Updated on 30th January 2020
The average Australian uses 3 or more devices to access the internet. A single family owns anything from 4 to 7 devices such as tablets, phones and laptops. With staying connected is as much as necessity as staying informed, people are spending a lot of time living digital lives. Not having enough data to burn is not an option anymore, and sharing it is the ultimate way of ensuring that doesn’t happen.
What is a Family Mobile Plan?
Family plans work on the premise of data pooling. 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, it allows you to keep your family’s data consumption in check.
This means that a capped data allowance is shared by a finite number of people on a family plan to accommodate varying usage habits, without any single individual having to worry about exceeding their monthly data allowance or an increased mobile bill. A shared plan also has the added convenience of not having to deal with different service providers and their customer service terms and conditions.
What makes Family Plans Popular?
We rely on our mobile phones as a source of entertainment, to stay informed and to stay connected. There is a lot of streaming that goes on in an average person’s day and kids tend to be bigger consumers that their adult counterparts. For this reason, network providers continue to innovate their service offerings to suit the varying needs of different people within a family unit.
Apps such as WhatsApp, Vber, Skype, iMessage and Facetime, to name a few, are popular communication tools that allow parents to stay connected with their children and children and adults with each other, thus validating our growing dependence on data.
How to Choose a Family Plan?
As the account holder who is responsible for paying all bills, choosing a family mobile plan to suit every member of your household can be difficult, but you needn’t pay a premium for it. There is an informed approach to going about this. There are a variety of shared/family plans offered by most popular network providers and they’re all working hard to give you the best deal so that you choose them. Family plans are popular because they provide the data and the tools for people to stay connected, without forcing you to pay an exorbitant mobile bill.
On a family plan, all family members’ SIMs are serviced by the same network provider and they are all 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 this increased communication comes at an increased cost. The cost of a necessity needn’t be a barrier to having it though, and family plans are an economical way to manage mobile usage.
Benefits of Mobile Plans for Families
While single mobile plans are easy to understand, family plans can be a little more difficult. The main aspects of a family plan 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 make use of unlimited national SMS and call minutes to any network.
Top 5 Mobile Plans for Families
#1 Southern Phone Green Plans
Southern Phone has also come up with the perfect mobile plans that are suitable for families with small kids. The Optus-powered Green plans on a 12-month contract comprise of plans with data inclusions ranging from 1GB to 30GB with prices starting at $11/month to $40/month.
All of these plans already include unlimited calls and texts within Australia, something that every family requires in their day-to-day. If you’re after flexible options, Southern Phone also offers month-to-month plans with data allowances from 500MB to 15GB with all selections also delivering unlimited national calls and texts.
#2 Moose Mobile 8.80 & 14.80 Plans
Another great provider offering some of the best mobile deals for kids is Moose Mobile. To start things off, you can get the Moose 8.80 plan that comes with 1GB data, plus 200 minutes of calls and unlimited texts – making it perfect for younger kids that don’t really have much use for unlimited calls or higher data allowance.
If you still need more, the Moose 14.80 offers a more generous alternative with 2.5GB data plus unlimited calls and texts. The best part is how these plans come with no lock-in contracts, making it easy to switch from one plan to another depending on the changing needs of your family members.
#3 Belong Mobile Large Plan
Belong’s mobile plans are pretty straightforward it’s easy to consider their offerings to serve your family’s mobile needs. There are only three: Small Plan with 1GB at $10/month, Medium with 10GB at $25/month, and Large with 40GB at $40/month. All plans come with unlimited standard national calls and texts with no lock-in contracts.
For those who need unlimited international calls and SMS, you only need to add $5 per month, while the Large 40GB plan already includes international calling and texting. Powered by Telstra’s mobile network, Belong also strengthens the appeal of their offerings with unlimited data banking on all plans.
#4 Telstra BYO Plan: $50/month
If huge data inclusions are a must in the household apart from the standard unlimited voice calls and SMS, Telstra’s BYO plans are ideal starting with the $50 plan with no lock-in contract. This buys you 15GB of included data and other exciting perks that are exclusive to Telstra subscribers, such as free access to Apple Music. And good news for those who value flexibility — Telstra now offers all their postpaid plans on a month-to-month basis so you can cancel anytime. Plus no excess data charges!
#5 Woolworths Prepaid Plans
With Woolworths’ range of prepaid plans, it would be easier for parents to set a budget, and follow said budget, for their kids’ mobile phones. For starters, Woolworths’ Mini plan is specially designed for kids — it includes unlimited calls and text with 1GB of data for only $10/30 days. That’s the cheapest mobile plan you can get considering the generous inclusions. Another option would be the Extra Small plan, which gives unlimited national calls and texts with a higher 6GB data at $20/month. Woolworths’ prepaid plans come with no lock-in contract, of course, so it’s easier for families to switch or cancel if need be.
Perfect for Mobile Families!
Family members can have different usage patterns, whereby some may only use a portion of their allowance and others may use a lot more. Family plans allow for better management by pooling low and high users, enabling more efficient usage of your data allocation.
While Family Plans allow you to track data usage for all SIMs under a single account, 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.