In an evolving world of ever-cheaper mobile plans, where prices have gotten so low they’re almost giving it away in some cases, there’s some pretty tight profit margins at play. But as someone who works to help power the machinery of Australia’s government — or someone who’s served the country in the military — surely there’s some benefits to be had when shopping for a mobile plan.
Unfortunately, it’s those razor-thin margins that put paid to that idea, no matter how much we’d all like to see those that help run the country — and those that serve to protect it — get a better deal on their phone plans. Telco giant Telstra does offer discounts to veterans who hold the DVA card — but that only applies to a home phone line.
Govt Employees and Veterans
That might sound incredibly stingy of the various mobile providers — until you see the prices they’re asking these days, that is. Because even without a discount, you’ll be paying so little for your mobile plan you’ll think back to that expensive old home phone and wonder how people ever justified spending so much for the thing.But what plan should you look for? Well, as a government employee you’ll likely be living a very connected life — emails, website research, booking meals, taxis, flights and more. Even if you have a government-issued phone at your disposal, you’ll want to keep the personal stuff to your own device, and so what you’re after is a smartphone with a plan that gives you a decent data allowance without breaking the bank. A “daily driver”, as some call it.
As a military veteran, on the other hand, you’re possibly retired, possibly doing some work from home, and while you use the internet a fair bit, you don’t really need to worry about it too much on your phone — but then, it’s incredibly useful for when you’re catching public transport, doing some quick online banking, or checking maps when you’re travelling around. A smartphone’s probably what you need as well, but perhaps one that’s geared more towards calls than a super-fast internet experience.
Chances are you already have a smartphone of some kind handy — but if not, there’s a huge range of them to pick from, at prices ranging from under $100 to close to $2000. That’s the cost of buying a phone outright, of course — something you don’t need to do if you opt to buy or lease a phone on a 24-month plan.
The option to lease is a fairly new one in Australia, and basically means you get a brand new phone and pay less per month than the “buy” plans cost — but you don’t own the phone at the end of your contract. Instead, you have to buy it at a price the provider sets — or trade it in for a new model for a nominal fee and start a new contract. Leasing is for those who upgrade their phone every year to the latest model.
Buying is the better option by far — whether that’s on contract, or outright.
So with all that in mind, let’s look at five of the best mobile deals around at the moment — both with and without a phone. If you’ve got your own phone at hand you’re in the best position to save big money, but if you don’t have a smartphone handy, you can get a high quality one surprisingly cheap — as long as you don’t chase the latest and greatest model!
#1 – Telstra S Phone Mobile Plan
Going with Telstra comes with a few key advantages — not least their stellar network, which operates at full 4GX speed with the right phone. What that means is flawless internet service no matter where you are, and crystal-clear calls with coverage across Australia, unrivalled by any other provider. Telstra’s $59 “S” phone plan gives you 3GB of data — plenty for day-to-day use — and unlimited talk and text across Australia. The value comes from pairing this plan with one of the older (but still super-capable) iPhones, and the pick of them is the iPhone 6, which is literally free on a two year contract with this plan (or you can opt for the iPhone 7 for $24/month extra). It’s the perfect plan to get you set up.
#2 – Southern Phone Motorola Moto C
A nicely capable low-end smartphone from Motorola, the Moto C can be had on a two year contract with Southern Phone mobile for $7/month on top of any of their plans, with the Green 9.90 plan being a great choice — you get the plan with its unlimited calls and texts on the Optus network, along with 1G of data, for a total of only $16.90/month. Alternatively, you can buy the phone outright for $149, which is $19 cheaper than paying for it on the plan. This is an ideal solution for those wanting unlimited calls but with the ability to use basic internet when needed.
#3 – Vodafone Sony Experia XA Prepaid Plan
It might not be at the very top of Sony’s mobile phone range but their Experia XA is no slouch, with its gorgeous sleek design, quality eight megapixel camera and Android operating system. And at just $149 from Vodafone as a prepaid handset, it’s a bit of a bargain. You can pair it with Vodafone’s impressive 17GB prepaid plan, currently on sale at $20/month — and that includes unlimited calls and text messages as well as international calls to a vast range of countries. And that 17GB data allowance means you’ll never need to worry about your usage!
#4 – Belong Regular 5GB Mobile Plan
One of a couple we think are worth mentioning for those who’ve already got a smartphone at the ready — and this is a great deal. Belong (a Telstra company using the superb Telstra network) gives 5GB of nice fast data along with unlimited calls and texts for an incredibly low $25/month — great value for a service on this network. You can also add unlimited international calls and texts to a wide range of countries for only $5/month extra.
#5 – Ovo Mobile Large 15GB Plan
The relatively fresh company Ovo (operating on the Optus 4G network) has a range of excellent value plans for those bringing their own phone, and smartphone users will gravitate towards their sweet-spot Large plan, which pairs unlimited talk and text with a whopping 15GB of data and five hours per month of international calls for $34.95/month. The neat bonus in this case is that you also get unlimited, data-free access to OvoPlay, the provider’s exclusive sports streaming service, which has a lot to offer motorsport enthusiasts in particular.
While the lack of mobile discounts for government employees and veterans might seem a little stingy, the reality is that prices are so incredibly low and fiercely competitive in the mobile world right now that you’ll find yourself paying a lot less than you’d think, regardless of whether you’re looking for a new phone or just a SIM for your current one. Use these deals as a jumping-off point and explore these providers’ other offers. We’re pretty sure you’ll find something that fits your needs perfectly.