Australian Unlimited Plans – Everything you need to know
If you chat ten to the dozen all day long and your fingers are on fire from the amount of text messages you send then the chances are that you want an Unlimited mobile plan. It can be hard to choose the best plan on the market as there are so many companies that offer Unlimited plans – at the last count there were at least 18. Almost every phone company offers unlimited plans in some form. As a result, it’s going to take a fair amount of effort to sift through the details so we have done the hard yards for you.
The growing importance and prevalence of unlimited plans is significant in itself. Unlimited plans reflect the broader tide of Australian sentiment away from expensive phone plans to something more price contained – with just the right amount of data included. Voice and SMS are now such commoditised features in phone company plans that they are being given away. In late 2015, both Vodafone and Optus recalibrated their prepaid and postpaid plan range to start at $30 per month. Both Vodafone and Optus now provide unlimited SMSs and voice minutes on all their plans across every time of charging mechanism they have. Telstra, of course, remain the exception. You’ll have to look hard but if you do, you’ll find some non-unlimited plans in the Telstra range.
Read on to discover the best ‘Unlimited plans’ on the market.
What are Unlimited plans?
An unlimited plan is one which gives you an unlimited allocation of at least one phone company service. By far the most common example is an unlimited voice and SMS plan ( where the unlimited voice and SMS components are for use in Australia only. )
There are other sorts of unlimited plan though. There are unlimited plans available with unlimited SMS, unlimited national talk and / or unlimited international talk. There are no unlimited data plans available in Australia at this time although, historically, there have been times when you could get one.
As we say, the most common form of unlimited plans give you complete freedom for talking and texting. For obvious reasons ( cost ) unlimited inclusions are usually constrained to calls / SMS within Australia. The usual format is that you pay a monthly fee and get:
- Infinite Talk time :
Unlimited talk time when calling mobiles and landlines in Australia
- As many SMSs as you want :
Unlimited texts / SMS’s to send to any mobile number in Australia
- An allowance for data :
This changes depending on plan and is not unlimited. You’ll see options for anything from 200 MB to 15 GB per month. Some providers, notably Boost Mobile, offer extra data on the weekend.
There are plenty of other considerations when hunting out the best Unlimited plan such as
- Do I trust the company ? Have they got good customer service?
- Can I get the plan on a month to month basis to give me freedom rather than a contract?
- Is calling my voicemail unlimited or do I have to pay extra?
- Are calls to Directory Assistance included or do I have to pay extra?
- Are 13, 15, 1300, 1800 numbers included or do I have to pay extra?
- Are MMS’s included in the unlimited text category?
- Are video calls included in the unlimited call category?
- What do I pay for international calls, texts?
- What do I pay when making calls from overseas?
- Are calls and texts truly unlimited or are there hidden terms and conditions?
We’ll guide you through the best Unlimited plans and help answer some of these questions for you.
|Mobile Phone Company||Voice & SMS||Data||Network|| |
Optus 3G + 4G Plus
Optus 3G + 4G Plus
Optus 3G + 4G Plus
Optus 3G + 4G Plus
Vodafone 3G + 4G
Why would I want an Unlimited plan?
Unlimited plans have gained popularity in recent years. An Unlimited plan sounds amazing – who wouldn’t want the freedom to gossip all day long on the phone with no bill shock?! In reality the introduction of these phone plans hardly changed behavior. People didn’t suddenly make more phone calls. Instead it just allowed the phone companies to charge higher headline rates with minimal extra traffic on their networks! Genius. Lately the price of the Unlimited plans have come down and they are good value if you talk and text in huge proportions!
With data an ever more important feature in plans, the focus of the big phone companies has turned towards selling GB ( data ) instead of minutes. The results manifested in Australia’s unlimited plans in 2015. Within a few days of each other, Vodafone and Optus switched their minimum plan size to $30 and gave away unlimited minutes and SMS in every single plan, prepaid and postpaid, for both companies. The only way to tell the difference between their plans now, is to compare the data allowances. We show below how this has opened up some amazing deals.
Since then, this unlimited plan focus ( with every plan having an unlimited voice and SMS base ) has led to shared data plans and data rollover, neither of which is a good idea if you ask us.
Unlimited plans are great because
Unlimited plans have become some of Australia’s biggest sellers. Their uptake accounts at least in part for reduction in complaints to the industry regulator, the TIO The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman ), about the charging that phone companies have imposed on their customers. Unlimited plans are popular with the public because :
- They get predictable costs :
Calls and texts are unlimited, no busting through an allowance and being charged for overage. This means NO BILL SHOCK!
- Frees you to to talk as much as you want to :
It gives you the freedom to make calls and send texts with no worries. It unlocks the ‘chat’ in you!
- No contract required :
You can get SIM only Unlimited plans on a month to month basis so there is no need to commit to an expensive 12 or 24 month contract.
- Prepay and postpaid options :
There are post-paid and pre-paid options so however you want to pay, you can find one to suit you.
- Budget options are available :
Shop around the budget deals and you can get amazing deals from 3G phone companies with unlimited plans for under $30 per month.
- There are plans out there with unlimited calls to international destinations too :
Make sure you check Lebara out if this is something you’re after.
Who would want an Unlimited plan?
Unlimited plans suit people who :
- Spend a lot of time on the phone : There are always users of any service who are above the average. Whether you’re a small business owner, chatty man, always in love on the phone with your other half or a taxi driver who calls his friends when he’s driving, if you have above average usage patters, you should be considering an unlimited plan.
- Want the reassurance that they will not get a bill bigger than they expected : The predictability of charges associated with phone service use are a key component of what many people buy. When the system breaks and users get phone bills which are ( substantially ) more than they were expecting, the result is called bill shock. Bill shock is a key determinant of
- Avid SMSers : SMS has been replaced for some with the arrival of WhatsApp. However, for the proportion of society who still engage with others outside the WhatsApp sphere, unlimited SMS are a worthwhile plan feature. If you send texts every day, you may well want to consider a plan with an unlimited inclusion.
If this sounds like you then let us help you find the best value Unlimited plan. Here are our top choices….
How can I get the cheapest unlimited plan in Australia
For many Australians, phones are a tool to help them talk, not a connection to the internet which runs their life for them. If you are slightly different to the cutting edge mainstream of phone users, there’s a trick you can use to get the cheapest unlimited plan in Australia. 3G data is cheaper than faster 4G data. It’s also offered on a number of unlimited plans, drawing their cost down. Here are the people who might be able to benefit :
- Feature phone users :
If you have any kind of feature phone, you’re likely to be able to make use of this phone company back door and get a cheaper unlimited plan. Flip phones or older candy bars for example, accept the same SIMs but can only use the slower data speeds.
- Older phone users :
Those who have received a slightly older phone which is 3G rather than 4G enabled, the same benefit applies. Older phones, including iPhones up to the iPhone 4S simply needed 3G SIMs which are relatively inexpensive to run. The irony is that, as early adopters move on to newer phones and the newer 4G networks, the older 3G networks get faster.
- Those prepared to take slow data :
If you have a 4G phone and are prepared to insert a 3G SIM in to it, you to can get the cheaper SIM.