Find the Best Coverage in Your Area With These Mobile Plans

Find the Best Coverage in Your Area With These Mobile Plans
Contributor:  Alex Choros, Chris Neill
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When it comes to picking a mobile plan, it’s important to check coverage is naturally one of the most important parts. Because if you can’t get reception, you can’t use the service you’re paying for – and that’s just a waste.

Most of us know Telstra has Australia’s widest network, but Optus and Vodafone still have a respectable amount of coverage – more than you might think – even if they’re not quite as strong in rural areas. Telstra’s 3G and 4G network cover 99.6 per cent of the population, but Optus is right behind at 98.5 per cent of the population, while Vodafone covers 96 per cent. Realistically, this means most of us should be able to get a plan on any of these networks.

While Telstra, Optus and Vodafone are called the Big Three for a reason, they aren’t the only options available. There are plenty of smaller mobile providers that use the same networks as Telstra, Optus and Vodafone, and for the most part, offer the same coverage but at a much cheaper price. If you’re looking for a new plan and want to lower your monthly bill, then a tiny telco is worth considering.

Here are some of the best value mobile plans that make use of the Telstra, Optus and Vodafone networks.

Mobile network coverage maps

For a birds-eye snapshot of how the three networks compare, you can use this interactive map.

Or, to easily check coverage in your area, click here and pop in your address when searching for a new phone plan. When you’re on the results page, click See Coverage Map to jump straight to it. Here you’ll be able to compare Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone coverage across 5G, 4G, and 3G networks. Just be aware that this represents outdoor coverage availability, and there may be some difference indoors – especially with 5G.

It’s also worth noting that some MVNOs on the Telstra, Optus and Vodafone networks have access to their respective 5G networks. However, in some cases, this access is just a free trial and is usually limited to the more expensive plans.

Telstra network plans with at least 15GB

If you’re looking at the Telstra network, the cheapest plan currently comes from MATE. You can nab your first month on its 22GB plan for only $1. After that, you’ll be paying $25 per month. if you’re someone who likes a bundle deal, a MATE mobile plan also gets you a $10 per month discount on any MATE NBN plan. Not a bad way to cut down on expenses.

Woolworths Mobile has the same plan as MATE, where you’ll get a 22GB allowance for $25 per month. However, Woolworths has the added bonus of an offer that’ll let you save 10 per cent of your grocery shop once per month.

Telstra’s budget brand Belong is up next at $29 per month for 25GB. Belong has the advantage of being able to access part of Telstra’s 5G network.

If you’re after a bit more data, Tangerine will double your allowance for the first six months you’re with its 32GB plan. This means you’ll have an allowance of 64GB for just $29.90 per month.

Telstra‘s own plans start at $35 for a 28-day recharge with 15GB of data. However, you’ll get a bonus 20GB of data on your first three recharges, which will give you a total of 35GB to play with.

Telstra’s 3G and 4G networks reach 99.4 per cent of the population, but the Telstra wholesale network that providers like Belong, ALDI, and Woolworths use only reaches 98.8 per cent of the population. That’s still pretty damn respectable though, and a little ahead of Optus.

Of course, this can affect mobile coverage in some remote, regional, and rural areas. Here’s how the full Telstra network and the Telstra wholesale network compare:

Optus network plans with at least 15GB

Moose Mobile currently has one of the best deals on the Optus network, slinging a 16GB plan for just $11 per month. The only catch is the discount only lasts for the first six months of your connection, after which you’ll pay $19 per month. Of course, the plan is contract-free, so you can always jump ship when your savings run out.

If you’re after more data, consider Circles.Life. At $20 per month, you’ll get 30GB per month for the first 18 months. Once again, this is a timed discount, so your bill will revert to $25 per month after that discount period ends. The plan is contract-free, so you’re free to bail at any time as well. This offer is available until July 31 and you’ll need to use the promo code FREEZE30GB.

Dodo has a similar offer for extra data, where you’ll get a 40GB allowance for the first three months you’re on its $20 plan. After this discount period ends, your allowance will drop to 20GB per month.

The cheapest option from Optus itself is its $35 prepaid recharge with a 28-day expiry. You’ll get 40GB of data for your first three recharges, and then 20GB from the fourth recharge onwards. You’re also able to store any unused data in MyData when you maintain an active AutoRecharge (up to 200GB).

Vodafone network plans with at least 15GB

TPG is currently killing it when it comes to value on the Vodafone network. You’ll pay just $12.50 per month for your first six months for a 25GB plan. As a comparison, that kind of money would typically only buy you 5GB or so. The price rises to $25 per month after your promo period runs out, but the plan is contract-free.

Sibling brands Internode and iiNet have identical offers but with a smaller data allowance of 16GB.

If you’re after more data, Kogan is currently offering a 40GB SIM-only plan for $25 per month with no lock-in contracts, so you’re free to leave whenever you want.

Vodafone‘s cheapest plan is a $30 28-day prepaid recharge with 15GB, and you’ll save an extra $5 per recharge if you opt-in for an Automatic Recharge.

This article has been updated since its original publication. 

Alex Choros is Managing Editor at WhistleOut, Australia’s phone and internet comparison website.


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