Fierce competition in the Australian phone market has been a big win for consumers over the last few years. It’s now at the stage where many of us can get what we need in a mobile phone service for half the price compared to several years ago.
Competition has also allowed several smaller companies enter the market, taking on the big telcos - Telstra and Optus. But don’t disregard the smaller players, as these resellers offer very competitive plans.
We ask Joseph Hanlon, editor of mobile and broadband comparison site Whistleout, to reveal the Top 5 phone plans under $30.
1. Vaya Unlimited Medium Plan: Vaya is a company founded in Brisbane a few years back, and has fast become one of the most popular choices for bargain hunters. The Unlimited Medium plan includes unlimited calls and text messages in Australia and a generous 2GB of data for $22 per month. There are a couple of cheaper options (which we’ll look at in a moment) but the extra data makes this plan a winner in our books.
2. Kogan Mobile 1XL prepaid plan: Australian online retail giant Kogan has partnered with Vodafone to offer a small but truly competitive range of prepaid plans. The 1XL is a starter option, with unlimited calls and messages and 1GB of data, and costs only $16.95 per recharge. This is the cheapest priced plan including unlimited calls and text, and there are no excess usage charges, making it a great option for a teenager’s first phone plan.
3. Amaysim Unlimited 1.5GB: Amaysim is one of the trailblazers in this reseller’s market, and boasts the most customers of any of the companies in this list. It is also renowned for having the best customer service record in Australia, even compared with the much larger major brands. But what sets this plan apart is the inclusions of unlimited international calls to 10 countries, including New Zealand, the UK, China and the US. If you have family overseas, this is the best value plan for staying in touch.
4. Jeenee Mobile $25 Pennywise Unlimited Plan: Jeenee Mobile is one of only a couple of not-for-profit mobile service providers in Australia, and profits generated from this service go towards helping people living with disabilities, including providing free mobile services for them. Besides supporting this excellent work, a phone plan with Jeenee is still outstanding value. This $25 option includes unlimited Australian calls and messages and 2.5GB of data, which is more than enough for most moderate phone users.
5. Aldi Mobile $15 PAYG recharge: That’s right, Aldi Mobile isn’t just a great place for cheap groceries. The full suite of Aldi Mobile phone plans are really competitive, but this Pay As You Go prepaid plan option is a standout for people who don’t use their phone often. Calls cost are just $0.12 per minute and the credit from each recharge lasts for a full 365 days before expiring. If you really just keep a mobile phone handy in case of emergencies, this Aldi plan is your best bet.
So what is coverage like with these smaller players? “Perhaps the biggest concern we hear about choosing an unknown phone service provider is to do with coverage. Many assume that a small company must only provide limited coverage. The fact is, there are only three mobile phone networks in Australia - those owned by Telstra, Optus and Vodafone. All of the smaller companies buy space on these networks, so regardless of which of these companies you choose, you will get full access to one of the three major networks,” says Hanlon.
“For example, Vaya, Amaysim and Jeenee Mobile offer services on the Optus 4G network. Kogan partners with Vodafone, and Aldi Mobile offer Telstra network access.”
“Each of these resellers will state their network partnership on their websites, so it is best to pair your choice of a new service provider with network coverage that you know will suit your needs, depending on where you live and work, etc,” says Hanlon.