OVO Mobile Recharge
Review and Comparison

  • Incredible niche content inclusions - mostly free!
  • Generous prepaid data options across the range
  • Australian based customer service
  • They always offer their best pricing to existing customers

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Competitors You Should Consider

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What is the OVO Mobile ‘Expiry’ / Recharge Window / Recharge Validity Window ?

OVO Mobile’s recharge window is 30 days. As we cover in the article below on this page, that’s an unusual ( and advantageous ) recharge validity period.

Most of the phone companies ( and all of the major providers ) changed their recharge validity window to just 28 days mid-2016. Vodafone has since moved to a 35-day window, though.

It might not sound like much, but the expiry makes a big difference to the number of times you will have to recharge during the year. Do the math – it’ll save you a couple of recharges a year.

With what denominations can I recharge my OVO Service ?

You can recharge your service with any Australian dollar amount you want to.

Of course, it usually makes sense, when working out the recharge value you want to add, to have an understanding of the cost of your prepaid plan each month. If you have a prepaid plan which costs, let’s say $29.95 per month, you’ll probably want to recharge with that amount every recharge validity period.

What is a Recharge Auto-renewal and how does it work ?

Auto-renewal is the easy way to make sure your OVO Mobile Prepaid Plan is always ready to work for you.

If you do not recharge your prepaid plan each month, you’ll run out of credit and your ability to use the service will stop.

The alternative is to recharge your service and you have 2 ways of doing that.

  1. You can perform a manual recharge by logging in to My Account and picking a denomination ( e.g. $50 ) which will be added to your account balance once.
  2. You could log in to the same facility and set up an automated recharge. The automated version just means you don’t have to log in each month to manually recharge – it’s done automatically for you by their systems.

How can I top my service up and make international calls ?

OVO customers can top up their service (with a $ amount) in their ‘my account’ online Self Service facility,

OVO Mobile have options to ‘Top Up’ the service with an international plan inclusion. Rates aren’t as good as those offered by some of the smaller phone companies, so if you’re doing this regularly, make sure you shop around for the best international call rates.

What’s included in my OVO Mobile Recharge ?

OVO’s recharge includes unlimited standard national calls and SMS to Australian numbers, and ‘OVO Time’ – the facility that allows you to watch their niche content, which includes the Chinese Soccer League (CSL) and a variety of motor and other sports. ( New customers are provided an app – it’s called ‘OVOPlay’ – which lets them stream the content to their phone ). Most video content are free, except for Pay-Per-View content on premium channels which start from $2.99 for a 7-day access.

Your OVO recharge does not, by default, include the facility or value to allow calls to international numbers ( you’ll need a top up for that. ) The same goes for roaming entitlements. If you want to make calls or use data while you are overseas, you’ll need to ‘top up’ with the right bundle in their online self service facility.

OVO Mobile’s plans / recharges do not include calls to premium / 1900 numbers.

Do OVO Mobile have an app which lets me recharge my prepaid service ?

Yes. Anyone can download the app, for free from either the Google Shop or Apple App Store. OVO upgrades the app all the time. This year, customers are now able to register for more content (Pay Per View) for hardcore fans of the Chinese Soccer League, Badminton World Federation, and 400 Thunder.

When does my auto-recharge kick in ?

Your auto-recharge will be turned on by default when you get your OVO service.

Your service will auto-renew every 30 days from the point of activation. In non-telco talk, that means that you don’t have to worry about recharging – it’s done for you by a system and the system starts when you start to use your new OVO phone service.

Remember, your date of purchase and date of service acquisition are not the same thing. See the article on this page if you need more details about this one.

Does OVO Mobile charge per kB or per MB for their data.

OVO Mobile are one of the good guys when it comes to charging for data. They treat an MB as 1024 kB ( that’s the textbook definition, but, if you can believe it, not everyone follows it, some use 1000 MB in a GB ! )

OVO also charge in per kB chunks, rather than per MB chunks. It might not sound like much but it can make a big difference to how quickly you use your data. Anecdotally, we hear you get through your data as much as twice as fast if charging is per MB rather than per kB.

What's good

  • Powered by the Optus 3G and 4G Network
  • Generous data options for the price point
  • Keep existing phone number - bring it with you
  • Australian customer service
  • Includes free entertainment with content partners
  • Free SIM and SIM Delivery

What's bad

  • Limited retail presence
  • Slow SIM deivery
  • Content not right for everyone

 

Introduction – the key points about OVO Mobile Recharges

  • OVO Mobile is a new type of disruptive phone company.
  • Get a recharge from OVO mobile, and they will provide you with mostly free streaming for video and audio content – as part of that plan. Newly added PPV content incur additional charges.
  • We tell you exactly what content OVO includes in their plans, below.
  • You’ll get this entertainment alongside the phone service you get from them
  • OVO’s core voice, SMS, and data plans use the Optus 3G + 4G networks.
  • They have data bundles for normal phones and SIM-enabled tablet plans and computers too.
  • If you love motorsports, Australian gymnastics, eSports or any of the other entertainment products OVO offers, then our suggestion is that you look no further than OVO Mobile.
  • Read on to find out the reasons we think OVO is a good bet for your money.

OVO won the WhatPhone award for 'Best for Large Mobile Data Bundles’

OVO won the WhatPhone award for ‘Best for Large Mobile Data Bundles’

This Month’s Hot Offers

$ 9.95

/month VIEW PLAN
SMS
Unlimited
Data
2GB
Contract
Recharge every 30 days.
Network
3G + 4G Plus from Optus

$ 10.00

/month VIEW PLAN
SMS
Unlimited
Data
5GB
Contract
Recharge every 5 days.
Network
Optus

$ 20.00

/month VIEW PLAN
SMS
Unlimited
Data
20GB =10GB+10GB bonus on first 3 recharges.
Contract
28 days
Network
4G from Telstra

$ 30.00

/month VIEW PLAN
SMS
Unlimited
Data
35GB data on first 3 recharges.
Contract
Recharge every 28 days.
Network
Optus

OVO – Best for Large Mobile Data Bundles

Mobile broadband has come of age. For many, mobile broadband offers a solution to their broadband needs that doesn’t suffer from some of the negatives of having a fixed broadband connection. (For example, when they move house, fixed broadband users have to pay a fee, mobile users do not.) Price drops in the cost of mobile data throughout 2016, 2017, and 2018 mean that average broadband data usage needs can now be met with an affordable large mobile data bundle.

Last year, we (WhatPhone) decided to confer an award for Large Mobile Data Bundles, as our analysis revealed that Mobile Broadband Plans have become a material part of the market. Forecasts for growth in the area are bullish, accentuated by NBN installation problems which make stable, reliable, high-speed mobile network connections even more desirable. OVO won that award.

OVO is driving innovative changes in the mobile network market. In addition to providing customers with an internationally acclaimed app and many free data offers for sports such as Australian Drag Racing, OVO also slashes the prices of its mobile data bundles once every six months or so and passes those reductions on (most of the time.)

 

OVO Mobile Recharges

OVO Mobile is the most disruptive phone company in Australia. Here’s what you’ll get on top of data bundles and voice minutes when you get a SIM.

  • OVO Mobile Recharges have a 30-day ‘expiry’ / validity period :
    OVO recharges work in the same way pretty much any recharge from any telco does. OVO is bit fairer with their recharges than a lot of the competition. OVO’s recharge window (some people call this prepaid expiry) is 30 days. Almost all of the other phone companies changed their recharge window to 28 days. It might not sound like much of a difference, but the duration of the recharge validity is almost certainly the key variable which will determine the value you get from your plan. If you have a 30 day recharge window, you’ll need to recharge 13 times a year; with a 28 day recharge, you’ll need to recharge 14 times a year.
  • They have a self service app – which doubles as a free content portal :
    OVO has a self service app for both Android and IOS. Self Service apps are, in our view, the best way to manage your plan and recharges. You can do everything you want to in there – recharge, buy extras, etc. Some functionality requires that users go in to OVO’s website self-service portal – including changing the plan you’re on. OVO’s app is actually incredibly smart. It’s packed with AI which will recommend the video content that might appeal to you, at a time it knows you are more likely to watch it. OVO signed the Chinese Soccer League as a content partner, and now offer special Pay Per View content through the app.
  • Auto-recharge is turned on by default :
    Your plan will be topped up automatically for you each recharge period. You can change this for your plan by logging in to MyAccount ( their online Self-Service facility, available through the website ) and changing your settings in the OVO Mobile recharge area. Remember, your auto activation occurs every 30 days from the date of activation ( that’s when you start using it ), not purchase. So, if you bought your service on the first of the month but it took a few days to get to you and then it stays on your coffee table until the 10th before you activated it, your auto-recharges will happen every 30 days on the 10th.
  • Top Ups :
    If you run low on data, want to make international calls or send SMS from your Australian phone, or roam overseas with your Australian prepaid phone, you will need some form of OVO top up. You can get these online as well, through the self-service portal ‘My Account’.
  • The things your recharge can’t run out of :
    OVO Mobile’s plan range and recharge options are easier to understand than most. Since their plans include unlimited Australian SMS and calls to Australian numbers ( except premium – e.g. 19 numbers ) you will always be able to use those services. You can’t run out so long as your recharge window is valid. The same goes for OVO time, the element of their service you can use to get hold of the Motorsport content, Australian Gymnastics and other entertainment content which is so important to OVO customers.

 

What’s good about OVO Mobile’s Recharges + Plans

OVO Mobile are Powered by the Optus 3G and 4G Network

  • Price Match Promise :
    OVO will be passing along these pricing reductions to their existing customer base as well as offering them to new customers. This is a major departure from the usual telco ploys and offers another reason to sign up with the company. OVO will take this part of their proposition forward. In the future, whenever they raise the plan inclusions they offer, existing customers will get the benefit.
  • Strong network :
    The network that each phone company uses is the critical part of their service for most people. This is especially true for OVO, given the nature of their USP ( Unique Selling Point – the content. ) The Optus network is not just for the data you use in your phone plan anyway. It’s also your connection to the streamed content they provide as part of their core proposition.
  • Free access to content :
    OVO are famous for their content. At launch, they offered exclusive access to a host of sports content – including Motor Racing, Drag Racing, eSports, Gymnastics – and new content partners are being added every day. Additionally, OVO still holds a large back catalog of races, stored digitally and available for viewing at any time. They’re constantly adding new partners and have already included two new ones, including PPV content on premium channels like CSL, Badminton World Federation, and 400 Thunder for additional costs starting at $2.99 for a 7-day pass.
  • Common but still worth mentioning:
    • OVO offers free SIM delivery.
    • You can keep your existing phone number if you go to OVO.
  • OVO has Australian-based customer service:
    One of OVO’s great strengths is that they are fully Australian. That applies to everyone from the CEO to the support team you’ll speak to if you have a problem with your SIM. OVO’s Australian message matches their support for and investment in Australian content for Australian users. This may also simply be a feature of the fact they don’t have a huge scale yet which would justify investments in an off shore call center.

 

OVO’s SIM plans include free entertainment with content partners.

If you live in rural Australia or have been to an event recently, you might have seen OVO Mobile advertised at a Motorsport Race or Australian Gymnastics event. OVO have taken a unique position in the Australian market for prepaid recharge and offer content as part of their plans – although PPV content accrue additinoal charges. Here’s what you’ll get:

  • Motor Sport, Access to the Australian gymnastics :
    4 million people – a reported 40% of Australians – love Motorsport content. Having used their service myself, I can tell you OVO does it right. You get access to a back catalog of a variety of motor-sport races, in-car telemetry, exclusive interviews and a host of other video, through their free OVOPlay app. OVO have really thought through the content part of what they’re offering, as you might expect. They sign you up for access to their entertainment portal the minute they take your order. You don’t have to wait for the SIM to be delivered, you can get in straight away. OVO are always adding new content to their service, including a slightly smaller, although no less passionate, group of half a million Australians who follow gymnastics. You will get the same access, through the same OVOPlay app to gymnastic content from Gymnastic QLD.
  • You get access to a growing range of content sets :
    For now, the price of the plan you buy includes access to eSports, Australian Gymnastics and Motorsport content. We are told that at some point in the future this may change. At that point, users will be provided a choice of the content they want included in their plan, and the ability to pay more for content beyond their core interests. Some of these changes are already in effect, with PPV content on CSL, the newly added Badminton World Federation, and 4oo Thunder incurring aditional costs.
  • Content streaming is included and still mostly ‘data free’ :
    Perhaps the most important point of the content OVO offers in your prepaid recharge is that streaming most of it is included in your package. That does not mean it comes out of your plan’s data allowance. If your plan comes with 3GB of 3G and 4G data, you can use all of that to download Facebook content and watch cat videos, if you wish. While your SIM is active, however, you will be able to access and stream the Motorsport and Water Polo League content, for example. Click here to find out more about ‘data free’ inclusions in plans.
  • This is just the beginning :
    OVO intend to add more content to their offering throughout the year and are in negotiations to do so. They’re betting big on content and believe the whole market is moving that way. Given Optus’ recent news about including EPL ( English Premier League ) content in their plans with a similar ‘included’ approach, it appears they might be on to something.

 

Why is content important to me in a phone company ?

Content ( like the access to streamed Motor Racing and Drag Racing ) is an intelligent way to deal with the key issue facing phone companies at the moment. After 5 years of smart network investment, Vodafone’s 4G network is now about the same as Optus’ for coverage and speed. Independent research tells us Vodafone can actually be faster than either Optus or Telstra’s network in major metro areas.

The similarity of network providers means the phone companies have to set themselves apart in other areas. The result, a data price war with the phone companies fighting over themselves to include more GB in their plans. Nowhere has the battle been fought harder than in prepaid, with Optus offering more data than some of its network resellers – which is almost unheard of. This constant more-value-for-the-same-price fight is called, by some, a ‘race to the bottom’, and it’s not good if you’re one of the phone companies. ( It is good for you and me of course, especially those of us who like data and aren’t afraid to move phone companies. )

An alternative way to differentiate yourself ( instead of offering more and more data for free ) is to include something that the alternative phone companies don’t. That’s the route OVO Mobile have gone. In a world where we are centering our lives around mobile devices, the ability to provide streamed content ( especially those content which, as we’ve described above, do not come out of your plan ) offers a unique selling point and a talking point when dealing with customers. The content range is limited for now but OVO has a ‘continued commitment to expanding their content offering.’

They just need to get the message out. This is a significant change for the industry and it’s going to take most people some time to get used to it. Press releases such as those issued with the May 2016 announcement of their gymnastic content help, although most of it is now only available in a limited capacity via Gymnastic QLD. Content gives them cut-through and traction with customers. I personally am surprised we have not heard more from them in the press.

The competition around content obviously provides an advantage and investment into Australian sports bodies, clubs, and schemes. The thing about content that’s behind all of this is that people feel so strongly about it that they will leave their existing phone company to get it.

 

What’s bad ( or at least, what we don’t like ) about OVO Mobile’s Recharges + Plans

  • Slow SIM delivery :
    SIM delivery was slow when we ordered, which is a pain. In fairness, OVO mitigated this by offering access to their content before the SIM arrived. OVO have addressed this problem in some ways by making their SIM packs available in 7 Eleven stores and Australian Post Office outlets.
  • Not right for everyone :
    OVO’s content inclusions don’t float my boat. This type of content is not right for everyone. Let’s see what else they add.

This Month’s Hot Offers

$ 9.95

/month VIEW PLAN
SMS
Unlimited
Data
2GB
Contract
Recharge every 30 days.
Network
3G + 4G Plus from Optus

$ 10.00

/month VIEW PLAN
SMS
Unlimited
Data
5GB
Contract
Recharge every 5 days.
Network
Optus

$ 20.00

/month VIEW PLAN
SMS
Unlimited
Data
20GB =10GB+10GB bonus on first 3 recharges.
Contract
28 days
Network
4G from Telstra

$ 30.00

/month VIEW PLAN
SMS
Unlimited
Data
35GB data on first 3 recharges.
Contract
Recharge every 28 days.
Network
Optus

Summing up OVO Mobile Recharges

It is hard to remember when last I saw anything like this. Telcos change plan inclusions all the time. They do not ( so far as I know, anywhere in the world ) offer to price-match their own plans. That means that if you sign up with OVO, you don’t have to constantly monitor the market to make sure you’re getting a good deal.

OVO has always understood sports fans. Their motto exclaims it : #ForTheFans. Offering free data for the sports content they have on their site set them apart when they launched. Today, this content is still mostly free, with additional PPV content now being offered for additional costs. An increasing range of content options separates them further from the other Australian telcos.

Based on price and inclusion alone, everyone should be at least comparing these plans with the plans they were going to buy. They stand out on value, even if you are not a sports fan who is interested in the content.

OVO has a fiercely smart business model which is in the process of being well executed. The idea is so good, and they’re even funded behind the scenes by some smart investors. OVO’s management team really gets the market and the customer-need around content. Their plans, recharge, and inclusions are better value than what you’d expect from Optus themselves, and they use exactly the same network.