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Best Mobile Plans In Australia

By Will Ellis
Last Updated on November 16, 2023
Mobile Phone Plans

Generally speaking, whether you need to use them for staying connected, browsing the internet, or even so you can work, mobile phone plans are a pretty essential part of our daily lives, and we probably take how convenient they are for granted sometimes.

Still, throughout Australia, you’re actually a bit spoilt for choice in terms of the various options you have at your disposal when you’re choosing a mobile plan β€” whether you’re looking for cheap mobile plans, ones with huge data allowances, or even just something with a bit of both, the options are incredibly diverse.

So, to give you a bit more clarity and ultimately help you find the plan that’s right for whatever your specific preferences are.

We’re going to compare mobile phone plans within this article β€” as well as taking a look at things like their various pros and cons and how these plans actually work when put into practice.

Table of Contents:

What Are Mobile Phone Plans? πŸ“±οΈ

So, put simply, a mobile phone plan is basically a kind of subscription service that’s provided by telecommunications companies so that you’re able to do all the things you’re used to doing on your phone β€” think of things like making phone calls, sending text messages, or generally just accessing mobile data so that you’re able to browse the internet.

Now, while it’s generally pretty commonplace that you’re going to be able to make however many calls or texts that you could possibly need to with pretty much every mobile phone plan, the real differentiating factors are things like their data allowances, how much they cost per month, and how fast you can browse the internet with them.

In addition, it’s worth mentioning that depending on how much you end up paying per month (as this sort of thing is generally less expected with some of the cheaper options out there), you can also gain access to a bunch of additional perks such as the ability to make cheap international phone calls or gain automatic subscriptions to entertainment services like Netflix, for example.

For a bit more context, let’s dive a bit deeper and cover what exactly you can expect with mobile phone plans in general.

How Do Mobile Phone Plans Work? ➑️

Naturally, and with so many different options out there, you’re going to need some level of understanding of what makes a mobile phone plan good so that you’re able to make more of an informed decision when it comes to choosing.

Basically, at its core, a mobile plan covers various key components several key components:

Voice and Text Allocations

Generally speaking, you’re given a set limit at the start of each month for how many calls and texts you can make, but it’s worth mentioning that the majority of phone contracts give you unlimited of each β€” so long as they’re domestic.

Data Allowance

Of course, one of the main differences between mobile plans is how much data they provide you with each month β€” essentially referring to the total amount of mobile internet that you’re able to use within a particular billing cycle (usually around a month).

So, whether it’s basic social media browsing or streaming videos in high-definition, this data allowance is going to have an influence on a lot of your online activities whenever you’re not using Wi-Fi.

Network Coverage

Plans are usually tied to specific networks (as we’ll come onto later in the review section), and each of them has its own coverage areas.

As such, it’s vital to see if the specific provider you choose is going to have enough reach for your needs, especially if you travel a lot.

Additional Features

Beyond some of these more basic features, you’ll generally find that mobile service providers try to stand out from one another by offering a bunch of additional features, too β€” think of things like data rollover (meaning your unused data is carried over to the following month), family or group plans, and even certain kinds of entertainment subscriptions for streaming services.

Pros and Cons of Having a Mobile Phone Plan

Unfortunately, mobile plans still have their fair share of disadvantages despite all of the traits that make them so useful, so let’s walk through the main benefits and drawbacks before we get into the specific reviews:

Pros βœ”οΈ

  • Cost Savings β€” Once you move over to a plan instead of some of the more basic pay-as-you-go options out there, you’re generally able to avoid a lot of the high per-minute or even per-message charges that you’d normally find β€” not to mention that plans usually come with bundled services at a lower overall cost, so there are some huge opportunities for saving money here in general.
  • Convenience β€” Naturally, having a quality mobile phone plan means you’re always going to be connected, no matter where you are in the country. Having this level of connectivity can be absolutely huge, regardless of whether you’re a professional who has to keep in touch with clients or colleagues or you just need them to speak to friends.
  • Exclusive Features β€” As touched on earlier, a lot of phone plans also come with exclusive features β€” whether that’s options for international roaming or access to certain entertainment services at a massive discount.

Cons βœ–οΈ

  • Contractual Obligations β€” Though many of them work on a monthly basis instead, one of the major general downsides of mobile phone plans is the fact that they tend to come with fairly long-term contracts, generally ranging from around one to two years – naturally, this can be a bit restrictive as it’ll be a lot harder to switch providers or even just cancel the service without incurring any sort of penalties.
  • Overages and Excess Charges β€” Data allowances are definitely ideal, but keep in mind that you can rack up some pretty heavy charges if you end up exceeding them. So, just make sure you’re always keeping track of how much data you’ve used at any given moment if you want to avoid paying more than you expect to each month.

Best Mobile Phone Plans β€” Reviews πŸ“’οΈ

So, now that we’ve gone through all the background information that’s worth knowing about mobile plans in general, let’s walk through our top six choices for the most impressive ones you can sign up for in Australia.

In order to be a bit more diverse, the majority of the plans on this list will come with something fairly unique that makes them stand out from one another.

This means that while some of them may have things like unlimited data with their SIM only plans, others, like the first one we’ll be covering, will be a prepaid mobile phone plan that has a completely different set of benefits.

1. TPG β€” Prepaid Plans With 25GB of Data

As mentioned, we’ll be kicking things off here with one of the best prepaid mobile phone plans you can generally find in Australia, which is from TPG. Now, what makes TPG one of the most attractive options on this list is mainly to do with the price, as you’d be pretty hard-pressed to find a mobile plan out there that provides you with 25GB of data a month for so cheap.

Even if you look at it at face value, it’s got a regular price of about $25 per month, which, of course, is already pretty decent value for the amount of features it offers β€” good amount of data, etc.

Still, if you’re a new customer that’s only just getting started with TPG, it’s actually a way sweeter deal for your first six months of using the plan, as it’s half price at only $12.50 β€” making it an exceptionally cheap phone plan with rates you definitely won’t be able to find with the vast majority of other contracts out there.

Let’s walk through some of the pros and cons you’ll find with this contract in a bit more detail:

Pros βœ…οΈ

  • Very Cost Effective During Promo β€” It goes without saying that the main pull factor of this option is how cheap it is to use during the promo period β€” $12.50 for the first six months is obviously going to be hard to beat. Furthermore, even if once the promo period ends and you find it’s a bit too costly for your liking, you renew your plan every month, meaning you can always just find a new contract once the regular pricing kicks in.
  • Nice Amount of Data β€” In addition, it’s not like just because it’s a cheap contract that its features are going to suffer as a result β€” it comes with 25GB of data, which is more than generous considering the amount of money you’re going to be paying.

Cons ❌️

  • Costs More When You Make International Phone Calls β€” Moving onto the cons, although we’ve only really talked highly about TPG’s features thus far, one of the more notable drawbacks is definitely how much you’ll end up paying if you want to make international phone calls. So, if you are the kind of person that either has a lot of friends overseas or you just need to use the phone for business calls, etc., this probably isn’t the most cost-effective option compared to some of the other plans on this list. Having said that, you could always just use Wi-Fi if you really needed to do this, as you’d obviously be getting around these expenses so long as you’re not using your handset directly.
  • 5G Reach β€” Aside from the cost of making calls, it’s worth mentioning as well that TPG uses Vodafone as their main network, and while their network has definitely been improving over recent years, they’re not exactly leading the way in terms of their 5G coverage. As a result, if using the 25GB of data we mentioned isn’t really good enough for you at standard 4G, it’d be worth taking a look at some of the other carriers on this list that have a lot better 5G coverage.
  • Relatively Uninspiring After Promo β€” That $12.50 per month promo period we mentioned earlier is, of course, only a promotional period, so definitely keep in mind that the regular price of $25 per month is going to kick in after this and is generally not the most competitive option out there regarding prepaid plans in the market. That’s not to say it’s completely unaffordable or anything; it’s just not the best value once you consider things like how limited the 5G reach is and so on.

Prepaid Phone Plans

Generally speaking, the majority of phone plans out there (in general, not even just in Australia) aren’t prepaid, meaning they usually work on a contractual basis that lasts maybe around a year or two.

As a result, the concept of a prepaid phone plan might be a bit unfamiliar to anyone out there considering signing up for TPG’s plan here, so let’s go through a brief overview of what makes prepaid phone plans good or bad in general β€” depending on how you look at them.

The rest of the reviews on this list aren’t going to be as long as this, but it’s definitely worth spending a bit of extra time here to provide some more context on this section, given how unique prepaid plans are in general:

Pros βœ…οΈ

  • Cost Control β€” Firstly, because they work on a prepaid basis, you’ll mainly find that one of the best features about this is how predictable they are β€” meaning you’ve generally got a lot more control over your mobile expenses than you might otherwise. So, if you’re paying for your plan upfront at the start of the month, for instance, you’ll naturally not run into any surprises or any other kinds of overage charges.
  • No Contracts β€” As we mentioned earlier with the TPG contract, you actually renew your contract every month, and this is fairly typical with the majority of prepaid plans in general since you don’t often have to commit to any long-term contracts. As such, they’re definitely a lot more flexible as a whole since you’re able to switch carriers or plans as needed like you might once the aforementioned six-month promo plan expires.
  • No Credit Checks β€” Furthermore, unlike some of the other phone plans in Australia that we’ll be covering later on throughout these reviews, you’d typically never expect to have a credit check in order to use these plans, so they’re definitely a lot more accessible to anyone out there who has generally less than ideal credit histories.
  • No Bill Shocks β€” As touched on, you’re only ever able to use/spend the amount that you’ve preloaded onto your account at any given time, so you’d never really expect a randomly high bill for going over the amount of data you’ve been allotted (as it’s literally impossible to do so).
  • Wide Range of Plans β€” In general, everyone’s looking for something different out of their phone plan, which is exactly why there are so many options on the market. Fortunately, though, you’d generally find that prepaid carriers offer a variety of plans to suit different needs β€” whether you’re looking for a more mobile data-heavy plan or something that’s going to give you unlimited talk and text, you’ve got a pretty diverse set of options at your disposal with a prepaid plan in particular.

Cons ❌️

Let’s move on to some of the less desirable traits you might expect here:

  • Limited Perks β€” As opposed to postpaid plans, which generally make up the majority of phone contracts out there in Australia (and the rest of the world, too, for the matter), prepaid mobile plans tend to lack some of the more premium perks you’d find with a mobile phone provider β€” whether that’s things like free international roaming, entertainment subscriptions, or even unlimited standard national calls.
  • Data Rollover β€” In addition, though you shouldn’t exactly consider this as a blanket statement, certain prepaid plans, like TPG’s, for instance, don’t offer things like data rollover (which is one of the more premium perks we talked about in the last con), so if you don’t end up using every GB of your data by the end of the billing period, you’ll lose it as it won’t carry over into the next month.
  • International Roaming Costs β€” Generally speaking, certain prepaid plans out there do actually include international roaming options, but it’s worth mentioning that the vast majority of them are going to charge extra for things like international calls and data whenever you’re travelling.
  • Network Quality β€” As we made evident with this specific TPG prepaid mobile plan, the mobile network quality and coverage of these kinds of plans generally vary quite a bit, so it’s definitely worth researching each of them a little bit more beforehand so you can choose the carrier with the most consistent service in wherever you’re located in the country.

2. Belong β€” 5G Mobile Plans With 40GB of Data

Moving away from the prepaid plan that we went over in the last review, let’s take a look at Belong, which, unlike TPG, is a postpaid option instead, meaning that you basically pay differently each month for how much data you’re using. Now, one of the best things about this plan, in particular, is the fact that it runs on the Telstra 5G network, which comes with far more data per month β€” at around 40GB.

Again, what makes this phone plan stand out is the fact that unlike mobile service providers like TPG with incredibly limited 5G capabilities (given how poor the Vodafone network is for this sort of thing), the 5G aspect is the main benefit of this provider β€” reaching speeds of around 100Mbps, too, if you ever need to download anything in a hurry or simply just use the internet without any lagging.

Aside from this, though, you’re also able to carry over any of the data that you don’t use in one specific month when you’re using this contact. So, say in January that you didn’t really need to use the internet much and only burnt through around 10GB of data; you’d have an additional 30GB spare for February, taking you up to a massive 70GB of data per month β€” not a bad deal at all considering that the mobile plan only costs around $35 per month.

Having said all this, one thing that TPG did have as an advantage is the fact that it comes with a promotional period that halves the price for the first six months. Belong doesn’t actually have anything like this, so what you see with that $35, although it’s not the worst price in the world, is what you’ll be getting the whole time you use it.

Let’s wrap things up for Belong by recapping on a couple of the pros and cons associated with this provider:

Pros βœ…οΈ

  • Extensive Network Coverage β€” Given that it uses the Telstra network, which is definitely one of the most expansive networks throughout Australia, you can definitely expect pretty comprehensive coverage when you’re using this plan.
  • Exceptional Value β€” Generally speaking, this Belong is just great value for money β€” you’ve got a really impressive range of where you’re able to use 5G, and it’s all for the manageable price of $35 every month.
  • Data Rollovers β€” As touched on earlier, you’ve got what’s known as ‘unlimited data banking’ with this specific mobile plan, meaning that you’re always able to carry forward any of the unused data you have from the previous month. Naturally, this makes it one of the most flexible plans on this list, as you’re always able to ensure that you’re getting the absolute most out of your data allowances every month.

Cons ❌️

Having said all this, though, Belong definitely comes with a bunch of attractive features that make it one of the best options on this list, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a couple of downsides to consider at the same time, so let’s explore some of these as well:

  • Limited Prepaid Options β€” Belong actually only focuses on postpaid plans, so while there aren’t any kinds of contracts with this 40GB plan in particular, it doesn’t cater to anyone who prefers the level of flexibility that comes with a prepaid plan β€” not to mention that they’re a bit less convenient since you don’t always know how much you’ll end up paying each month.
  • Additional Charges for International Calls β€” Lastly (because there truthfully aren’t too many downsides of using this mobile plan in particular), it’s worth mentioning that, similar to TBG, anyone who needs to make quite a lot of international phone calls needs to be aware that there are a few extra charges for doing this kind of thing, which can definitely make that $35 a bit less attractive once they start stacking up.

3. Optus β€” Data Heavy Mobile Plans

Moving forward, Optus is definitely one of the most generous options on our list when it comes to the amount of data you’ll be getting β€” you’ll find it pretty hard to go over on the 500GB they provide you with each month. Though it’s a little bit pricier at $89 per month (with their Plus Promo Plan), one of the best parts about this mobile phone plan is that you’re avoiding all the speed limits that you’d typically find with contracts that offer ‘unlimited data’.

Essentially, and we’ll come onto this in more detail shortly, contracts with ‘infinite’ or ‘endless’ data do, in fact, give you all the data you could desire, but you’re able to use it at a far slower rate since they put a cap on your download speed, making them way less attractive than you’d think.

Fortunately, though, you don’t have this issue with Optus, and you’ve also got the option of making unlimited calls (you can make them to over 35 different countries, too) and texts, so this is definitely one of the more balanced phone plans out there.

Pros βœ…οΈ

  • Contract Flexibility β€” There are no contracts, so you’re able to make changes or switch providers whenever you want.
  • Data-Per-Dollar Value β€” Though the $89 figure is fairly steep, it’s generally great value for money in terms of how much data you’re getting.

Cons ❌️

  • Limited Bundling Options β€” You don’t really have too many options when it comes to bundling as you might with some of the other providers on this list, so it’s worth checking if your particular needs are going to align with what they’re offering before you sign up.

4. iiNet β€” Cheap Mobile Phone Plans With 8GB of Data

Generally speaking, most people are looking for mobile plans with excessively large amounts of data at their disposal each month, and while you’d certainly not be getting that with iiNet’s 8GB plan, the main advantage of this contact is how cheap it is β€” starting at a rate of around $19.99 per month.

A few of the options we’ve covered on this list so far also offer things like cheap introductory periods, and iiNet’s exactly the same.

So, that affordability factor we mentioned only becomes more attractive once you know that you’re able to get your first six months at a 50% discount, meaning you’re only paying the tiny fee of $10 per month!

Of course, the 8GB might still be a hard sell to some people, but if you’re mainly in search of an economical phone that still has enough data to cater to some of your basic phone needs, you’d definitely struggle to find a cheaper option than this one from iiNet.

Pros βœ…οΈ

  • 6-Month Promotional Period β€” iiNet’s 8GB plan is generally pretty hard to beat when it comes to affordability since it has a 50% discount for the first six months β€” not to mention how you’re able to switch providers if you don’t want to pay any extra after this period.
  • Decent Data Allowance β€” Though its main pull factor is how budget-friendly it is, you’re still able to use a respectable 8GB of data every month, which is generally more than enough for some of the essentials like social media browsing, messaging, and light streaming.
  • Value for Money β€” Generally speaking, $10 for 8GB is actually a very good deal, so it’s definitely one of the most cost-effective options out there.

Cons ❌️

  • Regular Pricing β€” The promotional rate with this phone plan is definitely a steal, but it’s worth considering that the 8GB of data for the standard monthly rate of $19.99 is much less of a bargain compared to some of the other plans on this list.
  • Lack of Perks β€” Many of the options we’ve covered come with additional perks for you to use β€” whether that’s entertainment packages or extra features β€” but iiNet doesn’t provide anything like this; it’s a very basic mobile plan. This approach is definitely appealing to some people who don’t want all the extra frills that come with mobile plans, but it’s still one of the limiting features, all things considered.
  • Potential Excess Data Charges β€” Given that you’re able to use quite a low amount of data each month, it’s paramount that you’re careful about overusing data, as you’ll be charged extra if you go over that 8GB limit.

5. Lebara β€” 25GB of Data and Great for International Calls

We’ve talked a lot about how expensive it can be to make international phone calls throughout these reviews, but that’s definitely not a problem you’ll run into with Lebara’s ‘small plan’, given that you can contact people (whether that’s by texting or calling) in 26 different countries for no added cost β€” all for $24.90 per month!

Aside from this, though, you’re also able to shrink that $24.90 by around 10% each month if you opt for their ‘auto recharge’, so there are definitely quite a few opportunities to save money here.

Pros βœ…οΈ

  • International Reach β€” From the UK and North America to all across Asia, you’re able to speak to friends and family for no additional fee.
  • Local Freedom β€” The same amount of unlimited reach extends to any Australian numbers, too.
  • Substantial Data β€” Relatively decent amount of data at 25GB per month.

Cons ❌️

  • Price Consideration β€” Though the international reach is definitely the main selling point of this phone plan, Lebara still might not be the best option out there, considering the amount of data you’re getting for the price you pay each month.

6. Felix Mobile β€” Endless Data on the Vodafone Network

As we mentioned earlier, the general concept of phone contracts being ‘unlimited’ is usually a little bit misleading, as although you’re getting infinite data, you can’t exactly use it as freely as you might want to. Having said, aside from the speed cap of around 20Mbps (which is still more than good enough for things like streaming in HD, scrolling through your social media, and FaceTiming people), Felix Mobile is a great option if you don’t ever want to worry about going over on your data allowances each month.

Furthermore, it’s only $40 per month, too, which, while not being the cheapest, is definitely still good value for money, considering you’re never going to run out of data. The only real downside is that you might find it takes a bit more time whenever you need to download large files, but how often are you really doing this on your phone, anyway?

Pros βœ…οΈ

  • Abundant Data β€” Enjoy as much data as you want every month.
  • Versatile Usage β€” Although there’s a speed cap, it shouldn’t really get in the way of most of the things you use your phone for every day.

Cons ❌️

  • Pacing for Downloads β€” You might need to be patient if you’re trying to download massive applications or files onto your mobile.

Final Thoughts πŸ’‘οΈ

Ultimately, whether it’s affordability, massive amounts of data, or even just the ability to make as many international phone calls as you like, you’re going to need some kind of phone plan to get the most out of your mobile.

We’ve provided a fairly diverse list of options on this list, so just make sure you know what you’re looking to get out of your mobile plan before signing up, and you’ll definitely be able to find something here that you can benefit from.

FAQs πŸ”ŽοΈ

Are Long-Term Contracts the Only Option for Mobile Phone Plans in Australia?

Not at all! Generally speaking, most providers offer either contract or prepaid plans, so choose a prepaid plan if you’d prefer a bit more flexibility (since you’re able to pay for all your services upfront and can cancel them without any penalties). Alternatively, choose a long-term contract if you’d like to make use of discounts on all the latest devices or even just want to have a bundled package.

What Factors Should I Consider When Choosing a Mobile Phone Plan in Australia?

Try to consider things like what you actually use your phone for when choosing a phone plan β€” from how much you text/call people to how much data you generally use each month. Furthermore, price is another major factor when you’re selecting a plan, so ensure you’ve got a good balance between affordability and all of the other services you need.

What Is the Difference Between Postpaid and Prepaid Mobile Plans?

Put simply, postpaid plans bill you at the end of the month for all of the services that you’ve used, while prepaid plans, on the other hand, make you pay upfront for a set amount of features like talk time, texts, and data. Postpaid plans are usually the more convenient option out of the two, but prepaid plans are definitely better in terms of flexibility and the fact there are no contract commitments.

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