Mobile phone plans are like health insurance – most people sign up, and then promptly stop thinking about whether they’re getting the best deal possible. After all, we like to feel good about our choices, so why compare offerings after we’ve already signed up?

Well, the answer is simple really – to get the best value going. It’s the same reason people chop and change NBN plans (though, arguably, that’s a little easier) – with so much competition in the mobile space, finding a better deal isn’t hard.

So, today we’re going to look at what Telstra offers, alongside the offers from other telcos that use Telstra’s network.

Telcos like this are called MVNOs, or Mobile Virtual Network Operators – they have their own billing, customer service, plan options, and more .. but they don’t have their own towers. They use a larger mobile network. In Australia, this means they use Telstra, Optus or Vodafone.

One thing MVNOs do have, which the larger carriers often don’t, is great value plans and so you can often find a better deal with an MVNO!

Telstra’s own offerings

Telstra has simplified its plans a lot in recent times, and really only offers four main plans to consumers and small business customers:

They’re not unreasonable value, offering big data for a reasonable cost, on a network that covers more places at higher speed across Australia. The other advantage to going Telstra direct is access to the company’s 5G network which, for now, resellers don’t get access to.

However, as these plans start at $50 a month for 15GB data, there are better options around. Let’s take a look.

Telstra MVNO plans

There’s a range of MVNOs selling Telstra-backed plans, including mate, TeleChoice, Pennytel, Belong and Tangerine.

Mate’s $25 plan includes 15GB data and no contract – fully half the price of the same data inclusion from Telstra. TeleChoice and PennyTel also have some great options for this amount of data.

In fact, if you were to spend $40-$50 (to bring you in line with Telstra’s cheapest plan offering, you could get as much as 40GB data – nearly three times what Telstra offers for the same price here. Belong’s 40GB for $40 is a great price.

What if you want more data, though?

There’s not too much competition from Telstra MVNOs at the high end; Tangerine offers 60GB data for $70 a month, but as you’ll note, Telstra offers this same data for $60 a month. None of the Telstra MVNOs have bigger data inclusions though – if you want 100GB or 150GB, Telstra’s your only option.

Telstra’s network has a reputation – fostered by the company itself, in no small part – of being a ‘premium’ option, and the price tag often reflects this. For lower data inclusions, MVNOs are very competitive and offer incredible value.

However, at the higher end, there’s really not many alternatives.

Prepaid Telstra MVNO options

Not everyone wants a post-paid plan, and some people – particularly younger customers and those without a fixed income – may find it difficult to qualify. However, that doesn’t mean you miss out – there are some great prepaid options from Telstra MVNOs too, and they’re great value.

$40 gets you around 42GB to 45GB a month from Lycamobile, Boost and Woolworths Mobile. Spend a shade more – $45 a month – and ALDIMobile will give you 48GB of data to use in a 30 day period.

You’ll note that these rates are virtually the same as the post-paid offerings from other Telstra MVNOs, meaning that those looking for great value prepaid can do very well here.

In coming days we’ll compare Optus and Vodafone and the respective MVNOs that use their networks too.

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Great advice if you don’t need reliability from your phone carrier. These are all excess capacity providers which means, while the network has room for the 3rd class customers they get a reasonable service. As soon as the network gets busy, they are the first to suffer. When does it get busy? Events, emergencies, evenings.

Perfect for cheapskates who’s only interest is cost, shocking for those who actually want to make phone calls.

Darren Steven

I don’t think that the full network is available to MNVO operators. Some of the 4gx is exclusively for the Telstra plans.

Daniel Narbett

And unless things have changed recently (which they may have) – Boost is the only one which uses the full Telstra 4G network. I’ve been (back) with them for a year orso and all the reception is good.
5G though may be a game changer and no MVNO is likely to do that for a bit…


The other option is JB Hi-fi, particularly if you’re after a higher end phone.

Still Telstra’s network. As long as you’re happy paying $65/mth they often have really good phone discounts. Even better if your have an ABN. Business plans miss out on the AFL/NRL streaming and some of the other perks like discounted movies. Butt if those are important, they non-business deals are still decent.

eg. S10 512gb for free and Note10+ (just after release) for $399, both on $65 plans.