Optus entered the Australian mobile phone market as the first alternative in what had up until then been a monopoly. Ever since, the telco has specialised in providing innovative, high quality mobile phone services at very keen price points.
We take a look at their best deals and offer advice on which type of plan you should choose.
It’s largely thanks to Optus Mobile that we have such expansive and affordable mobile services today. Operating on their own 3G (and now 4G) network as a direct competitor to Telstra, they were able to drive prices down and trigger real competition in the industry. Today, that competition is fiercer than it’s ever been before. But thanks to the scale of their network and many years of experience, Optus offers a unique combination of value and coverage quality. This combo makes them a top-tier contender for your mobile phone dollar.
On top of whatever plan you end up choosing, there’s some very tasty icing on the cake as well. That’s thanks to Optus Perks – a rewards program that gives customers everything from free music streaming and cheap movie tickets to the chance to win a car just by recharging your prepaid service. It’s one of the advantages of going with a top-tier provider like Optus. They’ve got the resources to give customers desirable bonuses at no extra cost. While you probably won’t be choosing a provider based on perks alone, they certainly know how to sweeten the deal.
Optus customers also get access to Optus Sport – either for a modest monthly fee or for free on selected plans. The service unlocks live streaming coverage of the English Premier League football for you to watch on your mobile device or (with an Optus-supplied Fetch TV box) on your big-screen TV in high definition.
When it comes to mobile plans, Optus has something for everyone. Photo: Shutterstock
What’s on offer
Are you shopping for a shiny new smartphone? Looking for a SIM to use in your existing one? Or simply searching out a prepaid plan to get you talking and texting as soon as possible? Optus has a vast range of options to cover your needs – whether it’s the latest phone tech or just a cheap way to get in touch with loved ones.
If you’ve already got a smartphone you’re perfectly happy with, you’re likely looking for a SIM-only plan to power your chat and data needs. Optus has a range of promo plans starting at $25/month and capping out at $75. The sweet spot plan for SIM-only is easily the $35 option, though it’s only available to new customers or those willing to agree to a new 12-month contract. That gives you a massive 30GB data allowance per month.
While the unlimited standard national talk and text is a given, it’s good to know that the plan also includes unlimited calls and text to 35 international destinations, plus unmetered music streaming from Google Play Music, Spotify, and iHeartRadio. Stream music all day and all night without using up any of your precious (but huge) data allowance.
If you’re not keen on agreeing to a year-long contract, month-by-month plans are available. The best-placed option out of all the Optus deals is the $55/month plan. It bundles 15GB of data and unlimited talk and text but without the free entertainment extras that are included in the year-long plans. You can always purchase these as add-ons — music streaming, for instance, only costs $5 per month.
In the case of both month-by-month and contract plans, best value when it comes to Optus’s SIM-only plans lies somewhere in the middle. The lowest-cost plans don’t offer enough data to cover many people’s needs (only 3GB), don’t come with unlimited international calls and aren’t all that much cheaper than the middle-tier plans.
If you’re after a new smartphone, meanwhile, your options are plenty. Optus has a brilliant range of devices ranging from the latest shiny desirables to more practical, budget-conscious choices. The iPhone XS or Galaxy S9 are going to top the table in terms of monthly repayment cost. That’s because the higher-end phones always come with an additional cost to repay the higher handset price on top of the chosen plan. But the offer we like the most out of the many Optus phone plans available is the iPhone SE 16GB.
Bear in mind that the SE, while looking just like an old-school iPhone 5, is actually a compact-sized powerhouse with the same computing power inside as the iPhone 6S, as well as phenomenal battery life. The version with 16GB storage is free of upfront cost on any 24-month phone plan. Or, if you think you’d be better off with 64GB of phone storage, that just adds $5/month to your chosen plan.
And the best of the phone plans? Well, if you’re into your sport, the $85/month option is the one to look at. You get 25GB+25GB bonus data (with free music streaming), unlimited calls and texts, unlimited international calls and texts to 35 countries and a free subscription to Optus Sport for all your EPL needs. For an extra $5 per month you can add unlimited streaming of Netflix, Stan and iView. But keep in mind that for $20 more, you can get a substantial data increase on the $105 plan, getting you a total of 200GB of general-use data along with it.
For those who would just prefer to keep things simple and opt for prepaid, Optus prepaid plans come with affordable, feature-packed recharges. These range from $30 to $100 with a 28-day expiry.
The one to go for here is the $40 recharge with its 20GB data allowance. However, if you’re not a heavy data user, the $30 option still provides plenty of room to move at 10GB. All prepaid plans include unlimited calls and texts, but the $40 option also gives you unlimited international calls to 15 countries. Music streaming is free, too. Best of all, any unused data each month can be rolled over to the next month (up to 50GB total) if you recharge before the expiry date.
Besides incredible coverage and great deals, Optus also offers some interesting perks. Photo: Optus
Optus’s rewards program is automatically included with every Optus plan. It doesn’t matter whether you’re on a phone plan, SIM-only or even prepaid. You just need to register at the Optus Perks site and. Then, you’re ready to get hooked up with discounted movie tickets, special offers for everything from concerts to holiday experiences, free Spotify months, prizes and more.
On a more practical level, Optus also offers a data pooling service. This is something families, in particular, will appreciate, as well as those using multiple devices like a phone and tablet. You can combine the data allowances of your phones, tablets and even pocket Wi-Fi devices on the one account. This enables you to draw on that big super-allowance across all your devices without having to micro-manage data usage. It helps you get the most out of the data allowances on all your services. No need to pick one over the other for whatever you’re doing – and it’s all managed automatically behind the scenes by Optus. It’s simple, clever and incredibly useful.
Is Optus for you?
With a massive top-tier network covering the vast majority of Australia, full access to the 4G Plus data network and pricing to suit just about any need, that might be the case. Optus is worthy of your consideration, whether you’re looking for a new phone or a new SIM. Full disclosure: if you’re after the cheapest of the cheap, you won’t find it here. However, for the price premium (which is still lower than competitors) you’re getting access to a bigger network, some very desirable bonuses and very generous data allowances, along with some genuinely useful perks. Your investment will definitely pay off in the long run.