Author Topic: What's the cheapest Australian prepaid phone plan?  (Read 6250 times)

Ascotillion

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What's the cheapest Australian prepaid phone plan?
« on: May 15, 2014, 09:12:44 PM »
I had a post in the overheard at work thread a few days ago and was too busy laughing at the other guy to realise I can probably save money on my phone!! I'm currently using an iPhone 3GS (already owned) with Telstra, paying $30 a month for the cap encore plan. I rarely use my phone as a phone but I do use it for browsing and various apps quite often so I'm not sure how much data I use per month, only that it's never gone over 400mb.

I wiped my data history and I'm going to see how much I use over the course of a week to try and get a handle on how much data I would actually need per month. I rarely leave the Melbourne CBD so Telstra's coverage isn't a necessity anymore either.

What do you all use for phone plans with data and phone credit?

St4n

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Re: What's the cheapest Australian prepaid phone plan?
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2014, 10:17:03 PM »
Ascotillion, I have no answers for you, but it sounds like my usage is similar to yours and would be really interested to know if there are any decent value pre-paid plans that include data in Australia.  We're living in Melbourne too for the next few months, but we're going bush (well, Wodonga) after that, so I fear we may be limited to Telstra's finest. 

Reading the Republic articles MMM writes from time to time, I feel slightly hard done by here.  I've had a brief look around what's available, but can't find anything similar.  What gets me about the more reasonably priced plans I've come across is that your credit expires after after a certain period if you don't use it, so even if you use nothing the telco gets to walk off with your cash!

Anyway, enough with the complainypants-ness.  I'll keep looking and check back in here if I come across anything promising.

mrcheese

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Re: What's the cheapest Australian prepaid phone plan?
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2014, 10:30:29 PM »
I switched to Amaysim last December (uses Optus network so the coverage is better in some places for me than Telstra). I use their As-You-Go plan and so far my monthly average for calls and text is a whopping $4.
What I also do, which may not make sense for some people, is I pay $20 per month for 2.5 gig of data - BUT this is my home internet, I just I tether my laptop and tablet to my iphone when at home and its the perfect amount of data for me.
Before I ported my number over from Telstra, I was paying $60 per month for the same amount of usage and 1gig less of data (but this was also paying for the iphone 4s handset which I now own outright).
Amaysim also has a $40 unlimited talk and text prepaid plan that comes with 4.5 gig of data.

alsoknownasDean

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Re: What's the cheapest Australian prepaid phone plan?
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2014, 09:27:25 AM »
I've been doing my research on this very matter because I'm looking to change providers once my contract (with Telstra) is up in October.

I guess it depends on what network works best for you, and your usage.

Optus network:

The Optus network might be an issue for you if you go to regional areas much, as your phone won't support the Optus regional 3G network (nor parts of Vodafone's network in the bush).

As stated in the last post, Amaysim's PAYG plan could work well for you. You could buy a data pack (even a 10GB one that lasts a year) and PAYG for your calls (or VoIP), or use their $19.90 Flexi plan that comes with 500MB of data. They also offer an unlimited plan with unlimited calls/SMS to Australian numbers and 4GB of data for $39.90/30 days. Unlike the other Optus resellers, they don't offer 4G, 3G only (but with an iPhone 3GS it won't matter anyway).

Another which could be suitable is Yatango. I guess it seems rather like Ting in how it works with variable plans (but if you exceed limits you're charged at PAYG rates). Not quite as good value as it was (although now it offers 4G).

A third option is Vaya. They offer a range of plans, and their $18 one seems excellent value (with $650 of calls, unlimited SMS and 1.5GB data), and is 4G capable. IIRC it's postpaid though, not prepaid.

Telstra network:

Most Telstra resellers use part of the Telstra 3G network (basically slightly less coverage and possibly lower speeds compared to normal Telstra). Boost is an exception (it uses the full Telstra 3G network). No 4G, Telstra saves that for the mothership.

One choice is Aldi Mobile. They offer a PAYG plan for light users, but you'd need to sign up to one of the value packs or data packs if you don't want to pay by the megabyte for data.

There's also Telechoice, who offer a range of plans. Their rates seem to be lower if you sign up for two years.

It seems that Lycamobile have a deal which is unlimited calls and SMS and 2GB data for just $29.90 for 30 days. I'm sure they have other plans as well for lower usage.

One which I recommended to my brother (he seems happy with it) is Boost. $40 for 30 days, unlimited Australian calls/SMS and 2GB data. Unlike the other Telstra resellers above, it's actually using the full Telstra 3G network, with its 99.3% population coverage.

Vodafone network:

There's fewer Vodafone resellers that I can see, but there's a few around, and from my experience, the Vodafone network has progressed a long way since the days of Vodafail.

Lebara have a deal similar to the above Lycamobile one (unlimited calls/SMS/2GB for $29.90). They seem to offer PAYG prepaid as well.

Another Vodafone reseller would be Hello Mobile, which have a $39.90 prepaid plan with unlimited calls/SMS/4GB for 30 days (along with a few other plans).

Some others I've seen are Think Mobile, Kiss Mobile, CMobile and Reward Mobile.

Can you tell I'm looking forward to no longer giving Telstra $107 a month? :)

I've looked into early termination, but it's cheaper to just see out the remaining five months of the contract than pay the early termination charge and another carrier for that time.

BTW, YMMV with these carriers, not being held responsible if they do a Kogan and abruptly shut down. :)
« Last Edit: May 17, 2014, 03:48:04 AM by alsoknownasDean »

stripey

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Re: What's the cheapest Australian prepaid phone plan?
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2014, 06:45:25 PM »
Albury-Wodonga had decent coverage for Optus even ten years ago, so if you were just intending to use service within the twin cities and not spend much time going doing things like bushwalking etc. you should be able to find some non-Telstra deals out there.

St4n

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Re: What's the cheapest Australian prepaid phone plan?
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2014, 10:17:10 PM »
Thanks for all the suggestions folks, that gives me a great list to start reviewing...

Stripey, I did check out the Optus coverage and while their website shows it's good, I'm not so convinced.  Our current Virgin mobiles (which I understand use the Optus network) tend to suffer a lack of reception up there, more so in Southern Wodonga where our house will be!  On top of that, my in-laws have a weekend place further out in the country, so I think Telstra or a Telstra re-seller is probably a better option.

deborah

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Re: What's the cheapest Australian prepaid phone plan?
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2014, 11:27:38 PM »
Thanks for all the suggestions folks, that gives me a great list to start reviewing...

Stripey, I did check out the Optus coverage and while their website shows it's good, I'm not so convinced.  Our current Virgin mobiles (which I understand use the Optus network) tend to suffer a lack of reception up there, more so in Southern Wodonga where our house will be!  On top of that, my in-laws have a weekend place further out in the country, so I think Telstra or a Telstra re-seller is probably a better option.
It's really bad how poor the coverage is. Many people who work in Canberra are outside mobile range, even though they live within 25 minutes of work (and that includes Telstra).

I seem to remember that we were promised whole of Australia mobile coverage at the election in exchange for a worse Broadband. Does anyone remember anything about this in the budget papers?

marty998

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Re: What's the cheapest Australian prepaid phone plan?
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2014, 04:01:35 AM »
Can't help you with data plans. My very basic talk and text pre-paid plan is $15 for 6 months with Virgin.

They rip you off with minimum $1.39 phone calls, but since I only text and mostly only text to other virgin mobiles it works out almost free.

alsoknownasDean

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Re: What's the cheapest Australian prepaid phone plan?
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2014, 05:29:23 AM »
Thanks for all the suggestions folks, that gives me a great list to start reviewing...

Stripey, I did check out the Optus coverage and while their website shows it's good, I'm not so convinced.  Our current Virgin mobiles (which I understand use the Optus network) tend to suffer a lack of reception up there, more so in Southern Wodonga where our house will be!  On top of that, my in-laws have a weekend place further out in the country, so I think Telstra or a Telstra re-seller is probably a better option.
It's really bad how poor the coverage is. Many people who work in Canberra are outside mobile range, even though they live within 25 minutes of work (and that includes Telstra).

I seem to remember that we were promised whole of Australia mobile coverage at the election in exchange for a worse Broadband. Does anyone remember anything about this in the budget papers?

I believe there was $100m allocated toward fixing mobile blackspots.

As far as improved coverage goes, we'll see once 2015 arrives and Telstra/Optus switch on their 700MHz 4G networks.

happy

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Re: What's the cheapest Australian prepaid phone plan?
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2014, 07:57:44 AM »
We have dodgy coverage here: tried Optus and it was more dodgy than Telstra. So stuck with Telstra. Currently using a $30 prepaid cap encore. Long calls to landlines after 6pm are free. I currently mainly text in the day, or keep the calls very short. I don't use data. I am currently building up my credit, to use on occasional  necessary long calls. Was doing well but I pay per 30 days and ran foul on a 31 day month and lost it all.  Also am thinking if I end  up with a big credit, I could then  possibly change  to a lower cost per month plan while I use it up.

The frustrating thing is the dodgy connection is easily fixed. We had a major construction a few years ago and the mobile signal was boosted for the duration and became much better. Once the building was finished it dropped off again.

stripey

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Re: What's the cheapest Australian prepaid phone plan?
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2014, 08:59:25 AM »
Don't ya hate that. I've experienced the same thing in regional areas where there have been major bushfires (I've been through two particularly nasty ones in the past 15 years). Lasted for all of about two weeks each time...

cakie

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Re: What's the cheapest Australian prepaid phone plan?
« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2014, 05:28:17 PM »
I'm on amaysim too. I use it for internet when i am in gippsland, so i get the $40 unlimited. I'd prob only use about $30 average on one of the lower plans, but some months my usage shoots up unexpectedly. eg. centrelink calls! 13 numbers are expensive to call on the $20 / PAYG plans.

Reception is fine in melbourne and gippsland. optus 3g is not super fast in gippsland, but its perfectly usable speeds. This is despite it not showing great coverage on the map for my particular location. Maybe it's worth buying the $2 SIM, and seeing how you go with some test calls?

alsoknownasDean

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Re: What's the cheapest Australian prepaid phone plan?
« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2014, 01:27:14 AM »
There's been some new updates on the mobile front, with Optus and Vodafone releasing new SIM-only postpaid plans. These include unlimited calls and messages and a few gigabytes of data for $50 or so. Might work well for those who would prefer to stick with one of the big carriers (one advantage is 4G). The Optus offering enables you to share the data allowance with another device. Might be useful for someone who has lighter Internet needs to have a phone with unlimited calls and a USB modem for their PC, would be cheaper than keeping a landline around for ADSL.

Here's the coverage maps of the big three carriers:

http://www.telstra.com.au/mobile-phones/coverage-networks/our-coverage/

http://www.optus.com.au/network/mobile/coverage?SID=con:postmob:netcov:othr:tnav::cover

http://www.vodafone.com.au/aboutvodafone/network/checker?lid=v:footer:support:coverage-checker

I'm looking at the $50 Vodafone Red SIM-only plan. Vodafone seems to work better than Optus for many of the places I go.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2014, 01:36:30 AM by alsoknownasDean »