Telstra is often referred to as Australian's best mobile network, but that privilege typically comes at a price. However, Big T’s reputation as a premium provider doesn't mean there aren't a few more affordable ways to sidle onto an otherwise expensive network.
Playing against type, Telstra has been running some surprisingly competitive deals lately. And there are now a number of MVNOs powered by the Telstra network, all of which get you the coverage you crave without breaking the bank.
Here’s some of our favourite Telstra-powered SIM-only plans.
Telstra network plans with 30GB of data or more
In terms of data-for-dollar, the best value SIM-only plan on the Telstra network currently comes from Telstra. $49 per month gets you 60GB on a 12-month contract. This is easily one of the most generous Telstra offers we've seen to date. There is however a catch: this offer is only available to new customers.
If you're an existing Telstra customer, you'll get billed $59 per month instead. Admittedly, this is still a nice discount on the plan's regular $69 per month access fee.
If you don’t want to sign a contract, Southern Phone is currently doing 30GB for $60 per month on a month-to-month basis.
Telstra network plans with 15GB of data or more
Not all of us slurp data to the point at which a large plan makes sense, but there are still plenty of well-priced Telstra network plans with more moderate allowances.
Boost Mobile is the current winner thanks to a 22GB inclusion on its $40 prepaid recharge. In addition, you’ll currently get a bonus 23GB on your first five $30+ recharges, giving you a hefty amount of extra data for your first few months. You’ll need to make your recharge by February 25 to be eligible for bonus data.
It is however worth noting that Boost’s recharges have a 28-day expiry, so you’ll need to top up 13 times per year. But prepaid does mean you can leave whenever you want, so you can always bail after you've used up all your bonus data.
If you make plenty of calls overseas, Belong could be a good option. In addition to 15GB for $40 per month on a no-contract basis, you’ll get unlimited talk and text to 33 selected countries.
Telstra network plans with 5GB of data or more
TeleChoice currently comes out on top when it comes to smaller inclusion plans. $25 per month currently gets you 10GB on a 12-month contract plan. This is one of the best budget deals we’ve seen on the Telstra network.
In terms of prepaid, Telstra's $30 8GB recharge is good value, and comes with a 22GB Data Bank bonus on your first five recharges. Telstra prepaid plans let you save up to 200GB of unused data in between recharges, which can then be used at a later date when you've exhausted your standard inclusion - provided you have an active recharge worth at least $30.
To get this bonus, you'll need to make your first recharge by February 5 next year, and all other recharges by June 30.
Better yet, if you sign up before February 5, you can get your first recharge for just $8.
Alex Choros is Managing Editor at WhistleOut, Australia's phone and internet comparison website. He's now had far too many phone plan related dreams.