Mobile phones are such a huge part of everyday life now, that it’s hard to image that people had to do without them just a couple of decades ago – anyone watching old “Friends” episodes will quickly realize that a large number of plots are based on misunderstandings that could have easily been avoided with a simple phone call, yet, sadly, no one has a mobile phone on them. What we usually look for in a phone is speed and utility, but more importantly, we look for a reliable mobile phone provider that offers the best mobile plans.
There are several well-established networks in Australia with great coverage and interesting plans that suit a variety of needs. Although your personal choice may vary depending on whether you prefer texting or making calls, how many texts or minutes you need per month, whether you need a phone or a SIM only plan and whether you don’t mind signing up for 24 month or want to pay on a month to month basis… Nevertheless, there are some characteristics that separate great companies from the rest. Here is a look at the biggest names among the Australian mobile providers and how they compare.
One of the biggest mobile phone providers in Australia, Telstra has plenty to offer. Telstra’s 4G and 3G networks cover the vast majority of the Australian population, around 97% – they have a detailed coverage map on their website – and they offer good download speed. If you have your own phone, you can opt for a 12 month plan starting at $45 with unlimited texts, $550 worth of calls and 500 MB of data, however, if you want a phone, you’ll need to sign up for s 24 month plan, starting at $55 for a HTC Desire 610 and $78 for an iPhone 5s, all the way up to $136 where you get unlimited talking, MMS and SMS and 3GB of data. There are some good deals to be found for pre-paid phones, including the $72 Telstra Easy Smart. Telstra has already spent several billion dollars on developing its network in the past few years and is investing at least another half a billion in 2014, so you can count on their quality of service and reliability. The one major complaint that people have about Telstra is that they have very poor customer service and you may have a very tough time resolving any potential problems.
Along with Telstra, Optus is at the top of the food chain as far as Australian phone providers go. Optus has amazing coverage, although it is slightly behind Telstra in this regard, covering around 94% of the Australian population. However, Optus has some great plans at a lower cost than Telstra – a $50 24 month plan gets you $600 worth of calls, unlimited texts and 1GB of data while the $60 gets you unlimited calls and texts and double the data. They offer month to month plans starting at $30, but you’re better of going with the $45 plan as it offers unlimited calls and texts and 2GB of data. Optus invests over a billion dollars a year into its network and has very good customer service, but it has developed an undeserved reputation of being the “second best” Australian network – this is mostly due to the fact that Telstra has held a veritable monopoly for a very long time and has thrown buckets of money on marketing. In reality, Optus is only slightly behind Telstra in some areas and it beats them in terms of price and customer service.
As a company that uses the Optus 3G network, Amaysim guarantees excellent coverage and reliability, but at far lower rates than those offered by Optus. Although it offers some fairly good flexible plans, what draws most people to the company is the Amaysim unlimited plan. It is the most cost effective of all the unlimited mobile plans offered by any Australian provider and excellent for people who are always on the phone. It is a $40 month to month plan that includes unlimited calls and texts within Australia as well as 4GB of data. It is very easy to get started, and although the contract automatically renews every 30 days, you can quit the plan any time you like and all you need is to pay off the last month. If you are looking to get a good deal on a new mobile phone or don’t really use your phone that much, this may not be the best option for you, but if you are a business man or a socially active person, the Amaysim $39.90 unlimited plan is a great choice.
Vodafone has put a lot of effort this past year into catching up with its competitors, investing nearly $1 billion into improving the network. That being said, there have been some problems with Vodafone in the past that caused a huge number of people to abandon the network, and there was even a major outage a couple of months back that lasted for hours and prevented Vodafone and Optus users from accessing their networks. A lot of people are still distrustful of Vodafone, but the substantial investment is a big step towards fixing their reliability issues. In terms of coverage, they are still lagging behind Telstra and Optus, but they do offer a wide range of plans, with plenty of relatively cheap SIM only options – their $35 plans offer unlimited texting or unlimited calls to other Vodafone users and 1GB of data, but if you want unlimited calls and texts on a national level, regardless of the network, you’ll have to go with a $50 plan. Their phone plans will cost you from $55 to $100 per month for the next 24 months.
These are several of the biggest mobile phone providers in Australia with some of the best mobile plans, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, and even though some objective conclusions can be made about the companies, choosing a provider ultimately comes down to personal preference and your subjective needs. Take a good look at this article and do some research of your own before making the final decision.