Updated 26 Jan 2021
Mobile phones have become a staple in every family, especially since staying connected has become paramount for parents to ensure their child’s safety. Families growing dependence on digital connectivity has created an opportunity for mobile providers to leverage family needs to lead their digital lives, easily and cost-effectively.
What is the Right Mobile Plan for Families with Kids?
In this modern digital age, it is common to equip kids with a mobile phone for parents to stay connected to them for security reasons and to give them their first taste of independence. As mobile phones continue to be the main mode of contact between parents and kids, network providers continue to innovate their service offerings to suit these varying needs.
As the account holder, choosing a mobile plan for your kids can be tricky, but you needn’t pay a premium for it. There is an informed approach to going about this. You can either get your kids a prepaid plan that limits their data usage but allows them unlimited calls and SMS or get in on a shared/family plan with your network provider to share your data while still retaining the benefits of unlimited call minutes and SMS. Family plans are popular because they provide the data and the tools for people to stay connected, without racking up an exorbitant amount for your mobile bill.
Prepaid Plans for Families with Kids
A prepaid plan also works well for kids who are just starting out with a personal mobile phone where they need to learn to mind their data usage and use their phones for the purpose they are intended for – to stay connected with their parents. A prepaid plan with unlimited calls and SMS will ensure kids are always able to call home, regardless of how many minutes they have spent to call other people. The prepaid approach also saves you the uncertainty of your monthly bill – once your child has used up his data allowance for the month, they’re going to have to do without it. Unless you agree to pay for a top-up.
Family SIM Plan
The alternative is getting a family plan where all family members’ SIMs are serviced by the same network provider and are able to use data from a single data pool. This works well for families with older, more responsible kids who are not likely to reach their monthly data cap. Mobile service providers started offering family plans in the early 2000s and have evolved to accommodate consumer trends in an ever-changing market. Parents need to be able to easily reach their kids, whether it is to check on them or stay in touch, regardless of their age and increased communication comes at an increased cost. The cost of a necessity needn’t be a barrier to having it, and family plans are an economical way to manage mobile usage.
Are there Family Data Allowances?
The problem family plans were brought in to solve was that of exceeding the monthly data allowance that resulted in a more expensive mobile bill, dealing with different service providers and their customer service terms and conditions. The key element of a family plan is a shared data allowance. The best way to understand it is to “think of data allowance as a milkshake the family can share”. Not only does it bundle your family’s plans under one account, but it also allows you to keep your family’s data consumption in check.
How do Family Plans work?
While single mobile plans are easy to understand, the main aspects of a family plan such as fixed costs, single bills and unlimited plans can be summarized in the following points.
You get what you pay for
In addition to shared data, you get national voice and SMS services all included in a monthly cost. This means there is a fixed cost every month and no bill surprises.
Being on a family plan means that you’re dealing with a single entity for all bills and issues. You get a consolidated bill for all SIMs in the plan and administration of the account is easier.
Add more family members
Regardless of whose name the account is under, you can keep adding members to your family plan. However, there is a charge for every additional SIM you add to the family plan.
Unlimited SMS and Voice services
Each SIM added to the family plan can avail of unlimited national SMS and call minutes to any network.
What are the Top Mobile Plans for Families with Children?
Comparing mobile plans is never an easy job, especially with family tasks and kids to juggle with. Through careful consideration, we have compiled a list of the top mobile plans for families with children, from providers such as Southern Phone and Moose Mobile. Check out our list of the best mobile plans for families with kids.
Southern Phone Small Plan
Southern Phone has earned their reputation of being a versatile, friendly, reliable and incredibly affordable mobile provider — going so far as to give customers Optus as the mobile network. This time around, they’re offering two amazing plans that give you huge data plus unlimited calls and texts in Australia — not to mention, big savings as well!
To avail of the best mobile offer in the market today, simply choose between the Small 12-month plan at $20/month to get 5GB of data, or the Small month-to-month plan at $20/month to get 2.5GB data with no lock-in contract. Whatever your mobile needs are, Southern Phone’s got you covered. All plans include unlimited standard national calls and texts, with select plans also providing international call credits up to $500.
Last audited 22 February 2021
Moose Mobile – Moose 8.80
Running on the Optus 4G network, Moose Mobile offers award-winning mobile plans that are suitable for the whole family. It starts off with the Moose 8.80 plan that gives you 1GB data plus unlimited texts and 300 minutes of calls. This plan is perfect for kids who have just gotten their first phone, making it easy for parents to track and control their usage. Need unlimited calls and texts? Just jump on to Moose 15.80, which also gives you 6GB data and is currently offered with 20% off for 12 months. These plans come with no lock-in contracts, so feel free to change or upgrade any time!
Last audited 22 February 2021
Telstra SIM-Only Plans
Telstra’s SIM-only plans cost more than the rest but they’re packed with highly valuable inclusions. If you and members of your family are in need of massive data, Telstra’s plans sufficiently deliver in that area. Starting from $55/month, you get 40GB of included data. Need more? Just add $10 to get a bigger 80GB. $65/month also now affords you to get the Extra Large plan with a whopping 180GB. Originally at $115/month, Telstra offers it with $50 monthly credit for 12 months! All plans also include Apple Music data-free streaming and access to such sports as AFLW, Netball, and the Hyundai A-League live and data-free (AFL and NRL on-demand only), as well as no excess data charges.
These postpaid plans also include 5G network access with the exception of the lowest 40GB plan. If you’re one of the many who enjoys streaming shows and movies, then you’ll also love Telstra Mobile’s free Binge streaming for three months and Foxtel Now for one month! For families who want to make use of data sharing, Telstra now offers upfront mobile plans that have this feature. All you need to do is have you and your family members’ plans set up automatic upfront monthly payments.
Last audited 22 February 2021
Woolworths Prepaid Plans
Woolworths’ prepaid plans should be more than sufficient for families with kids. The cheapest plan, for instance, offers unlimited calls and text, as well as a capped data allowance of 1GB on the Telstra network for only $10/30 days. The next plan is also specially designed for kids but with a much higher 6GB data allowance.
On top of that, Woolworths’ prepaid mobile plans include 200GB data bank. Even better, $30 and above plans also include unlimited international calls and text to 22 countries. They also have long-expiry prepaid plans with data gifting feature. Plus 10% off your grocery expenses every month when you link your Woolworths Rewards account to your mobile account. These prepaid deals are definitely a parent pleaser!
Which Family Plan is right for you?
If you don’t trust your kids with using data responsibly or they consistently tend to go over their data allowance, then you can look into prepaid plans for your kids with unlimited calls and SMS and a capped data allowance.
Family members can have different usage patterns where some may only use a portion of their allowance, while others may use more than the others. Family plans allow for better management by pooling low and high users, enabling more efficient usage of your allocation. However, with many telcos offering very affortable SIM-only plans, data pooling is only offered by a select few.
While Family Plans allow you to track data usage for all SIMs under a single account, which is offered by some telcos, prepaid plans will help you create discipline around mobile usage. There are advantages to both, family plans and prepaid plans. Which approach is more suitable for your family depends on how much administration you are willing to do, your family’s mobile usage habits and your budget.