Things to Consider when Comparing Mobile Plans in Australia

Choosing a mobile plan is one of those things that no one thinks of as being too important at first, but that can make a huge difference in the way you live your life. It is important to find a service that is suited to your character, habits and obligations, all while fitting nicely into your monthly budget. You don’t want simple things such as phone bills to cause you stress or limit you financially, but you also don’t want the frustration of not being able to make a call when you absolutely need to. Having to constantly make additional payments to go over a certain limit is an inconvenience, but so is a two year contract that you have trouble keeping up with. The point is that you should take the time to consider all the options before making a big commitment. There are a few important questions that you need to answer as you compare mobile plans.

Mobile PhonesDo you need a new phone?

It is a fairly simple question, but it has to be asked, since some people tend to wait until their old phone completely stops working before they start looking for a new one. There are those who are always on the lookout for the latest tech gadgets and phones, as well. Money is usually a limiting factor, particularly when it comes to the latest smart phones, and a simple way of obtaining a very good smart phone on a modest budget is to pay for it in monthly installments. A typical 24 month plan that includes a phone will cost you around $60 per month or more, depending on how many minutes and texts you need each month.

Are you a talker or a texter?Text message

Whether it’s a two year contract or a pay per month plan, one of the most important considerations is whether you like to talk or send text messages. If you enjoy texting and seldom make calls, except when it is something very urgent and, even then, you only talk briefly, then you may be able to save a lot of money by getting a more basic plan that offers unlimited texts, but very little in terms of calls or online data. For instance, Telstra has steeper prices than most, starting at $55 per month (not counting the phone) for unlimited texts, 500 MB of data and $550 worth of calls. On the other hand Optus offers a month-to-month plan with unlimited texts, but only 300 minutes for calls for $30 per month.

If you are a talker, you’ll probably want to look into unlimited plans that allow you to talk as much as you like for a fixed monthly fee. The problem here is that things can get a bit expensive when you compare mobile plans like these to the basic options, particularly if you are getting a phone with your plan. For example, for $95 per month, Telstra gives you $950 worth of calls with free calls on nights and weekends, while $60 gets you unlimited calls with Optus. You can get even better prices with the Amaysim unlimited plan, paying $40 per month for unlimited calls and texts, plus a couple of MB of data more than what the competition offers in similar plans. This is a month-to-month plan and you don’t get a phone, but it is great for those who have a phone and are looking for a cheap option that allows them to talk as much as they like.

Using Mobile PhoneHow much do you use your phone on a daily basis?

This is basically the most important question to ask yourself. If, on average, you make 3-4 phone calls a day, which don’t exceed 5 minutes, then you won’t need a lot of minutes. The same goes for texting, although some of the basic and cheap plans already offer unlimited texting. If you need more data, you can go with a plan with lower minutes and upgrade to 500 MB extra per month on some plans. On the other hand, if you are on the phone all the time, then you should consider unlimited mobile plans – either the Amaysim bargain month-to-month plan or a 24 month plan that comes with a new phone like the ones Optus offers. You should also be careful not to switch to a more expensive plan if you are only going to need a little over the allotted limit on a cheaper plan, e.g. you need 400 minutes a month and you switch to a 600 minutes per month plan that costs nearly twice as much.

Do you want to sign a contract or are you just looking for a quick fix?

When you consider all the other questions and take into account your financial situation and lifestyle, it is easy to come to an answer to this last question. If you are someone who doesn’t use a mobile phone all that often and you don’t need a new phone, then the simplest solution is to just get a prepaid SIM card. A single payment of $20 can get you a new SIM card with a $30 recharge already on it and from then on, you only pay for additional recharges as they are needed. However, if you want a new phone and to have a stable job that allows you to comfortably make monthly payments over the next two years, than you only need to choose a mobile provider you trust and sign a contract. You can get some very good deals if you look around, and either choice is a perfectly valid one.

All in all, be sure to answer all the big questions when you compare mobile plans and do some research on different mobile providers and you’ll be able to find an excellent deal for your particular set of circumstances.

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About the Author: Andrew