have great data allowances.
  • On the Optus network, OVO Mobile give you the best of both worlds. Included entertainment options and the biggest data bundles at the price you’ll find on Optus.
  • On the Telstra Mobile Network, Boost Mobile now have 4G and have clever plans with lots of data plus bonus data on the weekends.

What's good

  • The top 4 all have prepaid and postpaid options
  • Optus prepaid leads the pack
  • Entertainment is increasingly common
  • There's a tiered system of value / price

What's bad

  • Smaller phone companies have better value for data
  • Too much complexity in the plans of the top 4 slows down decisions
  • Not everyone wants Entertainment / content in their plans

Here's our review of the Top 4 Australian Phone Companies

Of the Major Australian Phone companies, we think Optus is the best bet. They have unique Entertainment content, a 4G network which is on a par with Telstra and outstanding pricing. Continue reading to see an in depth comparison of the major operators and some small phone companies you might like to consider too.

Essential advice on picking the right Australian phone company & plan

  • In this article, we explain how to get affordable access to the major phone companies (and their networks) at significantly reduced rates.
  • Scroll down to see the pros and cons of every major Australian phone company.
  • We provide links to more detailed comparison review articles between each of the top telcos. ( e.g. Telstra vs Optus, Virgin Mobile vs Vodafone.)

 

A quick summary of what’s on this page:

  • We review the major trends affecting the plans that people like you are buying from phone companies. In this section, we show you how you could save 30% on your phone bill.
  • We consider the role that entertainment / content is starting to play in phone plans. I this section we give you advice on the key factors you need to be aware of before you sign up.
  • Then we review each of the big 4, top tier phone companies – Vodafone, Optus, Telstra and Virgin Mobile. In this section, we detail what’s good and not so good about each of them.
  • Finally, we look at your alternatives to the big 4 : Smaller phone companies. Most of them offer plans which have just minutes, SMS and data – not entertainment packages as part of your phone service. But then, minutes, SMS and data are what most people want in a phone plan. These companies have much of the best value around in SIM Only and prepaid plans.

 

Major trends in SIM Plans – how to make the right decision

There is a full on ‘entertainment war’ happening between Optus and Telstra! ( Did you know ?!)

  • SIM Only Plans are taking over:
    A significant majority of Australians are now buying SIM Only plans. Many are also choosing from the best prepaid plans ( The only difference between SIM Only plans and prepaid plans is when you pay. ) The reasons people are moving across are so they can get maximum flexibility, the best price and cost savings. By buying their phone and SIM Only separately, people can save more than 30% on their phone bills.
  • TV / Film entertainment / content is now a key inclusion in many phone plans :
    You probably saw the first shot that Optus fired on content / entertainment. It was covered extensively in the news. Optus bid for the rights to the English Premier League ( EPL. ) Buy an Optus SIM Only plan and you can ‘add EPL’ to it like you’d add fries at a fast food place. What you might not have seen since is the way Telstra responded. Telstra have made it possible for their customers to watch the NRL / AFL on their phones, free of charge. Both Optus and Telstra have since made more announcements relating to content inclusions in their plans. There is a full on ‘entertainment war’ happening between them ! ( Did you know ?! ) And it’s not just them. OVO Mobile, a new phone company offer access to V8 Supercars content ( along with some of the best data plan pricing we’ve seen. )
  • Streamed audio is now part of the mix:
    You can now get ‘free’ (the data is not charged for) internet radio from providers like Optus’ prepaid, Telstra’s prepaid and Virgin Mobile’s SIM Only (postpaid). If you already have a subscription to Pandora, Spotify, Google Play Music or other included streamed audio then the chances are that there’s a plan out there which will let you you can access it through your phone for free.
  • Establishing the data you need is key:
    The use of data in mobile phones is doubling every year. You are almost certainly now using more data each month than you ever thought possible even a couple of years ago. Most plans include 3GB or more of data or more at the moment. And the price of that data has fallen by 75% in the last 2 years alone. Before you do anything else, take some time and consider how much data you’re going to need in your phone plan.
  • Keep an eye on the ‘value adds’ :
    Virgin Mobile’s SIM Only plans and prepaid plans are the best example of a phone company which offers some serious value adds. The problem is that there are just too many extras included in phone plans now. From loyalty card points to international calls, we highlight the key points of difference below between the key phone plan providers in Australia.
  • The future involves the eSIM:
    We won’t go in to it too much here, but in the coming years, you will be able to decide which phone company you want to use from ‘settings’ on your phone. The technology which will enable it is the eSIM.

 

 The key things to keep in mind then are:

This is the most helpful structure we can offer you in helping you understand what features you want to keep your eyes peeled for when you’re shopping for a phone plan.

If you’re making a choice about a phone plan to buy, here’s what your world looks like.

Telstra's Entertainment is part of a tiered system

Choosing the right phone company and plan starts with knowing whether you need entertainment in your phone plan.

  • At the top of the diagram :
    Are the more expensive phone companies – Optus and Telstra, duping it out over video content.
  • Underneath them :
    Slightly cheaper, are phone companies which offer you some streamed audio ( link to ‘what is streamed audio’ article ).
  • Offering the core services :
    That you always expected from your phone company are smaller phone companies which have the voice, SMS and data plans you’re familiar with.

This is the most helpful structure we can offer you in helping you understand what features you want to keep your eyes peeled for when you’re shopping for a phone plan.

 

What’s good about Australian phone companies?

If you want background on Australian phone companies, here’s why you should consider yourself lucky.

We have developed a tool to help you navigate the plan options available. If you know some basic facts about your existing phone and plan, you can give our phone plan finder tool a go. ( Will open a new window. )

If you want background on Australian phone companies, here’s why you should consider yourself lucky.

  • Never before have you had so much choice :
    Australians have a huge amount of choice when it comes to the telco brand they want to go with. There are options everywhere including the pricing they choose ( particularly as concerns extra ‘Value Adds’, ) the nature of the plan they want ( minutes or caps ) and even on coverage options. To the mix, as we have seen, entertainment has been added. You’ve never had it so good !
  • We have some of the best networks in the world :
    Australia is leading the world in rolling out the latest, fastest network speeds and improving the quality + speed of service. Australia was one of the first countries in the world to roll out 4G or LTE – that’s data speeds on your mobile which are usually better than you’ll get on your home, fixed line broadband connection. We live on the world largest island continent and we can call anyone we like for the cost of a $1 a day.
  • You have incredible data speeds available to you :
    With 4G now offered by all of the big phone companies and many of the smaller phone companies, your mobile internet access has never been quicker. Australian phone companies give you the fastest speeds when you want them. Data  is such an important part of our lives that we have come to rely on it. One of the things we rely on is that it will work as quickly as we need it to.
  • Believe it or not, you have some of the cheapest phone plans anywhere in the world :
    Australia is the cheapest country in the world to own and operate a mobile phone according to a recent OECD international study. Unlimited plans are common now. Bill shock is largely a thing of the past due to more responsible pricing from the major phone companies around data. Management of the data and voice services you buy is notably easier with the apps that every telco now offers for free.
  • Coverage :
    Australia is a huge country. Each of the major Australian networks  covers at least 97% of the population. And, as you know, there are options for those who are in the final couple of percent, even far out in the bush, from Telstra.
  • Online Is Best :
    For time saving, convenience and often the best pricing, Australians have the full range of competition available to them 24 x 7 online through the phone company websites. Once they’ve bought, Australians enjoy the ability to full self service their phone service online.
  • SIM Only or Prepaid deals have redefined the market – in your favor :
    In the last 3 years, the market for Australian phones has changed pretty significantly. People are no longer buying phones the way they used to.  A desire to keep up to date with the latest technology means individuals want to upgrade their phone every 12 months or so makes this a perfect option for many. And the phone companies play ball with SIM only too.

 

Telstra

This is why we don’t recommend Telstra…. For more than 95% of people, Optus, Vodafone or a smaller phone company SIM will work just fine. And they’re all cheaper.

 

What’s good about Telstra?

Every Australian knows Telstra. Their scale ( they have a 39.9% market share, a substantial 16.4 million customers ) gives them the ability to offer great coverage and to keep reinvesting in their network. The result is better coverage than the other phone companies.

Telstra have more than 7.7 million 4G enabled services. That is more than half of all Australia’s 4G customers with one provider !

Their 3G coverage extends to Australia’s largest network, covering 99.30% of the population and 2.4 million square miles.

Telstra enjoys scale: The kinds of scale with 4G services that dwarf even the closest competitors, Optus and Vodafone.

Telstra’s 4G signal covers 99% of the Australian population . And they have lofty goals to go even further with their network coverage.

Beyond the network, there are few pros of being with Telstra. One way to look at this is that the other networks feel they have to offer sweeteners on top of their networks to keep up with Telstra’s network performance. However, make sure you consider the alternatives before signing with Telstra. All of the other operators have features that Telstra does not.

  • Network :
    Telstra cover the biggest proportion of Australians. If you are one of the 1% of Australians who live in a coverage area where only Telstra offers service, you need to go with Big T. Recent moves for a national roaming deal suggest that even this scant advantage will soon be gone for Telstra.
  • Content :
    Telstra’s size gives then an advantage when they are signing up the rights to sports ‘properties’ like the AFL or NRL. The number of customers Telstra has means that the cost per customer is smaller, in the negotiation of these deals. Telstra’s content!
  • Telstra’s Online Self Service Capabilities – 24×7 :
    Telstra have an impressive suite of Self Service capabilities available through their website and / or Self Service App – 24 x 7. The ability to self service can save you hours of waiting on their queues for unsatisfactory service from their call center.
  • They’ve copied Optus on the ‘Add a GB for $10’ :
    Telstra didn’t originate the idea but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea. As with Optus Telstra and now, even Vodafone, if you exceed your plan’s data usage, you will be charged $10 to upgrade your entitlement to include one additional GB. In theory, it’s great. It’s certainly an improvement on what preceded it ( exorbitant $30 – $100 per GB data charges ) but, if you get upgraded to an extra GB a day or two before your plan renews, a lot of it goes to waste.
  • They’ve copied Vodafone on the daily charge for Global Roaming :
    These days, for a fixed daily fee, you can use your Telstra phone overseas. Be careful on data usage, Telstra’s terms for this offer component are not as good as Vodafone’s. However, to the degree they could, Telstra have mimicked Vodafone ad reduced their lead in this area.

 

Cons Of Telstra

  • Price :
    Telstra are significantly more expensive than the alternatives. No shit. They tend to charge $10 / $15 per month more for access to their network but …..
  • They’ve had a bunch of embarrassing outages :
    Telstra has, as you cannot have missed, suffered a number of embarrassing network outages.
  • They cover only 2% more of the population than Optus or Vodafone. :
    This is the key reason we don’t recommend Telstra. As we’ve seen from the coverage statistics we’ve included above, Telstra are not exactly what they claim to be. Telstra cover only a couple of percent more of the population with their 3G signal. The 4G coverage footprint they offer is almost identical to Optus and Vodafone. We receive hundred of thousands of visitors to this site. For one or two percent of them, who live in the extra bit of Australia which Telstra and only Telstra cover, then Telstra makes sense. The right answer is obvious and they need to pay the increased monthly premium that Telstra charge. For the vast, vast majority, however, Optus, Vodafone or a smaller phone company SIM will work just fine. And they’re all cheaper.

 

Telstra Comparison Review Articles

Click the links below for a more detailed comparison between any two of the top Australian phone companies.

 

Optus

What’s good about Optus?

The main reason to choose Optus these days is if you want a decent value plan with entertainment options like streamed music or TV.

Optus have a smaller number of customers than Telstra. Their 22.3% market share adds up to a total of 9.4 customers.

Optus’ 3G network extends to 1.2 square miles, or 98.50% of the Australian population. Their 4G customers, all 4.45 million of them can roam around Australia using the optus 4G network which covers 96% of the Australian population .

Launched to compete with Telstra, it’s fair to say that Optus have followed them in large part, for the last few years. In mid 2013, however, they did something interesting. Optus went a new way. They offered minutes, instead of included value in a Cap. Now they, like most phone companies offer plans which have unlimited minutes and SMS in Australia.

  • They have the English Premier League :
    As we saw above, Optus are in the process of reinventing themselves. They want to be your entertainment partner as well as your phone company. The main reason to choose Optus these days is if you want a decent value plan with entertainment options like streamed music or TV.
  • Their Unlimited Plans Are Easier To Understand :
    Previously, when comparing phones, people had to divide the number of calls they made every month, by the length of call and cost per minute, in order to work our how long they could talk per dollar. That was all a bit hard so they ended up just comparing cap ‘included values’ which was misleading because what was included in each cap was different. Unlimited plans take away the complexity and allow you to compare the data inclusions and all important network quality statistics.
  • No Bill Shock :
    Since Optus’ price plans automatically roll you over to a bigger bundle when you’ve used what you’re entitled to, it’s simply not possible to blow your bundle and end up with an enormous bill. For domestic usage, anyway.
  • Device Only / Device Outright Sales :
    Optus have also started recognizing the change towards SIM Only sales by offering handset purchase outright. They were the first Australian telco to do it. Of course, there are alternatives, including buying new or second hand phones from eBay or Kogan overseas.
  • They’ve copied Vodafone on Global Roaming :
    Vodafone stole the marketing lead on having an international price per day to use your phone overseas as you would in Australia. Optus have copied it. They can’t always match the pricing or the number of destinations but if you’re stuck with Optus, they’re doing their best to. Unfortunately, ( for them ) Vodafone has a presence outside Australia which really helps them with this one.
  • Good Self Service facilities :
    Optus has a Self Service Application for Android and IOS and a broad array of Self Service capabilities available through their online store.

 

Cons Of Optus

  • Stepped Value :
    If you understand Optus’ new pricing structure then you realize that Optus will automatically move you up to a higher value price plan if you exceed your data usage allowance. This is great for avoiding bill shock. However, it may mean you don’t get the full value out of your plan. Imagine if, the day before your monthly bill cycle renews, you were moved to the new, higher inclusion. You wouldn’t have the chance to use it all before the billing cycle reset. You would have paid more without getting the benefit. The best way to avoid this is to carefully manage your usage using the ‘My Account’ app from Optus. It’s free to download from iTunes and Google Play.

 

Optus Comparison Review Articles

Click the links below for a more detailed comparison between any two of the top Australian phone companies.

 

Vodafone

What’s good about Vodafone?

Vodafone are competing against the tier 1 phone companies but they don’t have the same value adds ( e.g. streamed TV ). We suggest you strongly consider Kogan mobile for your SIM plan instead. They use the same Vodafone network and they’re much cheaper.

Vodafone have made enormous efforts to turn around the perception of their network since it got to its worst in 2011. They’ve been extremely successful although it is taking some time for Australians to catch on. One great example of the improvement is the strength of confidence in this Vodafone TV advert from a while ago.

Vodafone have a 14.8% market share in Australia, the smallest of the 3 main phone companies. This amounts to 5.3 million customers.

Vodafone’s 3G signal covers 0.5 million square miles or 96.00 % of the population. 4G coverage is relatively small : 96% of metro area . 2.0 million customers are using it.

  • Network Guarantee :
    Vodafone are so confident in their network that they’re prepared to sell you the phone, let you use it for 30 days to see how coverage is in your area and refund you if it doesn’t work out. They upgraded the name of the scheme to the Network Happiness Guarantee in 2016. We have written extensively on the subject in this article.
  • They have massively improved their 4G network :
    In Mid 2013, Vodafone launched their 4G network. The area they cover is restricted to the major metropolitan areas at the moment but their network sharing agreement with Optus should see that grow quickly. Vodafone have 2.0 4G customers, compared to their overall base of 5.3 million customers. From the start of 2016, Vodafone’s 3G network coverage improved and their 4G network increased to cover 95.3% . That’s coverage with a 4G signal for 23 million people ! Remember, Optus’ 4G network covers 96% of the Australian population . That’s a huge step for Vodafone !
  • Global Reach and $5 a day roaming :
    Vodafone have finally made use of the fact that they are part of the world’s second largest telecommunications company and launched an international roaming proposition. For $5 a day, you can call home, as much as you like, from NZ, the UK and the USA and an ever expanding range of destinations. Their competitors have copied the principal even if they can’t match the pricing or number of countries involved. Global Roaming is now a strong differentiator in Vodafone’s favour.
  • Online Deals :
    Still hungrier than the other Australian Telcos for customers after so many left in 2012 / 2012, Vodafone offers better online deals than their major rivals. You’ll see one month free and a GWP – Gift With Purchase on the Vodafone online store more than anywhere else. To you, that can often mean the best price in market for that particular phone.
  • High Definition Voice :
    Not necessarily a game changer for most but a good innovation element for Vodafone which hasn’t been praised enough. If you have a phone capable of High Def voice on the Vodafone Network and you call someone else on the Vodafone Network who also has one, you’ll experience High Definition Voice. Here’s their video to explain.

 

Cons Of Vodafone Australia

  • They don’t have entertainment options :
    You can see in some of our recent Vodafone comparison articles that Vodafone just doesn’t have the content chops that Telstra and Optus do. Vodafone are competing against the tier 1 phone companies but they don’t have the same value adds ( e.g. streamed TV ). We suggest you strongly consider Kogan mobile instead. They use the same network and they’re much cheaper.
  • Explaining how much Vodafone have improved :
    In our view, the worst thing about being with Vodafone these days is explaining to people just how much they have changed. The reality is that the gap between Vodafone and the other phone companies on network was never as big as people thought it was. The problem was always more PR than reality. With the latest Vodafone network statistics, now, a number of independent sources have confirmed the improvement. Unlike even a few years ago, it’s possible to convince people that Vodafone is worth a look. And their customer acquisition numbers show this clearly.

 

Vodafone Comparison Review Articles

Click the links below for a more detailed comparison between any two of the top Australian phone companies.

 

Virgin Mobile

What’s good about Virgin Mobile?

Virgin suffer because they’re a subsidiary of Optus. The Optus marketing, plans and strategy teams spend all their time thinking about growing the mothership. Virgin gets left behind.

It’s a while now since they changed their positioning. Back in mid 2013, Virgin Mobile updated their brand to adopt a more mature persona. What Virgin have in market now is a more modern, sexier, more grown up and more Virgin facade.

Virgin have re-positioned themselves from a mobile company which happens to be branded Virgin to a Virgin company which happens to sell mobile phones. Virgin Mobile used to regularly have the happiest customers in Australian telco. Unfortunately, they’ve fallen from grade, pipped to the post by Amaysim. Virgin Mobile use the Optus 4G network – all Optus stats reported above apply exactly equally to Virgin Mobile.

Here are the main benefits of choosing Virgin Mobile, starting with a quick summary of what you should focus on when (if ) you get in to the detail.

  • Great Pricing :
    Virgin Mobile’s plans have some of the best value available in market. Check out their pricing on the WhatPhone homepage.
  • They use the Optus network :
    Virgin Mobile Australia is wholly owned by Optus in Australia. Virgin customers get the very same network that Optus customers get. That includes Optus 4G coverage and speeds.
  • Virgin Benefits :
    Virgin offer their customers a range of additional plan features, which many of the other Australian phone companies don’t. Virgin Benefits include :
  • Free Voicemail Retrieval :
    Free Virgin To Virgin calls ( and texts, in Australia ) which can be handy if friends, family or partner are also with Virgin – or are planning to be.
  • Included International Calls :
    You can call different countries from inside Australia using the value in your cap – which no other Australian phone company offers under contract.
  • (Data rollover ) Rollover Unused Credit :
    If you have a month where you don’t use much, it’ll roll over to the next month so you can use it then !
  • Virgin Perks :
    The Virgin brand has components which sell everything from wine to credit cards. Signing up with Virgin Mobile Australia gives you exclusive access to special deals with other Virgin entities. The thinking goes : If you love Virgin Mobile, then you probably love other Virgin brands and will value these specials.

 

Cons Of Virgin Mobile

  • Their value adds don’t add much value :
    Virgin suffer because they’re a subsidiary of Optus. The Optus marketing, plans and strategy teams spend all their time thinking about growing the mothership. Virgin gets left behind. We think Data Rollover is a crock but Virgin had it first. Optus ripped it off and added it to their prepaid plans. Virgin’s benefits meant a lot a couple of years ago. At the time, phone plans included a few hundred minutes and a small amount of data. Free voicemail retrieval and free Virgin to Virgin meant something when the competition didn’t offer them.

 

Virgin Mobile Comparison Review Articles

Click the links below for a more detailed comparison between any two of the top Australian phone companies.

 

Alternatives – smaller phone companies : Get the best value with smaller phone companies

A large number of brands working against each other to secure your phone spend has led to extremely strong competition between Australian phone companies.

The down side of this, however, is that, when your contract comes up for renewal, you have to go through the process of establishing the right phone company to sign up with.

There can too often be a bewildering array which includes much choice. As well as the core ‘tier 1’ networks, there are a host of network resellers known as MVNOs.

 

Australian network resellers have the best SIM Only / Prepaid Plan deals:

MVNO is an industry term to describe companies like Amaysim and Virgin Mobile. They’re also called Smaller Phone Companies or Network Resellers.

You have almost certainly heard of at least some of these phone companies. Their reputation, size, strength and branding is becoming far more common in Australia. Amaysim, Virgin Boost Mobile and OVO Mobile are all good examples.

Australian MVNOs or Mobile Virtual Network Operators now offer the best value SIM only deals in Australia – if what you’re looking for is voice and minutes ( which is what most people want. )

 

Summing up Australian phone companies:

There is a lot of negativity in the Australian press and among Australians in general about telcos. All the noise probably doesn’t paint the most accurate picture possible. Here, in our view, is what’s really happening.

People have figured out that getting themselves a SIM Only deal and adding a phone can save them a heap of money. They are deserting contracts in droves. To keep their customers, big phone companies are investing huge sums in content so people can watch sport, TV + movies and listen to internet radio on their phones.

As we’ve seen in this article, that gives you a choice. If you love these entertainment options, choose Optus. With them, you get the content and you don’t pay for coverage you don’t use. If you like the value adds that Virgin have, buy from Virgin. They’re a great brand with great customer service and they have a lot of features in their plans that others don’t.

And, if you are one of a rising number of people who just want a SIM plan with voice, data and SMS in them, consider a smaller phone company. We’ve given you a few examples on this page ( both in the article and the table above. )

 

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