There’s a vast world of incredible value to be had these days when it comes to choosing a mobile carrier. And it just keeps getting better. Pretty much everything else we get billed for in life gets more and more expensive – power, gas, water and so on. Meanwhile, mobile phone services just keep getting cheaper, packing in more bang for the buck along the way. It’s one of those rare examples of competition resulting in lower prices across the board for consumers. And there’s a massive amount of choice out there.
The “big three” carriers – Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone – are always an option (and provide some great-value plans of their own). But it’s the smaller, third-party providers that are driving prices inexorably downward. And you’re usually not sacrificing much to go with these smaller providers, either. After all, they all run on one of the “big three” networks behind the scenes. Because they operate as leaner and more efficient businesses, they have fewer overheads to pass on to you.
You won’t always get the exact same level of service or range of features with one of these providers as you would if you connected directly to the top-tier networks that they use. For example, your access to the full scope of the data network may be more limited, or your 4G coverage may not be quite as extensive. But in return for some minor sacrifices (which most of the time you won’t even notice), you not only get great call & text inclusions and rates, but also tasty bonuses. We’re talking unlimited international calls, extra-large data allowances, and more.
So let’s take a look at five of the most popular third-party providers and what they can offer you. Remember, if your mobile handset is “unlocked” – not tied to a specific mobile network – you can pick and choose between any of them. But if your phone is still tied to a specific network, you need to have it “unlocked” first. You must be out of contract and sometimes will have to pay a small fee. But it’s well worth it for the world of choice it opens up. If you bought your handset outright, by the way – such as an iPhone directly from Apple – it’ll be unlocked by default.
We’re taking a look at five of the most popular, experienced and innovative third-party providers currently on the market. Between them, there’s a ton of value to be had depending on what your personal mobile needs are. One thing you’ll quickly find all five have in common is their call allowances. Getting access to unlimited calls and text used to be something you’d have to shop around for. Now, it’s the default across all of these providers, with the battle for customer attention being fought on other fronts – data allowances, international calls and so on.
Important, too, is the network each of these providers actually runs on. While you’re signing up with a provider with a brand name, their own SIM cards, and their own web portals and apps, your mobile service will still be relying on one of the “big three” networks that provide the connectivity and coverage.
There’s an important point to be made on coverage, too. You might think that you can save money by hopping over from, say, Optus to amaysim because the latter uses the exact same network. But there’s no guarantee that you’ll be getting the exact same level of access to that network. Modern 3G and 4G networks operate on multiple frequencies and your phone has the ability to hop between them to maximise the quality of reception (especially in areas where coverage is limited). Third-party providers don’t always have access to all of those frequency bands for voice and data. Thus, the coverage and/or speed you got on an Optus SIM may not be exactly the same as you’ll get with a third-party SIM on the same network.
In practice, this isn’t a big problem at all. Especially if you’re in a major city, where there’s no shortage of mobile coverage almost anywhere you go. But if the fastest data speeds or superior coverage inside buildings is important to you – like not having your call cut out when you get in a lift – then you might want to consider spending the extra dollars for one of the “big three” providers’ own plans.
For most of us, though, the still-excellent coverage and service delivered by third-party providers are more than perfect for everyday use. They also offer big advantages – like the ability to get connected without a contract. Let’s see what our contenders have to offer.
amaysim Mobile has been around for over seven years now. It quickly became one of the most recognisable brands for high quality, cheap mobile network access. Running on the Optus network and gaining 4G access in 2015, their emphasis right from the start has been, to use their own slogan, “keeping it casual”. You won’t find lock-in contracts at amaysim. Just monthly plans that you can hop between at any time, all of them offering unlimited calls, texts and even international calls on the three higher plans.
The real choice between the four amaysim plans is the data allowance you get for your money, ranging from 2.5GB to 40GB for every 28 days. And there is a good reason why their $30 plan as extremely popular. For that price, you get a massive 10GB of data every 28 days, more than enough to let you chew through everything the internet has to offer without having to worry about the tap turning off.
If you’re not so much of a data-hungry user, you could drop right down to the $20 plan (with 2.5GB of data). You will still have plenty of room to deal with emails, web browsing and general use. Moreover, you also get unlimited calls and texts. Being completely non-contract, you can always start big and drop down to a plan that better suits you after your first 28 days.
Amaysim 2018 Offers
amaysim recently upped data inclusions on their $30, $40, and $50 plans with 10GB, 20GB and 40GB allowances so you can stay connected 24/7 without breaking the bank.
Yomojo mobile plans come in a couple of different flavours, including the ability to completely customise your voice, text and data usage to effectively build your own plan – something unique to this company. If you’re wanting to keep things simple, though, you’ll want to eliminate the worry about calls and text completely and just focus on the data.
And Yomojo’s unlimited plans let you do exactly that. You can pick one of four tiers of data allowance running on the Optus 4G network, ranging from 1GB to 15GB per 30 days. They include unlimited calls and text with the exception of the $9.90 plan, which has 200 minutes of calls. Our pick would have to be the $29.90 8GB package, which gives you more than enough data to play with for less than ten bucks a week.
Yomojo uses the Optus 4G network, but is restricted to only the 1800Mhz frequency for that coverage. Which, as we mentioned earlier, won’t generally be a problem for people in cities, though you won’t get the depth of in-building coverage or the faster data speeds that you get when multiple frequencies are available to your device.
Yomojo 2018 Offers
Yomojo recently upped their data inclusions. For starters, the $29.90 plan now delivers 8GB from being only 3GB. The Kid’s Plan has also been added offering 1GB, unlimited text, and 200 minutes of calls for only $9.90 per month. They’ve even started offering two 3G-only plans that pack massive amounts of data – 30GB for $59.90/month and 90GB for $89.90/month.
Boost offers access to the Telstra 4G network with all the benefits that come along with it. Think great coverage both in cities and across the country, along with streaming Apple Music for as long as you like without using up any of your precious data allowance. Boost’s prepaid plans all offer unlimited calls and texts loaded with base data.
The big value here is the $30 plan, which gives you 6GB as base data, then 5GB per 28 days after every recharge. This also includes unlimited international calls to ten countries. Plus 100 more minutes to 40 countries and 100 texts to 50 countries if you activate your Boost SIM starter pack before 25 February 2019.
Boost 2018 Offers
Get unlimited international minutes with Boost Mobile. The telco’s three higher plans — $30, $40 and $50 mobile plans come with international calls to 10-15 countries, including Canada, USA, United Kingdom, India, New Zealand, and Singapore. This month, grab the chance to purchase Boost’s $40 prepaid plan for half the price. For only $20, you get 15GB of data, unlimited calls, and texts in Australia and even to 15 international destinations.
OVO Mobile runs on the Optus 4G network and boasts some attractive extra bonuses and benefits. The telco won an award from Money Magazine for having the best value high usage mobile plan out there – and the usage we’re talking about here is data. With 15GB data allowance and unlimited talk, text, and MMS, this particular OVO mobile plan really benefits the heavy data user with its $34.95 price point for 30 days. Even better, you can purchase this plan for half the price for the first month.
You also get access to OVO’s own streaming network with any of their plans. OVOPlay offers live and delayed streaming of V8 Supercars, Audi Customer Racing, drag racing, gymnastics and more. You can stream it all wherever you are without using up a single byte of your data allowance. Though if you have 15GB per month to play with, you’re probably not going to need to worry about your allowance in the first place!
OVO Mobile 2018 Deals
This year, OVO Mobile offers Australia’s biggest mobile data plan. It packs a whooping 250GB for only $119.95. If you purchase before 30 November 2018, you can avail the plan at a discounted monthly fee of $99.95. The plan is portable and can be activated in hours of receiving the SIM.
Now owned by the people behind amaysim but unchanged in their commitment to extreme value, Vaya is all about pure value. They have incredibly low prices on monthly unlimited talk & text plans. The banner offering from this veteran company is what has to be the cheapest plan available if you want to just talk and text to your heart’s content. $16 per month buys you unlimited calls, texts, MMS and voicemail.
That plan only comes with 1.5GB of data, and there’s a reason for that. Vaya is all about using your phone as, well, a phone. If you’re a talker rather than a social media citizen, then this is the provider for you. You can bump up to 3GB or 10GB per month for $24 and $36. But if you’re that serious about data you could just opt for the 13GB plan at $44 per month. That takes it out of the realms of “budget,” but still represents incredible value. There’s a reason why Vaya mobile plans keep winning awards from Money Magazine!
Really, no matter which of these providers you choose, you’re going to be getting incredible value and complete flexibility. Plus the freedom of unlimited calls and texts to help you break the ties with that pesky home phone you’ve been meaning to do away with for years.
For heavy data users, amaysim and OVO both stand tall as brilliant value, since you’re getting a mountain of data for not very much money per week. And depending on your other needs, you can pick between amaysim’s unlimited international calls to ten major countries (available on $30+ plans), or OVO’s free exclusive streaming of Supercars and other sports.
If it’s all about the calls and text for you, though, you can’t go past Vaya’s incredible value plans. At the base tier, they will give you unlimited calls and texts for about 4 bucks a week. That’s all the calls you need all for less than the price of one train ticket to work.
One more thing – can you keep your number?
When you’re picking and trying out providers like our five above, you’re not tied down to a contract. That means you might want to try one for a couple of months, switch to another and so on. But don’t worry about people not being able to find you. When you switch providers you can take your mobile number with you. The process is called porting. When you sign up with a new provider, you’ll be given the option to keep your number that may use that word. There’s no charge for porting your number, and the process is all handled by your old and new mobile providers without any hassle to you. So, shop around for a great deal and rest assured you’ll never lose your digits!