The second-largest mobile network in Australia doesn’t really deserve to be thought of as such. The advanced Optus mobile network didn’t have the head-start Telstra’s did. And still, it has grown at a rapid pace over the years to now cover 98.5% of the Australian population. Moreover, the 4G sections of their network are constantly expanding to reach more places outside of the major cities. Optus was the first company in Australia to get a 4G network operational. It’s proven to be a rock-solid and reliable source of blazingly fast 4G data when paired with the latest generation of smartphones and tablets. So there’s no wonder you’d be interested in joining in the fun. Thankfully though, you don’t need to sign a lengthy contract to enjoy the perks.
Optus was an early adopter of the concept of opening up their network to other providers. As a matter of fact, Virgin Mobile was a pioneer third-party provider and a huge success. It’s now owned by Optus themselves, while still operating as a separate entity. And a large selection of other innovative providers have joined them in recent years.
Here’s an overview of the key providers using the Optus network, and what they’ve got to offer you in terms of value. Because if you want your phone on Optus, you’ve got a lot of great options, depending on what you want from your mobile service.
Amaysim is a true success story as a third-party mobile provider. The company has been incredibly responsive to changes in the mobile industry. It launched in 2010 as one of the cheapest providers around. This was back when everyone was charging by the minute and unlimited calls was an unheard-of concept. They introduced unlimited plans a year later and the entire market exploded. Today, no matter which plan you choose with amaysim you’ll get unlimited talk and text within Australia. As a bonus, the telco also offers unlimited international calls to ten major countries.
The four amaysim plans are straightforward and well balanced between cost and inclusions, all based on 28-day periods. They start at $25 for the entry level plan. For that modest amount you get all the calls and texts along with a 2GB data allowance – more than enough for lower-usage customers. The $30, $40 and $50 plans take the data allowance to 5GB, 10GB and a huge 14GB respectively. Plus, the top two plans add 300 minutes of international calls to an additional 22 countries.
The $40 10GB plan is definitely a good place to be if you’re a high data user. However, all plans represent great value at their respective price points.
If it’s raw budget-conscious value you’re after, then Vaya is the provider to head for. One glance at the front page of their website will show you why. Unlimited calls, texts, MMS and voicemail along with 1GB of data for $16 per month? This surely can’t be true! But this is what Vaya has always specialised in – giving a quality mobile service to people on a tight budget. It’s no surprise they keep winning awards. Money Magazine awarded their $22 2GB plan “Best Mobile Plan: Average User” for 2017.
To sweeten the deal, Vaya now gives new users double data for the first month. A great way to stretch your mobile wings a bit and see whether the plan you’ve chosen has enough room for you to move.
For higher data users, $26 will get you 4GB and $36 will get you 10GB per month. You can prepay in 6-month blocks if you want, which gives you an even cheaper price in return. It brings the entry-level plan down to only $14.50 per month. Remember, that’s 4G with unlimited calls!
A little bit cheeky and defiantly customer-friendly since the start, Virgin Mobile has long been owned by Optus. They still operate as a completely separate entity though, as far as their plans and other offerings are concerned.
Virgin’s plans have a strong emphasis on keeping you around for the medium term, with the best deals only available on their 12-month contract plans. They still offer month-to-month plans, so you can check out their service before you make a commitment.
The month-to-month and 12-month plan range from $30 to $60, and give you unlimited calls and texts. But the data allowance differs hugely. For example, the $30 month-to-month plan gives you 1GB while the $40 plan has 4GB. On the 12-month-contract plans, $30 gets you 5GB and $40 a whopping 10GB. If data is important to you, there’s awesome value here, but you’ll need to stick around!
All plans above the base $30 one come with data-free music streaming via Spotify, Google Play Music and iHeartRadio. Up to 512Kbps, too, so you can safely set your favourite music streaming service to the Extreme quality setting and not touch your data allowance at all.
Unused data rolls over to the next month and, unusually, you can gift some of your data to a friend if they need it.
Doing things differently than other providers, Yomojo lets you completely customise your mobile plan. You can use sliders for voice, text and data allowances to build the ideal plan for you. Which is great, if you know exactly what you’re going to use. Otherwise, you could overestimate and pay too much, or under-budget and be left high and dry. Still, it’s great to see something different and more personal like this concept.
Naturally, though, most will want the plans with unlimited talk and text. Yomojo keeps it nice and simple with four plans ranging from 2GB to 8GB data, at $19.90 to $49.90 per 30 days.
The 3GB $29.90 plan is probably the “sweet spot” of the bunch, a good balance of price and data allowance that’ll be more than enough for most people. Naturally, there are no pesky contracts to deal with, so you can swap plans or move providers whenever you like.
Jeenee started off as a not-for-profit service helping people living with disabilities get mobile phones. Recently, it branched out to become a proper retail mobile provider in its own right. However, that doesn’t mean they’ve lost sight of why they started in the first place. They put their profits back into the community, donating free services and running training programs to help out people that need it the most. Indeed, their motto is “people-driven, not profit-driven”.
As a bonus, they offer ridiculously appealing mobile plans as well. Their Unlimited Pennywise plans give you the expected unlimited calls and texts, and range from a compact 1.5GB data allowance at the budget price of $14.90, right up to the huge 15GB plan at $60. There’s a $35 plan sitting in the middle there that’s incredible value – 10GB of data and $300 of international calls are included. But it’s listed as a special offer, so jump in quick if you want to nab it.
Figuring out which of these plans is the right fit for you is going to come down to what you mainly use your mobile phone for. Are you hungry for lots or data so you can stream Game of Thrones as it goes to air? Maybe send videos of your adventures to Facebook and have internet radio whenever? You’ll want to focus on data first and foremost. If you can find a plan with unlimited calls and texts along with it (which isn’t hard), even better.
Are you more about spending as little as possible on your mobile? You can still get all the unlimited perks, but your data allowance is going to be pretty small. Keep an eye on the fine print before signing up. Make sure there aren’t harsh penalties for accidentally going over your data limit and set data-hungry video apps to Wi-Fi only. Play it smart and you can have unlimited calls and texts for less than the cost of a coffee each week.
We know this is the “everyone’s a winner” era, but in the case of the providers here, everyone actually is. It just depends on you and what you want specifically from a mobile service. Regardless of which one you pick, you’ll be on the Optus 4G Plus network at a much lower rate than going direct to Optus themselves. Talkers, texters, data monsters – rejoice!