Telstra Network Providers

telstra network providers

MVNOs are network providers

If you’re in the market for a cheap phone plan, then a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) is worth a look. MVNOs are smaller phone companies that resell the major telcos’ networks. Because they don’t have significant overhead costs, they can offer simple, straightforward SIM plans for bargain prices.

The best part is that just because MVNOs offer cheap plans doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice network quality. That’s because they typically use the same mobile networks as the major telcos so you can expect similar coverage.

However, Telstra is the only primary network provider that resells a different network to its MVNOs. The Telstra Wholesale Network doesn’t offer as comprehensive a coverage as the whole Telstra network, but even that coverage is so expansive that you likely wouldn’t notice the difference.

If you’re looking for MVNOs that serve as the best Telstra network providers, this post is for you. Read on to find out which MVNOs provide access to the Telstra network at a lower price than Telstra.

Why choose the Telstra Network?

Here are a few reasons why Telstra is the largest telco in Australia and why you should be interested in MVNOs that resell their mobile network:

  • Telstra has the widest 5G network in Australia. The telco’s 5G network covers over 75% of the population, and we expect it to grow even more in the coming years as the 5G rollout continues.
  • The Telstra network offers 4G coverage to 99.4% of the Australian population, with 4G infrastructure in 16,000 towns and cities.
  • Telstra is also king in regional Australia, offering the broadest 3G coverage to people who would otherwise be without any mobile network at all. The telco is increasing its regional coverage, allowing even those in the most rural parts to access 4G data.
  • Telstra has partnered with OneWeb to launch a mobile satellite network in the future, so Australians who don’t live anywhere near a 4G or 5G tower can still access non-WiFi internet.

Telstra plans VS. MVNO plans

The direct way to use the Telstra network is to purchase a Telstra SIM plan. The telco offers prepaid and upfront plans using their full network, including 3G, 4G, and 5G plans. The key differences between a Telstra plan and an MVNO reselling the Telstra network involve extras, price, and coverage.

  • Extras
    Telstra plans come with perks typical MVNO plans won’t offer you, even if they resell the Telstra network. For instance, a Telstra SIM-only plan offers entertainment features and apps, eSIM support, and 5G access. Most MVNOs reselling the Telstra network does not provide such features.
  • Price
    Telstra plans are generally more expensive than MVNO plans. For instance, while a Telstra SIM-only plan costs between $59 and $89, you’ll find some MVNOs reselling the Telstra network for under $11 per month.
  • Coverage
    Telstra plans use the whole Telstra network, while most MVNOs resell the Telstra Wholesale Network. Telstra’s full network covers 99.4% of the population, while the Telstra Wholesale Network covers 98.8%.

Telstra resellers / MVNOs

Earlier, we described MVNOs as smaller phone companies reselling major telcos’ networks. They do not own any mobile phone infrastructure; instead, they buy bulk access to mobile network infrastructure from major telcos like Telstra, Optus, and TPG Telecom (Vodafone) and resell that access to customers through simple and, in most cases, cheaper SIM plans.

Here are some popular MVNOs that resell the Telstra network:

  • Boost Mobile
    Boost is the only MVNO that resells the full Telstra network. It is also the only Telstra MVNO that offers 5G plans. They sell 28-day expiry prepaid plans ranging from $20 to $70, including 5GB to 130GB of data. They also offer 7-day and 12-month plans, along with data packs.
  • Belong
    Belong is a fully digital phone company that resells part of the Telstra network. They offer postpaid, month-to-month plans ranging from $25 to $45, including 20GB to 100 GB of data.
  • Pennytel
    Pennytel resells cheap plans through the Telstra Wholesale Network, ranging from $10.99 to $59.99 per month, including 1GB to 60GB of data.
  • Other phone companies that are Telstra network providers include ALDIMobile, NuMobile, and Woolworths Mobile, and more.

Conclusion

Besides Telstra, only one phone company can genuinely claim to be a full Telstra network provider – Boost Mobile, the only MVNO authorised to resell the whole Telstra network. Boost Mobile also sells 5G plans on the Telstra network, making them the first MVNO to do so. However, keep in mind that coverage is the critical difference between the full and the Telstra Wholesale Network. The former covers 99.4% of the Australian population, while the latter covers 98.8%. Because the difference is minimal, check out other Telstra network providers to get the best deal.

Neil Aitken

Having worked in 3 countries for 4 telcos on both voice and data products, Neil is in a position to give you the inside track. Get beyond the marketing messages to the best plan for you.