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 more affordable ways to sidle onto an otherwise expensive network. If you’re willing to shop around, you’ll find a number of MVNOs powered by the Telstra network, all who offer the coverage you crave at a lower cost.
Here are some of our favourite Telstra-powered SIM-only plans.
Telstra network plans with 30GB of data or more
One of the best value SIM-only plans on the Telstra network comes from numobile. You’ll pay $30 per month for 30GB as a baseline. $1 per gigabyte is excellent at this price point for a Telstra MVNO. Better yet, you’ll get a 10GB bonus every time your plan renews before February 14 next year. Right now, that should work out to be a bonus 10GB. numobile supports data banking, so you can stash those unused gigs away for a rainy day.
Boost Mobile isn’t bad either, offering 40GB on its $30 recharge plan. Just be aware that your 40GB allowance only lasts for your thirst three recharges with Boost, after which your allowance drops down to 20GB. But since Boost plans are all prepaid, you’re always able to leave when your bonus data runs out. Boost recharges are sold on a 28-day basis, which means you’ll need to top up 13 times per year if you recharge manually. If you turn on auto charge, you’re able to schedule a monthly recharge on the same day each month, however. If you sign up to Boost before December 21, you can get your first recharge for $10.
Boost Mobile is also worth considering because it’s the only provider with access to the entire Telstra network. Every other Telstra powered MVNO only has access to the Telstra wholesale network. While Telstra’s full network reaches 99.4% of the population, the wholesale version covers 98.8%. This may not seem like a huge difference, but it can mean most Telstra MVNOs may not be suitable for some in rural and regional areas.
PennyTel is another provider worth considering. 30GB will set you back $32.99 on a contract-free basis, but you can get your first six months for $16.49 if you sign up before December 16.
If you need a little more data, you could go for Belong’s 40GB plan for $40. Belong is Telstra’s budget brand – a diet Telstra, if you will – and offers no frills plans with better bang-for-buck. You won’t get the same kind of extras as you do on Telstra itself, but when you exclude promo pricing, you’d normally pay $55 per month for 40GB on Telstra.
Telstra is however running a promo of its own, offering a $10 per month discount on its 80GB plan for your first year. This brings it down to $55 per month. This deal is available until December 25, but is only available for new customers.
Telstra network plans with 50GB of data or more
If you need even more data, numobile is once again worth checking out. You’ll get 50GB for $45 per month on a contract-free plan. You’ll also get a bonus 10GB on every renewal before February 14, which can be stashed away for later in your data bank.
Woolworths Mobile has a similar plan with a little less data upfront, but a little more in the long run: you’ll pay $45 per month for a 55GB plan with no-contract.
And as aforementioned, Telstra is currently cutting $10 from its 80GB plan, bringing it down to $55 per month for your first year.
Telstra network plans with 5GB of data or more
If you’re after a Telstra powered plan with smaller inclusions, you should be considering either Pennytel or Woolworths Mobile. Pennytel gets you 15GB for $24.99 per month on a contract-free postpaid basis.
Woolies, on the other hand, will sell you an 18GB plan for $25 per month. You get a little more data, but there aren’t any discounts for your “welcome” period.
Alex Choros is Managing Editor at WhistleOut, Australia’s phone and internet comparison website.
This article has been updated since its original publish date.