Choosing between multiple mobile providers can be overwhelming, especially since plans offering great value aren’t such a rare commodity anymore. Every telco has its pros and cons, whether we’re talking about coverage, fast data, or affordable plans. So how do you know which one is right for you? Today we’re comparing Telstra and Boost, so you can make a more informed decision.
What does Telstra Mobile provide?
Looking for a mobile plan that’s going to serve you well in terms of both coverage and data speed? Then you’re probably already leaning towards the Telstra mobile network. Boasting unrivalled depth and breadth of coverage not just in capital cities, but almost anywhere in Australia’s populated areas, Telstra’s network is legendary for its sheer reach. This is thanks to decades of building, expanding and enhancing what was originally Australia’s first mobile network. For data, too, Telstra delivers, with blazing 4G and 5G speed that’s often limited only by the capabilities of your device, and which is perfectly capable of outdoing even the fastest NBN connection.
Of course, you don’t need to be a Telstra customer to get access to the Telstra network. All thanks to companies known as MVNOs – Mobile Virtual Network Operators. It’s now possible to sign up for a mobile service with a company that’s completely separate from Telstra, but which uses the Telstra network as its backbone. One such company is Boost Mobile.
Veteran of the mobile industry, Boost started way back in 2000. The telco made the move over to the Telstra network a few years ago. Now, they run entirely on that network and have access to Telstra’s 4G data. Boasting some unique plans and bonuses – as well as no lock-in contracts – Boost mobile deals provide a very real alternative for anyone wanting a mobile service on the Telstra network.
Telstra themselves, meanwhile, haven’t exactly been sitting around waiting for competitors on their own network to undercut them. The mobile industry as a whole has become a bit of a game of price versus features. While Telstra’s biggest selling point has always been its network, the company has become very aggressive with pricing in recent years. They’re not shy to throw in tons of freebies as well, making for some extremely attractive Telstra mobile deals.
Let’s take a look at both companies and see where the best bang for your buck lies.
Going straight to the source and getting your mobile service directly through the company that owns the network can have its advantages. The list includes access to a wider range to mobile tower frequencies in some areas for even better coverage. Telstra offers four SIM-only plans on a month-to-month basis – there’s no longer the need to agree to a 12-month contract.
With Telstra’s new BYO SIM plans, gone are the days when you content yourself with a meager amount of data just so you can stay with the telco’s network while playing the budget-conscious game. This year is all about massive data allowances, unlimited national calls and texts spread across all plans, and some really nice perks. The base $55 plan, for starters, delivers a total of 40GB. Add $10 more and that increases your data allowance to a massive 80GB. The highest-value plans, meanwhile, are impressive with 120GB or 180GB total data for $85 and $115 per month respectively – with the latter available for a discounted $65 per month for 12 months. There are no excess data charges to worry about in Australia on these plans, either – if you go over your monthly allowance your connection is slowed down to 1.5 Mbps, but you aren’t charged any extra.
Telstra’s mobile plans also come with a range of other perks, including full access to the AFLW, Netball and A-League smartphone apps – with data-free streaming of all of them. They’re great for live streaming every game in the codes’ respective seasons, as well as replays, a bunch of other content and a wealth of stats. They’re usually subscription services – so that’s real value right there with each one. Free access to the AFL and NRL apps is also included, but as of 2021, live streaming is no longer available in the apps (replays, highlights, stats and other features remain available).
For those who used the AFL and NRL apps’ free Live Pass subscription before the end of 2020, Telstra is now offering a very nice bargain deal on a subscription to Kayo Sports, where every round of both codes can be streamed in high definition on everything from phones to big-screen TVs. Costing only $5 per month for 12 months, the offer saves you a massive $240 a year and is exclusive to Telstra mobile customers.
Apple Music can also be streamed data-free on all Telstra mobile plans. You also earn points towards some very nice rewards with Telstra’s recently-launched Telstra Plus loyalty program. On top of that, you get free Wi-Fi access courtesy of Telstra Air Wi-Fi hotspots.
Last audited 09 April 2021
One other key benefit with Telstra mobile plans is the free access you get to the very latest and fastest mobile network – Telstra 5G. If you’ve got a 5G-capable phone, you can access the new network at no extra cost right now on the Medium and higher plans. The 5G network is capable of delivering eye-popping data speeds direct to and from your phone – you’ll never be waiting for something to download or buffer again!
Last audited 01 April 2021
Boost runs all its plans as a purely prepaid service. That means you’re not going to have to worry about lock-in contracts and all the inflexibility they bring. You wouldn’t want to be sitting out a 24-month contract while mobile plans get cheaper and cheaper all around you. And as a straightforward prepaid service, Boost gives you the freedom to change your plan at any time, or even switch to another provider if you find a better deal.
Boost’s five plans run from $20 up to $70 per 28 days (except the $10 plan which has a 7-day credit expiry). They all give you unlimited calls and text to numbers within Australia, as well as unlimited calls to 20-30 major international countries on the $30 and higher plans. Moreover, base data allowances go from 5GB to 83GB, with the higher plans benefiting from 18GB of bonus data for the first three recharges.
This is why the $40 plan represents terrific value. However, if you can handle a base data allowance of 5GB, the $20 plan is pretty amazing value. And a more affordable way to get access to the Telstra network.
Last audited 21 September 2019
Telstra or Boost Mobile?
Happy with spending around $50 per month? Then plans from both Telstra and Boost represent terrific value. But which one’s best for you?
If you’re the sort of person who enjoys complete freedom and the idea of being locked into any sort of contract makes you run for the hills, Boost has your back. Its commitment-free plans with extremely generous data caps are perfect for those who hammer the phone on the weekend as much as they do during the week.
Telstra, on the other hand, suits someone who wants some added value along with an ultra-reliable mobile service. Especially recommended for both sport and music fans (and if you’re into both sport and music, the Telstra plans are a no-brainer!) And thanks to Telstra Plus, the longer you stay around the better – in return for your loyalty, there are freebies galore.
In the end, you can’t really go wrong with either. No matter which one you choose, you’ll be enjoying the coverage and quality of the Telstra network while not paying very much money at all. It’s a great time to be a mobile phone user!