Telstra’s Go Mobile Sharing Plans: How They Compare

Plans where you can share data amongst multiple people in your family or workplace are the most notable trend in the Australian mobile space this year. Optus and Vodafone already offer them, and now Telstra is jumping on the bandwagon with its new Go Mobile plans. Are they good value? Planhacker has crunched the numbers.

Picture: Getty Images/Quinn Rooney

The new Go Mobile plans will go on sale from Tuesday May 12. If you’re an existing contract customer, you can switch to the Go Mobile plans, but that may extend the life of your contract — Telstra says this will be handled on a case-by-case basis. The existing Telstra Mobile Accelerate plans, which were only updated back in March, are being retired and replaced with these new plans.

How Sharing Works

Telstra is offering two basic sharing options for individual consumers who are signed up to one of the Go Mobile plans:

  • For $5 per month, you can add a data-sharing SIM which allows the data from your plan to be shared with other devices. That might be a useful scenario if, for instance, you want to share data with a SIM-equipped tablet without tethering or paying for an entirely separate account.
  • For $40 per month, you can add a “companion SIM” which shares the data from the parent plan, and also allows unlimited calls, texts and MMS to Australian numbers. On Telstra’s cheaper plans, that would actually mean the “shared” account might have a more generous allowance than its parent. If you sign up for a 24-month contract, you may be eligible for handset subsidies with this SIM.
  • Data can be shared across all eligible plans listed on a single account — so if your household had two Go Connect Mobile plans, that data can be pooled and used by either customer, as well as being shared via additional SIMs if you sign up for them.

As an added incentive, Telstra is also offering the choice of a 12-month AFL Live or NRL Digital Pass (which normally sells for $89.99), or a 6-month Presto subscription (valued at $89.94), to any contract Go Mobile customers. Access to the sports content is unmetered on your mobile, but that isn’t true for Presto.

If you exceed the data limits on any of these plans, you’ll automatically have an additional 1GB added to your account for $10. This approach is potentially annoying if you run close to the data limit one day before your allowance runs out.

What The Plans Cost

The basic plan inclusions on Go Mobile are identical to Telstra’s existing plans — the main change being the addition of a new XXL 16GB plan. Here’s what you’ll pay for the contract versions, which require a 24-month sign-up (and may include a bundled phone, though for newer models you’ll face an additional per-month handset charge in many cases). SMS to Australian numbers is unlimited across all these plans.

Plan name Monthly cost Data (MB) Call inclusions #2 minute calls Minimum total cost
Go Mobile S $55.00 1000 $550.00 231 $1,320.00
Go Mobile M $70.00 2500 $1000.00 420 $1,680.00
Go Mobile L $95.00 6000 $Unlimited.00 Unlimited $2,280.00
Go Mobile XL $135.00 10000 Unlimited Unlimited $3,240.00
Go Mobile XXL $195.00 16000 Unlimited Unlimited $4,680.00

If you don’t want to be tied to a contract, Telstra also offers Casual versions which run month-to-month. The same sharing options are available, and in some cases the data inclusions are more generous ($70 a month gets you 6GB here rather than 2.5GB on a contract plan, for example). The trade-off is that you’ll have to supply your own handset.

Plan name Monthly cost Data (MB) Call inclusions #2 minute calls Minimum total cost
Go Mobile Casual S $35.00 500 $300.00 126 $35.00
Go Mobile Casual M $50.00 2500 $1,000.00 420 $50.00
Go Mobile Casual L $70.00 6000 Unlimited Unlimited $70.00

Finally, there are business versions of Go Mobile, which also require a 24-month contract. These differ from the consumer plans in a few details apart from price: you don’t have to pay extra for a data sharing SIM, calls to voicemail aren’t charged, and calls between phones listed on the same business account are free.

Plan name Monthly cost Data (MB) Call inclusions #2 minute calls Minimum total cost
Go Mobile Business S $65.00 1000 $800.00 336 $1,560.00
Go Mobile Business M $85.00 2500 $1,200.00 504 $2,040.00
Go Mobile Business L $100.00 6000 Unlimited Unlimited $2,400.00
Go Mobile Business XL $135.00 10000 Unlimited Unlimited $3,240.00
Go Mobile Business XXL $195.00 16000 Unlimited Unlimited $4,680.00

How It Compares

Sharing a plan with Go Mobile will generally be cheaper than buying two separate plans on Telstra — though you have to do the comparisons carefully. For instance, suppose you signed up for the $95 Go Mobile L contract plan (6GB of data) and added the $40 companion SIM for a second phone used by your partner. For $135, you’d have 3GB of data to use on each phone, unlimited calls and texts on one and a generous allowance (399 minutes) on the other. If you instead purchased two $70 Go Mobile M plans, you’d have less data (2.5GB on each plan) and a less generous calls allowance (though in truth you still probably wouldn’t exhaust it). One downside of the shared approach? Only the main account holder is eligible for a subsidised handset.

If you didn’t want to be on contract, combining the $70 L plan with a $40 companion SIM would give you 6GB of data to share and unlimited calls on both phones for just $110 a month. This scenario presumes both partners have their own handset, but it’s still (relatively) cheap.

That doesn’t mean it’s the best value in terms of data. Signing up for Telstra’s Beyond Talk plan (our favoured Telstra prepaid plan for moderate data users, you could score slightly more data (3.4GB) for $50 a head.

And if you’re not wedded to Telstra, there are definitely cheaper options. Sharing the 16GB of data on the XXL plan with someone else would cost $235 a month — that’s $117.50 each to have 8GB of data. You could get the same deal with Amaysim (on the Optus network) for $64.90 a month.

Leaving the sharing aspect aside, we do like the $70 a month Casual L plan. Unlimited calls and 6GB of data for $70 a month with no long-term lock-up is the best deal we’ve seen from Telstra in recent years.

But compared to its rivals, Telstra is charging a hefty premium for sharing. Even just for data sharing, it charges $5 a month ongoing; Optus only charges a one-time $5 setup fee. Telstra also sets up voice and SMS allowance sharing as a separate entity you have to pay $40 a month for; Optus and Vodafone simply pool all the allowances across different plans.

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