Let’s say you’re looking for a mobile phone plan that will take care of all your communications needs. But maybe you don’t want to go to the drastic extra step of swapping your current smartphone out for a new one. After all, it’s been serving you well, and you’d rather wait for next year’s model before making the switch. In the meantime, you’ve got a decent budget for mobile calls and data and you want lots of both. Here’s what’s available.
Going for the upper-end SIM only plans can be the perfect fit for anyone who’s always glued to their phone. It’s not only your primary means of keeping in touch with friends, family and work, but also a pocket-sized substitute for your laptop or desktop computer when you’re out and about. Having a decent data allowance is probably a priority; and you want your data to be as fast as possible. Your best bet? Go with one of the top-tier providers for the fastest and most reliable 4G data access you can get. Third-party providers all operate on one of the three big companies’ networks, but don’t always have access to the fastest speeds.
So, let’s have a look at four of the best mobile plans – in terms of both value and quality – you can find for under $70 to supercharge your smartphone.
While they operate as a distinct, separate brand, Virgin Mobile has been owned and operated by Optus for years now. As such, they get the full benefit of Optus’s extensive and fast 4G network. Virgin distinguishes itself from its parent both with its more cheeky and casual marketing and with its eye on extreme value. Their SIM only mobile plans are a great example of how good the value can get.
Virgin’s $60/month plan (on a 12-month contract) gives you the usual unlimited calls, texts and MMS, along with cost-free calls to 13 and 18 numbers and no cost for voicemail. This is a plan for those who only occasionally call internationally. You get a $500/month international allowance which will be more than enough for casual use. Moreover, if you’re calling the UK, USA, NZ, China, India, Canada or Singapore you get unlimited calls for the life of the plan to those destinations. And then there’s the data – 18GB of it, a huge allowance for the price. As a matter of fact, most people will find it incredibly hard to chew through.
Music streaming through Google Play Music, Spotify, Pandora and iHeartRadio is data-free, too, just to make it harder to use up that allowance. Velocity frequent flyer members also get 10% of the plan fee (making it only $54/month) and points each month. There’s no shortage of value here.
Spend a little more each month than the Virgin offering and you can opt for Optus Mobile. Their $70 SIM plan gives you 20GB of data – plus an extra 5GB if you sign up on their web site. Alternatively, you can pick the $55 plan and get a total of 15GB of data. Especially if you’d struggle to get through even that much in the space of a month, but want that buffer there in case you’re away from home and need your Netflix.
The usual unlimited calls and text apply here, along with something unusual – free international text to a range of around 30 countries. To actually make voice calls to those same countries is not unlimited, but you do get 500 minutes (400 on the $55 plan) each month. It’s worth pointing out that the country inclusions in this plan are far more extensive than those in most providers’ “unlimited international” plans.
Music streaming is data-free. For an extra $15 each month you can get access to Optus Sport for live streaming of English Premier League soccer on your phone or, optionally, in HD on your TV.
Telstra’s top SIM only plan sits right on the $70 mark of this range. It’s the only Telstra postpaid SIM only plan that offers unlimited calls, text and MMS to any Australian number. Below this plan, you’ll be looking at an admittedly still viable $1000 worth of calls available with the $50 and $40 M plans.
You also get unlimited calls and text to 10 major international countries and 15GB of data on Telstra’s blazingly fast 4G network. A network that’s already geared up for the next generation of ridiculously fast smartphones that can achieve download speeds ten times that of the fastest NBN connection.
Six months’ worth of Apple Music membership is included with this plan, too – worth $72 on its own – along with a year’s subscription to the AFL Live and NRL Live apps for live sports streaming. Telstra also provides a range of other nice bonuses from time to time for their customers.
Is the Vodafone network your favourite? With the multi-million-dollar upgrades to their network in recent years, we get it. You can get a mammoth 20GB of data along with unlimited calls, texts and MMS for $60 per month on their MyMix Red Data plan. This offer doesn’t include any international calls.
If you’d prefer to have access to the rest of the world as well, the MyMix Red Global plan gives you a total of 1300 minutes of overseas calls plus 18GB of data. Definitely the one to go with if you have friends or family overseas. Furthermore, Vodafone offers $5 roaming – basically, you get to use your plan allowance as normal while overseas for a charge of $5 per day, applied automatically. That’s a godsend for travellers, who know all too well how expensive roaming charges can be without a feature like this.
In the $70 bracket, you’ll get generous data inclusions no matter which provider’s plan you choose. And since you’re bringing your own device, it really is going to come down to the little differences between them as much as your preferred network. All of these plans represent superb value and will take the worrying about usage out of your daily life. That’s very much worth the money.