Tangerine vs MATE Compare Unlimited Broadband Plans, Perks, and Offers

Choosing a broadband plan shouldn’t mean spending hours crunching numbers and stressing over contracts. After all, the internet is a big part of your social life. And if you use your devices to connect with your friends, swap experiences and stories and organise fun stuff, why should shopping for a plan feel like such a chore? Luckily, there’s a couple of providers – both fairly fresh and new to the market – that are turning the tables on the often too-serious business of finding a broadband plan.

MATE Communicate emphasises the social aspect of the internet. They display big, colourful and friendly graphics across their website, use of the word “mate” in all its Australian-ness, and employ a no-fuss layout of their offerings and pans. All with a sense of humour along the way. Provider Tangerine Telecom, meanwhile, takes a similar approach. This time, with a nod to classic comic books and liberal splashes of orange throughout the site as you hunt down the right plan for you.

It’s thanks to the NBN that these companies exist at all. The national network that levels the playing field for providers old and new, big and small, has allowed smart new entries into what used to be a fairly uninteresting choice between a bunch of established companies. So how do the MATE and Tangerine broadband plans stack up?

Tangerine Telecom

Tangerine Telecom
A purely NBN based ISP with a shot of mobile phone on the side, the very orange Tangerine lays the basics out on the front page of their website with admirable simplicity. NBN broadband with no contract from $59.90 per month, or unlimited-data NBN plus unlimited-calls home phone from $69.90 a month.

This is the NBN, though – so you’ll be paying according to get the speed you want (and the speed your connection is able to achieve, in the case of Fibre to the Node). That “from” on the front page should already have made you assume they’re talking about the lowest speed tier.

For that price you get a 12/1 (12 Mbps down, 1 Mbps up) connection. For only $5 more, you can bump that up to a much more useful 25/5. The catch – which they’re totally up-front about – is that this tier is a 3-month introductory offer, after which it switches to $74.90, However, at that point you can downgrade to the lower speed if you like without penalty. In our opinion, even at the eventual higher price, going for 25/5 is still worth it if you’re interested in doing anything involving streaming.

For those with connections that can support higher speeds, there’s a 50/20 tier for $89.90 a month. Also, you can always go for the “high as it goes at the moment” 100/40 tier, which will set you back a perfectly reasonable $99.90. Those on Fibre to the Home NBN will instantly see the result of hopping onto the top plan. But on other NBN connections, you may be wasting your money. Tangerine lets you hop between plans without penalty. Working out what your connection is capable of just became a lot less punishing.

One unique feature is the option for a “bandwidth boost” for an extra $10 per month on all plans. They describe this as giving your service more bandwidth during peak times, and specifically mention HD Netflix streaming as one thing that can benefit from it. If your usage is mainly outside the evening peak, you most likely won’t need to worry about this one.

Unlimited local and national calls as well as calls to mobiles is an extra $10 a month. An absolute bargain if you still use a home phone a lot.

MATE Communicate

MATE Communicate
With a web site that reminds you of all the things that mates shouldn’t do to each other, the friendly and approachable MATE Communicate still does ADSL plans with a very simple price structure. $49/month in the city, $59 in the country, unlimited data and BYO modem (or buy one from them for $149). It doesn’t get much simpler than that. Not surprisingly, with ADSL very much now a transitional technology as the NBN continues to roll out. It’s admirable that they continue to supply it (with a free upgrade path to NBN) for those in areas that still face a long wait for the NBN installation truck to arrive.

On the NBN itself, meanwhile, MATE is right on the money with its range of speed choices and prices, with all plans offering unlimited data. Starting at $59 for 12/1 with no contract, most will want to bump up to the 25/5 plan for better streaming and uploading. It’s only 10 bucks more at $69 per month.

Those with faster connections (and those lucky fibre users!) will want head for the faster options – 50/20 for $89 per month or 100/40 for $99. Those prices sit on the lower end of what is a pretty narrow price scale for the top-end NBN speeds. The $99 plan in particular is good value, especially since it’s available (like all the MATE plans) with no contract, no setup fee and no fee to change plans. It’s BYO modem, though. And for the NBN, this matters, since if you’re on FTTN, FTTB or HFC you’ll need a modem that’s different to the one you might have hanging around from your ADSL days. MATE can sell you a quality Netcomm modem that handles it all for $149 (or $169 for the version with VOIP for home phone calls)

Choice made simple

Both Tangerine and Mate are perfect examples of one of the key things the NBN was meant to achieve – to let more companies large and small enter the market and compete for your business, leading to the abolition of silliness like activation fees and contracts. Trying either of these fresh providers doesn’t lock you down to anything. If you’re not happy with the speed or service, you’re free to leave without paying anything extra. The glowing reviews for both across various websites, however, suggest that there’s a whole lot of people who either look good in Tangerine, or feel at home with their MATE.

Compare the latest Broadband plans.

Choose the right one for you.

Compare Broadband plans