Author Topic: Australian mobile plan guide!  (Read 40615 times)

marty998

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Re: Australian mobile plan guide!
« Reply #100 on: February 06, 2017, 02:20:36 AM »
There's heaps of interesting decent phones in the prepaid market. Maybe it's not worth going for the $1000 superphone if a $200 smartphone (or even a <$100 prepaid burner) will do the trick.

Fancy sharing links / model details for decent smartphones sub $500?

You may not like the phone I have... it's a white Samsung J1. They say it's a good smartphone for kids. I think that's crap. Kids would love a souped up phone with all the bells and whistles. It's the luddites like me that need the starter phones.

This one was $179 at Officeworks online store last year. I was umming and ahhing whether to get it for $139 from Kogan, but I didn't really trust the big fella who runs that site :)

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Australian mobile plan guide!
« Reply #101 on: February 06, 2017, 04:04:24 AM »
There's heaps of interesting decent phones in the prepaid market. Maybe it's not worth going for the $1000 superphone if a $200 smartphone (or even a <$100 prepaid burner) will do the trick.

Fancy sharing links / model details for decent smartphones sub $500?

The Moto G4 Plus seems like really good value for about $350. It's available at many of the major B&M retailers too.

Sometimes previous-generation Android flagships are heavily discounted as well.

Devices like the Motorola G4 Play, Sony Xperia XA, and some of the Huawei and Oppo handsets seem pretty good value too.

If you're happy to go with locked handsets (with major carriers), the abovementioned Sony is available on Vodafone prepaid (locked to Vodafone obvs) for $199, which is a hell of a deal. Optus sell a phone under their own brand called the Optus X Sleek (a rebranded Alcatel Shine Lite) for $179 (although it used to be $149). They also sell an Oppo F1S for $259.

Telstra sell a few devices at that price point (such as a Samsung Galaxy J3 or the HTC Desire 530. I don't think those devices are quite as good value for money as the Optus/Vodafone offerings, but might work OK for someone on the big T.

It's probably worth googling the model name and reviews (or problems) to see what others think of the devices first :)
« Last Edit: February 06, 2017, 04:21:55 AM by alsoknownasDean »

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Australian mobile plan guide!
« Reply #102 on: February 06, 2017, 04:19:42 AM »
There's heaps of interesting decent phones in the prepaid market. Maybe it's not worth going for the $1000 superphone if a $200 smartphone (or even a <$100 prepaid burner) will do the trick.

Fancy sharing links / model details for decent smartphones sub $500?

You may not like the phone I have... it's a white Samsung J1. They say it's a good smartphone for kids. I think that's crap. Kids would love a souped up phone with all the bells and whistles. It's the luddites like me that need the starter phones.

This one was $179 at Officeworks online store last year. I was umming and ahhing whether to get it for $139 from Kogan, but I didn't really trust the big fella who runs that site :)

I bought a Huawei Y6 Elite from Coles for $99 a few months back. It's not a bad phone (in fact I'm surprised what you get for the money), but in hindsight, I probably would have been better suited by going up to the $150-200 pricepoint at least (8GB of internal storage is a bit limiting, but manageable, and the camera is passable rather than good). It's still incredible value (with very good battery life), and there's heaps of $100 or less prepaid phones at the supermarket which would be fine for basic uses. If the Optus X Sleek had been available then, I'd have bought one of those instead.

I can't comment on Kogan, have never bought anything from them :)

Still, it's amazing the value available in cheap smartphones. A top end Samsung or iPhone is $1000+, the Moto G4 Plus is $350. Sure, the S7 or iPhone 7/7+ would be a better phone, but three times as good? Honestly a 1440p display is a waste on a smartphone, my cheap Huawei has a 5" 720p screen and that's perfectly ample (I find that to be a comfortable phone size, but I have large hands).

I don't know if it makes a difference, but the Allphones retailer has gone into administration.

(On topic, I am on the amaysim $24.90 plan... auto recharge on credit card every 28 days. 1.5GB data).

I didn't hear about that one actually.

I found Amaysim to be really good. Credit card auto-recharge is fantastic. Vodafone no longer offer it on prepaid (obviously they want to nudge people onto the post-paid plans).

Prepaid is freedom! :)
« Last Edit: February 06, 2017, 04:25:38 AM by alsoknownasDean »

HappierAtHome

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Re: Australian mobile plan guide!
« Reply #103 on: February 06, 2017, 07:49:40 PM »
FWIW, we've had a bad experience with a refurbed iphone bought from Kogan, and I know a few others who've had similar crap experiences. I wouldn't buy from them again, let me put it like that.

Marty, I too am on the $24.90 amaysim plan and I love them! I can't believe how easy it is to log on and change details when I need to, and I get more than I need for that price.

You may not like the phone I have... it's a white Samsung J1. They say it's a good smartphone for kids. I think that's crap. Kids would love a souped up phone with all the bells and whistles. It's the luddites like me that need the starter phones.

This one was $179 at Officeworks online store last year. I was umming and ahhing whether to get it for $139 from Kogan, but I didn't really trust the big fella who runs that site :)

I was looking at the J3 online last night, presumably that's similar to the J1 but upgraded. What do you use your phone for - do you browse the forum? Check FB? That kind of thing? I use my phone a LOT, but only for fairly basic functions - internet, basic apps, happy snaps, calls and texts.

I'm tempted to stick with a Samsung as I'm using a Samsung Galaxy Note 2 (I think I've got that right...) now and it's easy to just stick with the same kind of phone.

The Moto G4 Plus seems like really good value for about $350. It's available at many of the major B&M retailers too.

Sometimes previous-generation Android flagships are heavily discounted as well.

Devices like the Motorola G4 Play, Sony Xperia XA, and some of the Huawei and Oppo handsets seem pretty good value too.

If you're happy to go with locked handsets (with major carriers), the abovementioned Sony is available on Vodafone prepaid (locked to Vodafone obvs) for $199, which is a hell of a deal. Optus sell a phone under their own brand called the Optus X Sleek (a rebranded Alcatel Shine Lite) for $179 (although it used to be $149). They also sell an Oppo F1S for $259.

Telstra sell a few devices at that price point (such as a Samsung Galaxy J3 or the HTC Desire 530. I don't think those devices are quite as good value for money as the Optus/Vodafone offerings, but might work OK for someone on the big T.

It's probably worth googling the model name and reviews (or problems) to see what others think of the devices first :)

Thanks! I'll look into the Moto G4 Plus, and into Telstra's price (and prepaid offers) for the Samsung Galaxy J3.

nnls

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Re: Australian mobile plan guide!
« Reply #104 on: February 06, 2017, 10:11:11 PM »
I will have to look into aldi coverage to see if it would cover me at work or if they don't get the full telstra coverage. I have been told in the past that only telstra works, and when I look on their map it appears we are not covered. But if they use the telstra network then logically we should be.

I dont currently have a contract on my phone and pay about $50 a month for 5GB of data and unlimited calls/sms within Australia, and no international calls so I would love to be able to move over to aldi to save some money

marty998

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Re: Australian mobile plan guide!
« Reply #105 on: February 06, 2017, 11:33:19 PM »
FWIW, we've had a bad experience with a refurbed iphone bought from Kogan, and I know a few others who've had similar crap experiences. I wouldn't buy from them again, let me put it like that.

Marty, I too am on the $24.90 amaysim plan and I love them! I can't believe how easy it is to log on and change details when I need to, and I get more than I need for that price.

You may not like the phone I have... it's a white Samsung J1. They say it's a good smartphone for kids. I think that's crap. Kids would love a souped up phone with all the bells and whistles. It's the luddites like me that need the starter phones.

This one was $179 at Officeworks online store last year. I was umming and ahhing whether to get it for $139 from Kogan, but I didn't really trust the big fella who runs that site :)

I was looking at the J3 online last night, presumably that's similar to the J1 but upgraded. What do you use your phone for - do you browse the forum? Check FB? That kind of thing? I use my phone a LOT, but only for fairly basic functions - internet, basic apps, happy snaps, calls and texts.

I'm tempted to stick with a Samsung as I'm using a Samsung Galaxy Note 2 (I think I've got that right...) now and it's easy to just stick with the same kind of phone.

Forum I use a laptop for, except for uploading pics which the phone is easier - I am useless at transferring things between devices, phone laptop, gmail whatever. Forum looks really weird on my phone, some lines really big, some text really small. Quite difficult to read and use.

Not a big consumer of music or videos. Otherwise I use it for the same reasons as you - lots of calls, text, messenger, FB, basic internet (mostly OKC, POF and tinder, not that any of it has worked!)

Actually if you take out the dating nonsense apps I'd probably be at about 400MB for the month or less.

The J1 only has 4GB of memory, and half of that is taken up by the Operating System. I am grateful (as always) to mustachepungoeshere who gave me a gigantic in space yet tiny in size SD card (and then explained to me patiently what it does).

It boggles the mind that if 64GB of memory can fit on something as tiny as an SD card, that it can't be built into the phone to begin with.

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Australian mobile plan guide!
« Reply #106 on: February 07, 2017, 04:13:12 AM »
I will have to look into aldi coverage to see if it would cover me at work or if they don't get the full telstra coverage. I have been told in the past that only telstra works, and when I look on their map it appears we are not covered. But if they use the telstra network then logically we should be.

I dont currently have a contract on my phone and pay about $50 a month for 5GB of data and unlimited calls/sms within Australia, and no international calls so I would love to be able to move over to aldi to save some money

If Aldi doesn't cover your workplace, maybe have a look at Boost. Even Telstra's own prepaid isn't bad (but a bit light on data compared to the others). Telstra offer an Mx plan from time to time for $40 with online-only support.

FWIW, we've had a bad experience with a refurbed iphone bought from Kogan, and I know a few others who've had similar crap experiences. I wouldn't buy from them again, let me put it like that.

Marty, I too am on the $24.90 amaysim plan and I love them! I can't believe how easy it is to log on and change details when I need to, and I get more than I need for that price.

You may not like the phone I have... it's a white Samsung J1. They say it's a good smartphone for kids. I think that's crap. Kids would love a souped up phone with all the bells and whistles. It's the luddites like me that need the starter phones.

This one was $179 at Officeworks online store last year. I was umming and ahhing whether to get it for $139 from Kogan, but I didn't really trust the big fella who runs that site :)

I was looking at the J3 online last night, presumably that's similar to the J1 but upgraded. What do you use your phone for - do you browse the forum? Check FB? That kind of thing? I use my phone a LOT, but only for fairly basic functions - internet, basic apps, happy snaps, calls and texts.

I'm tempted to stick with a Samsung as I'm using a Samsung Galaxy Note 2 (I think I've got that right...) now and it's easy to just stick with the same kind of phone.

Forum I use a laptop for, except for uploading pics which the phone is easier - I am useless at transferring things between devices, phone laptop, gmail whatever. Forum looks really weird on my phone, some lines really big, some text really small. Quite difficult to read and use.

Not a big consumer of music or videos. Otherwise I use it for the same reasons as you - lots of calls, text, messenger, FB, basic internet (mostly OKC, POF and tinder, not that any of it has worked!)

Actually if you take out the dating nonsense apps I'd probably be at about 400MB for the month or less.

The J1 only has 4GB of memory, and half of that is taken up by the Operating System. I am grateful (as always) to mustachepungoeshere who gave me a gigantic in space yet tiny in size SD card (and then explained to me patiently what it does).

It boggles the mind that if 64GB of memory can fit on something as tiny as an SD card, that it can't be built into the phone to begin with.

Yeah the forum formats weirdly on a phone (unless you go full minimalist and use the WAP forum). Easiest way around that is to install Tapatalk and use that to access the forum :)

How do you go running those apps with so little storage? Are you able to put most apps onto the SD card?

Facebook was using so much space on the phone I recently deleted it and use an app called Friendly to access it (although really I should look into giving Facebook the flick).

With the SD card storage space, I suspect that SD card chips are smaller and slower than those built into the phones, but I could be wrong there. Of course the carriers want to give you a reason to go for a higher end device as well. :)

Yeah the Samsung J3 is a little light on RAM for the money (only 1.5GB), but if that doesn't bother you, it might be OK. Hedonic adaptation works both ways, after all.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2017, 04:16:34 AM by alsoknownasDean »

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Australian mobile plan guide!
« Reply #107 on: February 07, 2017, 04:33:18 AM »
https://www.crn.com.au/news/telstra-named-the-most-complained-about-telco-449801

Back (sort of) on topic. Amaysim has consistently rated well in this regard, although I wonder how much of that is due to simply not offering services that the big telcos offer (landlines, fixed internet, contract devices, etc).

stashgrower

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Re: Australian mobile plan guide!
« Reply #108 on: February 09, 2017, 07:00:49 AM »
Looking at alternatives. Does anyone use Aldi? How is your experience? - signal reliability, customer service (if relevant), anything else.

[I use phone, text, data. I live in a metro area, country coverage is nice but not essential.]

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Australian mobile plan guide!
« Reply #109 on: February 20, 2017, 04:16:48 AM »
With prepaid, you can simply buy a cheap SIM and give it a go, or just port in and try it out for a month. If it doesn't work for you, port to another carrier.

No contracts, just freedom :)

I've not tried it, but Aldi metro coverage should be similar to Telstra proper (except limited to 100mbps). Obviously you're not going to get in-store support with an MVNO.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2017, 04:20:05 AM by alsoknownasDean »

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Australian mobile plan guide!
« Reply #110 on: April 13, 2017, 08:21:21 PM »
This might set the cat amongst the pigeons a little.

https://www.crn.com.au/news/tpg-takes-on-telstra-optus-vodafone-as-australias-fourth-mobile-network-operator-with-126b-spectrum-acquisition-458101

TPG itself is currently a Vodafone MVNO, and they own iiNet and Internode and a number of other ISPs with their own MVNO offerings. They'll all likely get switched to the new TPG network once completed.

Although if they're planning on only 80% pop coverage, they'll need some roaming arrangements (likely with VHA) to have a competitive level of coverage. Otherwise, why go with TPG?

I guess the other thing is, is there room in the Aussie market for a fourth MNO? We used to have Three and it didn't survive long-term (merging with Vodafone).
« Last Edit: April 13, 2017, 08:24:40 PM by alsoknownasDean »

krustyburger

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Re: Australian mobile plan guide!
« Reply #111 on: April 25, 2017, 01:33:10 AM »
Looking at alternatives. Does anyone use Aldi? How is your experience? - signal reliability, customer service (if relevant), anything else.

[I use phone, text, data. I live in a metro area, country coverage is nice but not essential.]

I've been with Aldi for a couple of years now, I'm a light phone user so I only need the $15/month plan. I've found them to be excellent, no dropouts, coverage everywhere I've been so far. As for customer service I'm not sure - never had to use it. I have found sometimes that trying to do stuff on the website, like set up auto recharge, was difficult to figure out, but otherwise no complaints, just awesome cheap coverage.

nnls

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Re: Australian mobile plan guide!
« Reply #112 on: April 25, 2017, 01:52:16 AM »
With prepaid, you can simply buy a cheap SIM and give it a go, or just port in and try it out for a month. If it doesn't work for you, port to another carrier.

No contracts, just freedom :)

I've not tried it, but Aldi metro coverage should be similar to Telstra proper (except limited to 100mbps). Obviously you're not going to get in-store support with an MVNO.

I will try an Aldi sim once my contract with telstra runs out at the end of the year, if it works in regional areas I will make the switch. I have a feeling it wont work though

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Australian mobile plan guide!
« Reply #113 on: April 25, 2017, 06:00:27 AM »
With prepaid, you can simply buy a cheap SIM and give it a go, or just port in and try it out for a month. If it doesn't work for you, port to another carrier.

No contracts, just freedom :)

I've not tried it, but Aldi metro coverage should be similar to Telstra proper (except limited to 100mbps). Obviously you're not going to get in-store support with an MVNO.

I will try an Aldi sim once my contract with telstra runs out at the end of the year, if it works in regional areas I will make the switch. I have a feeling it wont work though

The coverage map for Telstra's wholesale service (ie: Aldi) is here:

http://mobilemaps.net.au/maps/mcm/4G.html

Have a look to see if it works for you :)

nnls

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Re: Australian mobile plan guide!
« Reply #114 on: April 25, 2017, 04:01:58 PM »
With prepaid, you can simply buy a cheap SIM and give it a go, or just port in and try it out for a month. If it doesn't work for you, port to another carrier.

No contracts, just freedom :)

I've not tried it, but Aldi metro coverage should be similar to Telstra proper (except limited to 100mbps). Obviously you're not going to get in-store support with an MVNO.

I will try an Aldi sim once my contract with telstra runs out at the end of the year, if it works in regional areas I will make the switch. I have a feeling it wont work though

The coverage map for Telstra's wholesale service (ie: Aldi) is here:

http://mobilemaps.net.au/maps/mcm/4G.html

Have a look to see if it works for you :)

thanks for that map, I am still kinda unsure though as I work across a few mine sites that arent  marked on the map but it kinda looks like there is coverage. So will have to give it a try

Fresh Bread

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Re: Australian mobile plan guide!
« Reply #115 on: May 20, 2017, 11:43:12 PM »
Hi Dean and everyone -

I know this is not a mobile plan question, but I'm too scared to start a new thread in case some of the heavyweights come in and facepunch me for even mentioning an iPhone... ;)

I'd like to purchase a new phone due to problems with battery and processor speeds on both my personal and business phones. I'm using an iPhone 4S for personal use and a very old Samsung GT-I9100 (Galaxy S II? Don't know how old) for business. The processor speed is the big thing.

They are both struggling but at the moment I will just upgrade the business phone. Things I will use it for - texting, calling, Google Maps and photos, and I'll put the work email on it once I upgrade. It would be great if the phone could open maps quickly and if the camera was a great deal better than the my iPhone (8MP, terrible in low light). At the moment I use my personal iPhone to take and send pics, for maps and email because... er... I don't really know my way around an Android phone and never learnt.

I very much like the iPhone (was looking at an SE) but I'm not loyal, I just never learnt 'Android'. I don't really care about size of screen and pixels anything is better than the 4S. Likewise storage is not an issue as I take maybe 10-20 pictures a day and can download them almost daily. I can go as low as 16GB. My budget is $500 max but the lower the better, because.. mustache. Both previous phones were free hand-me-downs :)
 

Some questions:

- What should I be looking for when comparing processor speed?   
I'm looking at specs but I don't know what they mean in real life. My iPhone 4s apparently has 800mHz and 0.5GB RAM. What kind of speed would I want to open the current versions of Google maps without waiting waiting waiting? Is it better to just get the fastest processor I can afford for longevity?

- Has anyone ever compared camera function between the iPhone SE, Motorola (G5?), Huawei and some reasonably priced Samsung?
Megapixels are not the only factor but I don't know what to look for (if there is anything) within the specs to help me compare. I did find something online saying the Google Pixel is a great camera phone but the ones I found online were $900+.  Don't want a fancy camera function THAT much.

- Might be a dumb question but  - is it as easy to set up email and stuff on an Android as it is an iPhone?
Once I've learnt, I'm no longer stuck with upgrading to exxy iPhones for eternity.

Cheers people.

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Australian mobile plan guide!
« Reply #116 on: May 31, 2017, 07:05:30 AM »
Hi Dean and everyone -

I know this is not a mobile plan question, but I'm too scared to start a new thread in case some of the heavyweights come in and facepunch me for even mentioning an iPhone... ;)

I'd like to purchase a new phone due to problems with battery and processor speeds on both my personal and business phones. I'm using an iPhone 4S for personal use and a very old Samsung GT-I9100 (Galaxy S II? Don't know how old) for business. The processor speed is the big thing.

They are both struggling but at the moment I will just upgrade the business phone. Things I will use it for - texting, calling, Google Maps and photos, and I'll put the work email on it once I upgrade. It would be great if the phone could open maps quickly and if the camera was a great deal better than the my iPhone (8MP, terrible in low light). At the moment I use my personal iPhone to take and send pics, for maps and email because... er... I don't really know my way around an Android phone and never learnt.

I very much like the iPhone (was looking at an SE) but I'm not loyal, I just never learnt 'Android'. I don't really care about size of screen and pixels anything is better than the 4S. Likewise storage is not an issue as I take maybe 10-20 pictures a day and can download them almost daily. I can go as low as 16GB. My budget is $500 max but the lower the better, because.. mustache. Both previous phones were free hand-me-downs :)
 

Some questions:

- What should I be looking for when comparing processor speed?   
I'm looking at specs but I don't know what they mean in real life. My iPhone 4s apparently has 800mHz and 0.5GB RAM. What kind of speed would I want to open the current versions of Google maps without waiting waiting waiting? Is it better to just get the fastest processor I can afford for longevity?

- Has anyone ever compared camera function between the iPhone SE, Motorola (G5?), Huawei and some reasonably priced Samsung?
Megapixels are not the only factor but I don't know what to look for (if there is anything) within the specs to help me compare. I did find something online saying the Google Pixel is a great camera phone but the ones I found online were $900+.  Don't want a fancy camera function THAT much.

- Might be a dumb question but  - is it as easy to set up email and stuff on an Android as it is an iPhone?
Once I've learnt, I'm no longer stuck with upgrading to exxy iPhones for eternity.

Cheers people.

Sorry about the late reply.

Firstly, if you want to stick with iPhones and are happy with Telstra, Telstra are selling a prepaid iPhone SE (presumably locked) for $449 on their website. I believe they often do a 10% off sale on Tuesdays?

In many cases it depends on what screen size you are after. I'm lusting after a Moto G5 Plus, but they're about $400 ($450 for the 32GB version from Motorola directly), which uses a 5.2" screen.

As far as horsepower goes, RAM probably matters than processor speed (don't bother with less than 2GB of RAM unless you're after a sub-$100 device). I'm also going to suggest that the super high resolution screens (1440p and the like) aren't worth it for most of us. Better to get 1080p or even 720p, battery life will be better and it should be a bit more responsive if the GPU doesn't have to work as hard.

With the cameras, maybe google the model you're after and review (like 'Moto G5 Plus review') and see what others say. It's one of those subjective things I guess. The list I put in February is probably a good start (although it'll be the G5 instead of the G4), and some of the outright handsets at JB Hifi/TGG/HN/OW/etc are worth a second look. Ultimately, the cameras are one of the things that the manufacturers try and save a bit of coin on with their lower-end handsets, but most should be OK. Maybe have a look at some reviews.

Of course, I'm guilty of a bit of TDES just like everyone else :)

But yeah, if it's just texting, calling, Google Maps and photos, almost any smartphone should do OK, but the higher end ones will have a nicer camera and display.

The Gmail app seems easy enough (and you can add multiple email accounts). Maybe not quite as straightforward as mail on iOS, but I'm used to it now :)

EDIT: Found this link that might be worth a peek:

https://www.lifehacker.com.au/2017/02/the-best-smartphones-under-500/

:)
« Last Edit: May 31, 2017, 09:01:28 AM by alsoknownasDean »

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Australian mobile plan guide!
« Reply #117 on: May 31, 2017, 08:44:33 AM »
Back on topic, data quotas on plans (especially with Optus and Vodafone) are getting cranked up. Currently Vodafone are offering unlimited calls/SMS and 18GB for $45 a month (and 22GB for $55) on a SIM-only 12 month contract, and Optus are offering 12GB for $40, again on a SIM-only 12 month contract.

It's almost at the point where I'd bump my phone plan up and ditch my ADSL. Almost.

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Australian mobile plan guide!
« Reply #118 on: August 05, 2017, 05:47:36 AM »
I've been wondering a bit lately. With the price war going on, who else thinks we might see some MVNO consolidation down the track, or is this even a deliberate move by the bigger carriers to eliminate competition long-term?

After all, Jeenee now offers a plan with unlimited calls and text messages, along with 500MB of data (and more if signing up for a long period of time) for $9.90 a month. I wonder how they'd make any money on it? Several carriers have SIM-only plans with 10GB or more of data for $35-40 a month. The big carriers too are offering plans with big data quotas.

https://www.jeenee.org.au/products/sim-packs/
https://moosemobile.com.au

I guess I'm wondering if this is sustainable. If the big three carriers are offering SIM-only plans with 10GB+ of data for $40-50 a month (and 3GB or so for $30 in the case or Optus/VF), then even if wholesale prices to MVNOs are reasonable, the MVNOs invariably have to match or beat this to get any business. They can (and do) offer compelling plans for lower prices, but obviously ARPU is lower and scale matters much more to be competitive. Chances are we'll see some consolidation to build that scale (Amaysim bought Vaya about 18 months ago, for example).

We can see the consolidation with fixed line how iiNet bought a lot of carriers, TPG then bought iiNet and the vast majority of fixed-line internet connections effectively go through providers owned by one of four big companies.

Another factor is the purchase of mobile spectrum by TPG and their plans to build a fourth network. How will that impact on margins when TPG try aggressively to poach customers (and as they're currently owning a few MVNO outfits themselves, whether they're transitioned over)?

I'm wondering about my own usage as well. I use about 2-3GB per month on average, and I feel that $30 or so per month is a fair price for that service. For that, I can get Vodafone with their international roaming offer (although that's mostly for postpaid), Optus and Virgin with their unmetered music streaming (net neutrality concerns aside), Amaysim for unlimited calls to a number of countries (and Lebara/Lyca for cheap international calls in general), or Boost for the coverage of the full Telstra network (or another ten bucks for Telstra itself). It's a pretty good choice really. FWIW, I'm on Vodafone prepaid still because I bought a phone that was locked to Voda (since unlocked), and their $40/35 day deal is pretty good (as is the 90 day MyMix), although I wish Vodafone had automatic recharge.

I could even go lower if I went with Vaya or Aldi, or purchased an annual pack with Kogan or Lebara, but at ~$30 a month (or even 28 days), going to $20-25 per month is starting to get in the realm of diminishing returns.

The big wins are by not signing up to $100+ a month contracts every year/two for the latest iPhone/Galaxy/etc (or worse, leasing a phone). The midrange handsets are pretty good nowadays and iPhones in particular should last for much longer than a two year contract.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2017, 07:22:12 AM by alsoknownasDean »

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Australian mobile plan guide!
« Reply #119 on: August 06, 2017, 06:53:55 AM »
I just noticed how many views this thread has got.

Come on, who's linking to it? :p

Luckyvik

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Re: Australian mobile plan guide!
« Reply #120 on: August 06, 2017, 07:16:13 PM »
I can't believe they're now leasing phones, ridiculous!


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alsoknownasDean

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Re: Australian mobile plan guide!
« Reply #121 on: August 07, 2017, 06:24:54 AM »
I can't believe they're now leasing phones, ridiculous!


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It's pretty ridiculous isn't it? For the $10 a month extra to buy vs leave, I'd rather just buy the phone (or buy outright and have the freedom to chop and change carriers as suits). It's not like an iPhone dies after two years, provided it's not abused.

Luckyvik

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Re: Australian mobile plan guide!
« Reply #122 on: August 12, 2017, 08:32:27 PM »
I can't believe they're now leasing phones, ridiculous!


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It's pretty ridiculous isn't it? For the $10 a month extra to buy vs leave, I'd rather just buy the phone (or buy outright and have the freedom to chop and change carriers as suits). It's not like an iPhone dies after two years, provided it's not abused.
Yes, I've had my current iphone for 4 years and same for the one before. I prefer to buy them outright.

My current one is on its last legs I'm thinking of getting a cheaper mustachian phone next time around.


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Re: Australian mobile plan guide!
« Reply #123 on: August 12, 2017, 08:45:28 PM »
I just switched from Jeenee to Bendigo Bank Telco (2GB for $15 pm).  I suspect Bendigo's new plans are what made Jeenee slash it prices. All I know is Australian consumers have it good at the moment.

https://www.bendigobanktelco.com.au/sim-only-plans

And those looking for a cheap but decent phone- Try grabbing an iPhone SE from Harvey Norman or Officeworks for $399.  They're locked to Telstra but can be easily unlocked with a simple webchat on Telstra's website.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2017, 08:49:04 PM by Notch »

JLR

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Re: Australian mobile plan guide!
« Reply #124 on: September 09, 2017, 11:17:18 PM »
I just did a search for this thread to say "has everyone been the Beyond (Bendigo) Bank offers?", but I see I've been beaten to it. :)

We've been with Amaysim for a while now (a year?? Two??), but have ordered some Beyond SIMs after looking at their offer.

marty998

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Re: Australian mobile plan guide!
« Reply #125 on: September 10, 2017, 03:07:16 PM »
I like that there's a few people using Amaysim here.

Back at the beginning of March I bought shares in AYS :)

They've gone up and down since, pretty much break even on capital (slightly up by 2%) but by the end of September will have picked up a 5% in dividend yield as well, so 7% return in 7 months is ok enough.

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Australian mobile plan guide!
« Reply #126 on: September 13, 2017, 08:42:49 PM »
Yeah Bendigo Bank telco is pretty good value, and Woolies, Aldi, Kogan, Vaya, Lebara, Vodafone and Telstra (and probably others) have recently updated their offers.

We consumers have it pretty good.

Most of the money saving gains are by not buying the latest and greatest handset as soon as it's released (I'm looking at you, $1500+ iPhone X and Galaxy Note 8), and moderating data use.

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JLR

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Re: Australian mobile plan guide!
« Reply #127 on: September 14, 2017, 05:25:00 PM »
Most of the money saving gains are by not buying the latest and greatest handset as soon as it's released (I'm looking at you, $1500+ iPhone X and Galaxy Note 8), and moderating data use.

I'm feeling much shame that my husband recently bought me a OnePlus5. I'm hoping we get many years of use out of them to make the yearly cost lower. And every time I express my shame to him he reminds me how much time I spend on my phone....!

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Re: Australian mobile plan guide!
« Reply #128 on: September 14, 2017, 08:50:07 PM »
My poor, long-suffering husband has spent the morning trying to get our phones switched from Amaysim to Bendigo Bank Telco.

Amaysim made is quite difficult as they couldn't provide our customer numbers to give to Bendigo for the switch. At first they said they don't have customer numbers for their customers. Then they said that the numbers they use for customer numbers are generated by Optus. When Optus was contacted they knew nothing about this. Back to Amaysim they pondered it for a while and said "perhaps a customer's date of birth is their account number. Try that",  so Bendigo did and it worked.

Hope that info helps others making the switch.

Luckyvik

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Re: Australian mobile plan guide!
« Reply #129 on: September 25, 2017, 04:20:24 PM »
Optus has a $18.75/month deal including 3G data at the moment:
http://offer.optus.com.au/sept-flash-sale?dclid=COaKrcytwdYCFV0hKgodlJENwA


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alsoknownasDean

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Re: Australian mobile plan guide!
« Reply #130 on: October 09, 2017, 04:30:32 AM »
Most of the money saving gains are by not buying the latest and greatest handset as soon as it's released (I'm looking at you, $1500+ iPhone X and Galaxy Note 8), and moderating data use.

I'm feeling much shame that my husband recently bought me a OnePlus5. I'm hoping we get many years of use out of them to make the yearly cost lower. And every time I express my shame to him he reminds me how much time I spend on my phone....!

Haha, that's not so bad, they're what, $600? Still expensive, but nowhere near the level of the $1500 phones.

My poor, long-suffering husband has spent the morning trying to get our phones switched from Amaysim to Bendigo Bank Telco.

Amaysim made is quite difficult as they couldn't provide our customer numbers to give to Bendigo for the switch. At first they said they don't have customer numbers for their customers. Then they said that the numbers they use for customer numbers are generated by Optus. When Optus was contacted they knew nothing about this. Back to Amaysim they pondered it for a while and said "perhaps a customer's date of birth is their account number. Try that",  so Bendigo did and it worked.

Hope that info helps others making the switch.

Thanks for sharing your experience there. Using the DOB for verification of the prepaid service before porting is common, and honestly it's a security issue.

Optus has a $18.75/month deal including 3G data at the moment:
http://offer.optus.com.au/sept-flash-sale?dclid=COaKrcytwdYCFV0hKgodlJENwA


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Wow, that's dirt cheap. I haven't updated the plans and guide much lately, mostly because I can't be bothered.

Picked up a new (refurb) phone last week and ported to Optus prepaid a couple of days later. Prepaid is a bit more expensive than the 12 month postpaid contracts, but I prefer the flexibility and freedom to change plans or leave anytime.

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Australian mobile plan guide!
« Reply #131 on: October 27, 2017, 06:30:31 PM »
Amaysim have recently updated their plans (starting from $10), and I'll eventually add Southern Phone to the MVNO list (both for Telstra and Optus as they have plans on both networks).

What does everyone think of offshore call centres? Personally I don't mind if the call centre is based offshore, but I don't call said call centres often (most admin stuff can be done online anyway). Others insist on being able to call an Australian-based call centre.


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Re: Australian mobile plan guide!
« Reply #132 on: October 27, 2017, 06:37:24 PM »
Amaysim have recently updated their plans (starting from $10), and I'll eventually add Southern Phone to the MVNO list (both for Telstra and Optus as they have plans on both networks).

What does everyone think of offshore call centres? Personally I don't mind if the call centre is based offshore, but I don't call said call centres often (most admin stuff can be done online anyway). Others insist on being able to call an Australian-based call centre.

I don't mind off-shore call centres, I haven't found the quality of service to be any worse than speaking to an Australian who is also going through a set list of procedures. When there has been a difficult issue I've been transferred back to a specialist in Australia. And - handy bonus - when you get an incoming marketing call from overseas, the gap to connect after you answer is huge and I put the phone down before anyone speaks and add it to my 'junk' contact list.

Some people have issues with jobs going overseas or are just a bit racist. 

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Australian mobile plan guide!
« Reply #133 on: November 18, 2017, 04:07:27 PM »
I haven't updated this because...you know...time.

Belong has been launched recently, and they have shaped data (like ADSL plans before everyone and their dog went to unlimited data). One point though is that the $25 and $40 plans don't include the ability to make calls, and unlimited calls is another $5 per month. Kinda strange.

I picked up a new phone (HTC 10) a month or so ago, refurbished from eBay (I was sick of the 8GB storage on the Huawei I had). It's in pretty good nick and if it doesn't end up having any issues, I might stick with refurbished handsets.

Slightly unfortunate is that Amaysim have hiked their PAYG rates (to 15c/min, 15c/SMS, 15.4c/MB). Obviously they're trying to nudge people into going up to their $10 plan, but 15.4c/MB is a bit tough to swallow.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2017, 04:10:00 PM by alsoknownasDean »

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Australian mobile plan guide!
« Reply #134 on: December 01, 2017, 03:08:25 AM »
I think it's just about time that I make a few changes to the guide.

Two of these are as follows:

1) I'm considering either removing or separating carriers that only offer postpaid services from the guide, or who include all sorts of additional fees. One example is the $10 setup fee for one of the carriers, when other carriers are mailing out new SIMs for free or a $2 charge. I've even heard of port-out fees being charged by other carriers, and quite expensive late payment fees. Hefty late payment fees are predatory to users on low incomes.

Especially given that many of the MVNOs are likely to be popular with price-conscious consumers (including those on low incomes), I'm wondering whether it's more appropriate to stick with the prepaid carriers who don't charge all sorts of extra fees on top. What you see is what you get pricing :)

2) Maybe I need to include more information about international calls/roaming. Some of the MVNOs (Kogan is one example) do not offer roaming at all.

What do you think?

Fortunately, unlike America, we're able to take (most) phones quite easily between carriers (since there's no CDMA here). Vendor lock in is antimustachian.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2017, 03:13:00 AM by alsoknownasDean »

Luckyvik

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Re: Australian mobile plan guide!
« Reply #135 on: December 02, 2017, 04:57:00 PM »
I think it’s a good idea to include info about roaming. I travel overseas once or twice a year and like to be able to be with a carrier that allows roaming.


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alsoknownasDean

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Re: Australian mobile plan guide!
« Reply #136 on: December 22, 2017, 02:54:15 AM »
I think itís a good idea to include info about roaming. I travel overseas once or twice a year and like to be able to be with a carrier that allows roaming.


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Yeah eventually I'll add something about that. It seems to be that many MVNOs (Belong, Jeenee and Kogan are three examples) don't allow roaming.

It's crazy how much data plans offer now, especially if one wants to sign up to a 12 month contract. 15-20GB mobile plans are common and not expensive. The big three carriers offer mobile plans with even more (especially when bundled with a handset). Some of the higher end mobile plans or mobile broadband plans (especially the 140GB Optus MBB plan available now) offer larger data quotas than I use on my ADSL.

Here I am using 2.5-3GB on my Optus prepaid and thinking I use plenty of data.

Although I'll confess, if I hadn't bought my HTC a few months back, some of the contract handset offers around would be VERY tempting. $59 a month for an S8 or iPhone 8 (or a few other handsets) with 20GB of data on Optus is cheap considering the price of the handsets.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2017, 02:56:59 AM by alsoknownasDean »

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Australian mobile plan guide!
« Reply #137 on: March 23, 2018, 10:30:24 PM »
If you've kept up with the data allocations of plans lately, you'll likely have noticed that data quotas have just gone insane lately, especially with Optus and Vodafone (but even Telstra has some decent offers from time to time).

I'm just thinking, how can one use 30-50GB a month on their phone without tethering or using streaming video regularly?

I've considered on/off tethering a phone or getting a big mobile plan and an extra MBB sim card, and prices are now at the point where it's cheaper than to keep my ADSL and my phone. Data speeds are a bit shitty where I live though. It's not like work where I can get over 200mbps on speedtests in some areas nearby. Usually it's single figures or low teens.

It also means that if one can get x amount of data from the big three telcos, the MVNOs need to be able to either match/beat that, or focus mainly on lower value customers. Longer term we'll see more MVNOs struggle if they're mainly focusing on the sub-$30 (or even sub-$20) market. Hence why some are now expanding into other things (like Amaysim getting into energy retailing and reselling NBN fixed-line internet).

Longer term I think we'll end up with fewer MVNOs, and very few will be businesses operating solely as MVNOs.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2018, 10:37:48 PM by alsoknownasDean »

stashgrower

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Re: Australian mobile plan guide!
« Reply #138 on: March 26, 2018, 06:20:23 PM »
Thanks, alsoknownasDean. I had no idea about the crazy data allowances, I'm on one of those 2 GB "plans" and have trouble using all of that. I was stuck tethering recently after an internet outage. Great in an emergency but not great longer term because my signal isn't the best.

Fresh Bread

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Re: Australian mobile plan guide!
« Reply #139 on: March 27, 2018, 03:41:27 PM »
Just anecdotally, does anyone know anyone that's successfully watching Netflix on their tv via mobile phone data? I also can't imagine it being a good enough signal, however, my 4G might actually be a little bit more consistent than my ADSL. If it's possible I might not bother installing a separate internet connection to our upcoming granny flat (which we will be moving into). I currently use less than 1GB on my phone!

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Australian mobile plan guide!
« Reply #140 on: March 28, 2018, 05:00:59 AM »
Just anecdotally, does anyone know anyone that's successfully watching Netflix on their tv via mobile phone data? I also can't imagine it being a good enough signal, however, my 4G might actually be a little bit more consistent than my ADSL. If it's possible I might not bother installing a separate internet connection to our upcoming granny flat (which we will be moving into). I currently use less than 1GB on my phone!

That'll ultimately depend on what your mobile data speeds are. Here's some info on how much data Netflix uses and what data speeds are recommended:

https://www.whistleout.com.au/Broadband/Guides/Netflix-data-usage-and-speed-requirements

https://help.netflix.com/en/node/306

I'd say that if you can get 10mbps or better consistently (which is about what a typical ADSL connection gets), you'd probably manage just fine, even with HD. Switching it to SD would save a fair bit of data though. I'd be a bit concerned about watching a lot of Netflix (assuming metered) on a postpaid mobile data connection with $10/GB excess usage, it could end up very expensive. :)

For an easy way to find your internet speed, check out speedtest.net

marty998

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Re: Australian mobile plan guide!
« Reply #141 on: March 28, 2018, 05:16:47 AM »
@alsoknownasDean you wrote mid last year about the cost of plans coming down heaps and they're still falling now!

I wrote earlier in the Australian Investing thread that I had sold Amaysim, and part of that was due to these ever shrinking margins making it uneconomic for the providers. Got out at a good time lol.

I have now dropped down to their $10 per month plan (1GB & unlimited talk/text), thus further contributing to their profit malaise.

Remember the days of 45c connection fee and $1.29 / minute calls? My first mobile phone 17 years ago... used to buzz my mum to pick me up from soccer... would hang up prior to her picking up the phone so I wouldn't get charged (She'd know it was me). That little system worked great in the days before phones displayed who the incoming caller was...

marty998

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Re: Australian mobile plan guide!
« Reply #142 on: March 28, 2018, 05:18:49 AM »
Just anecdotally, does anyone know anyone that's successfully watching Netflix on their tv via mobile phone data? I also can't imagine it being a good enough signal, however, my 4G might actually be a little bit more consistent than my ADSL. If it's possible I might not bother installing a separate internet connection to our upcoming granny flat (which we will be moving into). I currently use less than 1GB on my phone!

I know someone who does this.. .she downloads TV shows overnight to her iPad via her phone.

I have no idea how it works, so I won't even bother trying to explain it.

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Re: Australian mobile plan guide!
« Reply #143 on: March 28, 2018, 08:52:07 PM »
Most of the money saving gains are by not buying the latest and greatest handset as soon as it's released (I'm looking at you, $1500+ iPhone X and Galaxy Note 8), and moderating data use.

I'm feeling much shame that my husband recently bought me a OnePlus5. I'm hoping we get many years of use out of them to make the yearly cost lower. And every time I express my shame to him he reminds me how much time I spend on my phone....!

Haha, that's not so bad, they're what, $600? Still expensive, but nowhere near the level of the $1500 phones.

Yeah, $600. Seven months later I'm still really happy with it. It is going well. When we were looking at getting new phones I said to my husband that the single most important thing for me in a phone was that it took good photos. Our kids are still growing (10, 13, 15) and my phone camera is pretty much the only thing I use to take photos of them. He said the OnePlus had a good camera, and I've gotten some nice photos that I wouldn't have taken if I only had a regular camera - I wouldn't have carried a regular camera around with me.

Someone was talking earlier in the thread about Kogan phones. We bought what I think was a reconditioned phone from Kogan about three years ago. I believe it was a Samsung S4 mini. It stopped working within the warranty period, so we sent it back. They said it couldn't be repaired, so offered a Samsung J5 mini. That replacement didn't last the warranty period, either, and was sent back for a screen replacement. The screen was uncracked and appeared undamaged, but within a few weeks of having it the screen started to glitch when the phone was on low battery. This worsened to happen at all battery levels. So, overall, we didn't have much luck with the actual phones (though they were a reputable brand). Kogan were quite good about repairs/replacement, but it depends on whether you can be without your phone for a month each year.

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Australian mobile plan guide!
« Reply #144 on: March 30, 2018, 12:41:18 AM »
@alsoknownasDean you wrote mid last year about the cost of plans coming down heaps and they're still falling now!

I wrote earlier in the Australian Investing thread that I had sold Amaysim, and part of that was due to these ever shrinking margins making it uneconomic for the providers. Got out at a good time lol.

I have now dropped down to their $10 per month plan (1GB &amp; unlimited talk/text), thus further contributing to their profit malaise.

Remember the days of 45c connection fee and $1.29 / minute calls? My first mobile phone 17 years ago... used to buzz my mum to pick me up from soccer... would hang up prior to her picking up the phone so I wouldn't get charged (She'd know it was me). That little system worked great in the days before phones displayed who the incoming caller was...

Yeah I guess that's why some smaller providers are starting to branch out into fixed-line services, energy retailing, etc. Not enough money in mobile MVNO services after the price war that has occurred.

Haha, I remember still using a payphone to call home. We had some 1800 number arrangement to call home using it rather than carrying coins. And yeah, I was paying almost that much back in the day. Cheap Optus prepaid SIM, a hand-me-down Ericsson GA628, and I was on my way. Still using the same number 16 years later.

I know someone who does this.. .she downloads TV shows overnight to her iPad via her phone.

I have no idea how it works, so I won't even bother trying to explain it.

Actually it's pretty straightforward. The phone can be set to create a small Wi-Fi network (like the mobile broadband modems), and the iPad connects to said Wi-Fi network. Usually it's in the phone's settings under Hotspot or Personal Hotspot or similar. Almost all smartphones can do it, but it would have a fairly significant impact on battery life if it's not plugged in :)

Yeah, $600. Seven months later I'm still really happy with it. It is going well. When we were looking at getting new phones I said to my husband that the single most important thing for me in a phone was that it took good photos. Our kids are still growing (10, 13, 15) and my phone camera is pretty much the only thing I use to take photos of them. He said the OnePlus had a good camera, and I've gotten some nice photos that I wouldn't have taken if I only had a regular camera - I wouldn't have carried a regular camera around with me.

Someone was talking earlier in the thread about Kogan phones. We bought what I think was a reconditioned phone from Kogan about three years ago. I believe it was a Samsung S4 mini. It stopped working within the warranty period, so we sent it back. They said it couldn't be repaired, so offered a Samsung J5 mini. That replacement didn't last the warranty period, either, and was sent back for a screen replacement. The screen was uncracked and appeared undamaged, but within a few weeks of having it the screen started to glitch when the phone was on low battery. This worsened to happen at all battery levels. So, overall, we didn't have much luck with the actual phones (though they were a reputable brand). Kogan were quite good about repairs/replacement, but it depends on whether you can be without your phone for a month each year.

Good to hear that the OnePlus is doing well for you. If having a great camera is sufficiently worth it to you, then great :)

Comparing a $600 phone to a $1200 phone, the differences are often fairly minor in the whole scheme of things. Comparing a $300 phone to a $600 phone will show some differences (performance, camera, screen, etc), and there'll be additional differences further down the price range.

I tried using a $100 handset for a while and found the small on-board storage space (8GB, with 4GB available for apps, often 1GB or less free after updates, etc) was frustrating, and the camera was OK but not fantastic. I'll stick with spending $300 or so from now on (currently using a refurbished/used ~$600 handset I picked up for $300). Maybe a little less if I decide to go down the path of buying Chinese Android phones imported from overseas (the Xiaomi range is bloody good value). Not likely to have any warranty on those, but at $200 or less maybe it doesn't matter. Although with the trend of modern smartphones being ever more difficult to repair, it complicates things further.

I've not bought a device from Kogan, but good to hear they're decent at honouring repairs/replacements. I'm actually using Kogan Mobile now, and it's been fine.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2018, 03:57:08 AM by alsoknownasDean »

marty998

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Re: Australian mobile plan guide!
« Reply #145 on: April 02, 2018, 01:33:41 AM »
Parents just joined Kogan mobile... there was some half price deal for paying for 365 days upfront.

Another 2 people leaving Telstra...

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Australian mobile plan guide!
« Reply #146 on: April 02, 2018, 05:16:33 AM »
Parents just joined Kogan mobile... there was some half price deal for paying for 365 days upfront.

Another 2 people leaving Telstra...

Nice, yeah Kogan Mobile is pretty cheap. I've found it works alright (although Vodafone coverage is lacking in some areas, I can deal with that as where it works just fine where I spend most of my time). No international calls or mobile roaming, but that won't be a huge deal for some, especially due to apps like Skype, FaceTime and WhatsApp being common nowadays.

https://www.catch.com.au/catch-connect has recently appeared running on Optus as well. Plans seem alright.

Actually trying to suggest what plans my parents should go for, they're on some older Optus plans currently. My mum's insistent on Australian based support and wants to go back to Internode for their internet once their Optus contract ends, so I'll probably show her the new Internode plans and bundle at least her phone with it.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2018, 05:30:19 AM by alsoknownasDean »

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Australian mobile plan guide!
« Reply #147 on: June 28, 2018, 04:08:17 AM »
Some of these are out of date and I'm starting to run out of drive to update them.

We've had the 'unlimited' plans from Telstra and Vodafone (now without reference to 'unlimited'), and Optus increasing their prices along with fucking up the World Cup coverage. A few price drops (especially from Belong) from the MVNOs. Optus have overhauled their prepaid and it's quite compelling now (5GB for $30 with rollover is pretty decent for a big three carrier). Reports are that Telstra are about to overhaul their plan lineup.

Eventually I'm going to end this guide. Maybe I'll just leave it to Whistleout, Finder, etc :)
« Last Edit: June 28, 2018, 04:12:23 AM by alsoknownasDean »

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Australian mobile plan guide!
« Reply #148 on: August 10, 2018, 07:17:59 PM »
Right, I think itís probably time to bring this guide in to land.

Reasons are mostly that I canít be bothered updating it anymore, and I suspect weíre going to see a Ďthinning of the herdí with the mobile market. Whistleout and Finder and the like also have Ďmobile plan comparisoní services, and thereís no point competing with the professionals :)

A few golden rules and lessons Iíve learnt are:

- If youíre planning on switching networks, try before you buy. Prepaid starter packs for each network (and even many MVNOs) are cheap enough that itís worth spending $10-30 (even activated with a different number) to test coverage/data speeds before committing.

- Consider prepaid. Even though many big carriers continue to treat prepaid and/or MVNO customers as a second-class citizen (no auto-recharge on Vodafone prepaid, no VoLTE for Optus prepaid customers, and limited coverage for almost all Telstra MVNOs), the freedom to change providers if you need is worthwhile. Auto-recharge (where available) makes the service fairly seamless. I say this as someone who changed jobs with three months left on a Telstra contractÖ and the Telstra reception at my new workplace was very poor. Not that Iíve always followed this, Iím mid-way through a 365 day Kogan Mobile recharge :)

- Be aware of any fees, and be prepared to pay a fair price for your service. Some of the MVNOs have fees that other providers donít, so take these into calculation if youíre comparing services. Read the fine print/the CIS.

- How much data/calls do you actually need? Most people donít need some of the data quotas on offer unless theyíre tethering and using it as their home internet as well.

- Do the maths. If youíre considering a contract phone including a new handset, do the maths and break down the plan and phone separately to work out if itís a good deal (especially compared to buying outright and buying a service separately). Be aware that prices change and situations change (see my earlier point about freedom to change) before locking in.

- If access to mobile phone service is critical (eg: if it's a life or death matter), consider carrying two phones, ideally on different networks (or a satellite phone if you are going to a remote area). Murphy's law suggests that the moment you smash your phone or the network shits itself is when you'll need it most.

With phones, some tips are the following:

- A phone should be able to last for longer than the two year contract theyíre originally sold under. Although this is of course dependent on software updates (especially security updates for Androids, or iOS updates for iPhones), which in part is due to the age of the phone. If you originally bought a fancy device on contract, if it still works, maybe keep it when your contract finished and switch to SIM-only rather than buying a new device. It should be easy to get another year or two from the device (or more). This is especially applicable to iPhone users due to how long Apple provides iOS updates. My brother's using an old iPhone 5S and even it's getting the next iOS version later this year.

- You probably donít need the latest and greatest. Especially in Android land, the budget-mid range phones ($250-400) offer spectacular value for money nowadays, as do the older model flagships (especially used). Is a Galaxy Note 9 or iPhone X really worth spending $1500+ when a phone of a quarter or fifth of the price is generally fine? Tiny Details Exaggeration Syndrome applies here.

- Consider used/refurbished. Thereís a number of sellers on eBay that sell refurbished devices or on-sell devices sold to companies like Mobile Monster, and thereís some decent deals (first-gen Google Pixels are currently available in good condition for around $250-300). Thereís definitely environmental benefits from reusing a device rather than buying new. However, be prepared to have little/no warranty through the OEM (the seller itself may have a short warranty), and budget for a battery replacement sooner or later. I donít know if you can take iPhones purchased this way to the Genius Bar for service/repair, especially if the previous owner had repaired the phone using third-party parts. Again, thereís a small element of risk there. Obviously an older or lower end device may not get the same amount of software support (especially with regard to OS updates, and in particular non-Pixel Androids (or non-Android One devices)).

- The easier a device is to repair, the better. Too many phone companies are making it more and more difficult to repair their phones. User replaceable batteries seem to have gone the way of the dodo, but unfortunately theyíre now making it hard to even get inside the phones by gluing down the screens to the chassis rather than securing it with screws, and requiring the screen be removed to access the battery. My HTC 10 is particularly bad there, to the point where I outsourced the battery replacement. Maybe have a look at iFixit guides or YouTube to get a sense of whatís required to replace a screen or a battery.

- Get an unlocked device that supports all networks. We donít have the CDMA and GSM clusterfuck that the US carriers have (as ours are all GSM based), or the same amount of network-proprietary stuff, so fortunately most phones can be used on all three carriers. This is where being knowledgeable of what 3G and 4G bands your phone supports can be beneficial. Many prepaid phones are locked, and some are designed to only support the host carrierís network bands. The former can usually be unlocked for a fee (either through the carrier or separately), but the latter means youíre generally stuck with that carrier or MVNOs using that carrier. The carrier does usually subsidise a prepaid device, so using it on that carrier for a while before unlocking is only fair. However, vendor lock-in is not Mustachian. :)

- Please donít lease a phone. Thatís just going to put one on the expensive upgrade treadmill.

- We managed just fine before fancy smartphones arrived. Itís all optional luxuries, and remember what MMM said about luxury? :)

Peace *drops microphone*
« Last Edit: August 10, 2018, 07:48:52 PM by alsoknownasDean »

Eucalyptus

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Re: Australian mobile plan guide!
« Reply #149 on: August 10, 2018, 08:56:21 PM »
I've just switched from Telstra. They are horrible. The customer service was appalling for a couple of years (like disastrous), never ever even got the original plan I signed up for online.


Anyway I got a new phone, a Redmi 4X 32gb...Superb! Bought it outright. The battery capacity is large...I've set it up so that it alarms when it hits 40% and 80%...idea is that I always keep it in that range, except for once a month I'll charge it up to 100%. In this range it lasts about 24 hours, and I use my phone a lot. The camera is also excellent, much better than the Sony's I've been on which is saying something for a cheap phone. Its a fast phone.


I moved to a 365 Kogan plan. 7GB for ~$17/month. Excellent. Vodaphone, but like most people I spend most of my time in metro and its never skipped a beat. At my parents which is 50km north of Adelaide, Mobile reception has always been poor out here with anything bar telstra, historically. But this thing has full reception. Vodaphone maps seem to be much better now than a few years ago. I don't really care if I go rural and lose reception, its a rare thing (and I probably want to be no-contact when I do). 000 will always work in emergencies.


I switched over from Apple music to Google Play music and its far better. Apple music was slow, pathetic. Same price. I don't get free music data now but that's no big deal.