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Review of Mate broadband plans

Mate Communicate is an Australian telco which claims to be committed to providing top-quality customer service. In fact, it wants to be your ‘best mate’. The telco’s branding involves numerous colourful graphics and social media references, painting it as a truly 21st century internet provider that understands its clientele. Mate was formerly known as Barefoot Telecom, a brand that has since spun off, and the two providers now offer near-identical plans. Mate offers NBN across all speed tiers, and ADSL broadband plans to those not yet connected to the superior network.

Mate Communicate says it assigns you your very own customer service representative when you sign up, who will be the one to help you with any problems or questions. You just have to hope they don’t go on holiday! Mate’s customer service is fully Australian-based, using multiple channels of communication to give you the best possible experience, apparently. Read on for a full rundown of Mate Communicate’s broadband plans and how they stack up when compared to those from other providers.

Mate internet plans

Connection Type Inclusions Price Per Month
NBN Unlimited data, 12/1 speeds $59
Unlimited data, 25/5 speeds $69
Unlimited data, 50/20 speeds $89
Unlimited data, 100/40 speeds $99
ADSL2+ ‘#citymates’ Unlimited data $49
Unlimited data, local and national calls, line rental $69
ADSL2+ ‘#countrymates’ Rural Plans Unlimited data $59
Unlimited data, local and national calls, line rental $99

Source: Mate Communicate website

The big standouts with Mate are unlimited data across all plans, and deadly simple plan configurations. All ADSL plans use the Telstra wholesale network, which is the largest in Australia, so you know you’re getting good coverage.

Mate NBN Plans

These four plans are pretty simple, yet effective and exciting. If your home has been hooked up to the NBN and you simply want something like your old ADSL connection, then the 12/1 speed tier represents a great – and cost-effective – alternative. On the other hand, if you want to make the best of the NBN and its faster speeds, why not jump into the ‘Superfast’ speeds – 25/5 and above? From $69 a month you can get ‘Superfast’ speeds. What’s more is there are no set-up fees – that’s no contracts and you can BYO modem, so you can simply ‘plug and play’. Alternatively, you can choose a modem from Mate from about $150.

If you want calls, Mate also has you covered. For an extra $9 a month on any of the four plans you can upgrade to a home phone package. This $9 includes unlimited calls to local, national and mobile phones, which is serious value. This is through a BYO VoIP device, instead of the traditional copper phone line.

Mate ADSL2+ Plans

If your home is still on a good old ADSL connection – or maybe you’re living rurally and it’s the only option you have – then Mate’s ADSL plans are certainly a standout. There are two plan configurations – the unlimited standalone connection does not include line rental, so you will have to source a line from another company that operates on the Telstra network. Alternatively, you can opt for the Mate home phone bundle from $20 a month extra. This includes unlimited local and national calls, while mobiles are 40c a minute and 13/1300 numbers are 50 a call. With all ADSL2+ plans you’ll get a free transition when NBN becomes available in your area. Again, there are no activation fees, you’ll be on a no contract plan and you’ll have the option to BYO modem. Winning!

How does Mate compare to other internet providers?

Mate offers a range of very competitive plans across the board. Frequently it is among the top five cheapest in its respective categories, and with no set-up fees, no contracts and low costs for home phone calls, the value proposition is boosted even further.

Mate NBN Plans Compared

Mate’s low prices are most obvious with its NBN offerings. Mate’s big advantage is a lack of up-front costs, with the majority of cheaper competitors charging set-up or router fees in the first month.

Tier 1 – 12/1

The basic #goodmates plan with Tier 1 speeds costs $59/month, and again is only $5 per month away from being level with the cheapest plans on the market. Keep an eye out for providers such as AusBBS, Barefoot and Motion. All come with no contract and no set-up fees. However, it might pay to consider modem prices if you go down that route. If all things are equal then AusBBS offers the cheapest plan in this segment.

Tier 2 – 25/5

While Mate is not the flat-out cheapest per month here, keep in mind that contracts can effectively make or break a plan. Motion’s plan is on a 24 month contract, while Tangerine and Barefoot are similar to Mate. Anything under $70 for Tier 2 NBN speeds can be considered solid value, and Mate comes up nicely.

Tier 3 – 50/20

As we move up into the business end of the speed tiers, Mate tends to fall behind a bit. That is not to say Mate is bad value by any stretch, just that there are a couple of other providers all offering deals for slightly less per month. However, keep in mind that Mate usually leads the way in terms of no contracts, no set-up fees, or modem charges. AusBBS is a standout in the group, while Activ8me charges a sizable $99 set-up fee, plus a modem fee. Teleron also charges a set-up fee, and Motion wants you to sign a 24 month contract.

Tier 4 – 100/40

In this speed tier, prices are surprisingly good value for unlimited data. MyRepublic stands out as the cheapest, however you will be tied into a 12 month contract – you’ll pay an extra $10 a month to shed that. Activ8me also comes into the game, but you will pay $99 upfront. Exetel also stands out, but you’ll be paying nearly $180 upfront! There is definitely merit in purchasing a Mate plan for its simple monthly costs and no extras.

Mate ADSL2+ Plans Compared

Mate’s ADSL plans follow much the same path as its NBN plans. You’ll find that it’s pretty hard to beat Mate for low-cost, unlimited plans. As it stands, all of its competition requires additional home phone line rental, but Mate stands out for its no set-up fees policy. It competes with Dodo, which is the cheapest but you will pay $99 upfront, as well as Inspired – which also carries a set-up fee – and Barefoot, which remains pretty competitive. It’s hard not to pick your best Mate here.

Should you make friends with Mate broadband?

Mate Communicate sets out to become the friendliest telco you’ve ever dealt with, but its products reflect something better – the great value offered by its ADSL and NBN packages is almost unmatched in the Australian broadband market. If you’re in the market for a new internet connection, there seems to be few better – or at least cheaper – places to go.

What’s more is that what you see appears to be what you get – no contracts, no set-up fees, no sneaky charges, and most of all – no bull. It’s also dirt-cheap to bundle home phone plans with both your ADSL and NBN connections, and rural customers are not left out. If you want a broadband plan that’s more like your trusty mate rather than a burden, Mate Communicate might be a good bet.

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