As the second-largest mobile communications platform in Australia (behind Telstra), the Optus network carries the calls, SMS messages and data of millions of phone users. Whilst Optus owns and operates the network, the telco giant sells the use of its infrastructure to numerous smaller service providers which are known as mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs).
So if you’re thinking of switching plans, but love the speed and service you’re currently receiving on the Optus network, you may want to consider one of these many third-party providers. We’ve reviewed some of the best providers and their SIM-only plans on the Optus network to help see you through.
What are the best mobile phone plans on the Optus network?
If you’re hankering for some extra bite to your mobile plan, there are eight standout providers all jostling for your attention, as well as Optus itself. Amaysim, iiNet and Virgin Mobile are all pretty popular, but did you know there’s a host of others out there on the Optus Network that may have the plan for you?
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Postpaid Mobile Providers on the Optus Network
If it’s a postpaid deal you’re after then you can’t look past these leading providers. Postpaid is great for those who like easy, fuss-free automatic billing.
Perhaps best-known for providing great-value home broadband services, Exetel also offers three different SIM-only phone plans with quality inclusions. With unlimited calls on all plans, 4G data and month to month terms, Exetel is rightly proud of its straightforward products designed to appeal to all Australians. It’s refreshing to see a telco offering distinct plans. Exetel also brings a number of data add-ons to the party which represents good value. Just to recap:
- Straightforward plans
- Good data inclusions at reasonable prices
- Keep an eye out for bonuses
A telco with a reputation for outstanding customer service and product value, iiNet was recently taken over by TPG, but still offers its own unique range of home broadband and mobile phone plans. iiNet offers four different month to month SIM-only phone plans on the Optus 4G network, with prices steadily increasing as you add more data. The latter three plans all include unlimited calls and texts within Australia, whilst the base plan’s generous $400 credit inclusion means you can still chat up a storm. Overall iiNet has:
- Good data inclusions at low price points
- Some of the best value big data deals
- Is renowned for outstanding customer service
Jeenee Mobile is an MVNO with a conscience. It uses some of its profits to help people with disabilities get hold of a phone for easier communication, to give them a sense of increased independence. Though, that doesn’t mean its phone plans are lacklustre – far from it! The plans start at $15 a month, in which you’ll get 200 call minutes, 250MB data and 1000 texts. The most expensive plan is $60 in which you’ll get 15GB data, unlimited calls and texts, as well as $500 value for international calls. Though, the value doesn’t stop there – Jeenee Mobile has two ‘Mammoth’ plans – $45 and $50 – which offer 20GB and 30GB of data respectively. These massive amounts of data are on the 3G network, but are still great value. The rest of the plans are also among some of the cheapest in the competition considering the amount of data you get. Overall, Jeenee stands out for:
- Giving back to the community
- Great-value plans – some of the cheapest
- Massive ‘Mammoth’ plans with lots of data
Unlike the bird the company is named after, Dodo has learned to adapt and not become extinct even after all these years. Dodo produces some good-value mobile plans that will make a lot of readers stand up and shout. There are four base plans, but each is available in three different ways – month to month, or over 12 or 24 months. They start at $17.90 a month with 2GB of data and $500 value, and the most expensive plan is just under $50 with 9GB of data with unlimited calls and texts. Some main takeaway points with Dodo are:
- Great value plans with a variety of contract periods
- Rather annoying $24.90 set-up fees
- Good data inclusions for the price
Virgin Mobile offers a huge range of plans on the Optus 4G network, with eight contracted plans and five no-contract plans. With the exception of the base $30 plan, all of Virgin Mobile’s offerings bring unlimited standard calls and texts, along with free voicemail and an inclusion of international credit as well. Virgin customers can roll over their unused credit from month to month, and you can even earn Velocity Frequent Flyer points. Perhaps the big selling point for Virgin Mobile is its massive data deals at very competitive prices. Below is a list of Virgin Mobile’s SIM-only plans, but it may be worth looking at the bundled plans as well. Overall, Virgin’s key takeaway points are:
- Good mix of plans with varying inclusions
- Huge data offers at very cheap prices
- Impressive sign-up incentives
SpinTel has also been a quiet operator that has been around for quite a while. In competing with all these young hooligans, Spintel has put together some strong-value plans, of which there are eight in total. They are divvied up by Flexible and Unlimited brandishing. Flexible plans are well, flexible, in that they simply bump you up to the next plan and charge you the different if you exceed your value and data. Say you’re on a driving holiday and using lots of data from navigation, Spintel has you covered. Though, the obvious drawback with this is that costs can add up if you’re not careful, but it sure beats paying excess data charges. The plans range from a cheap, cheap $13, up to $70 a month where you get a whopping 16GB data. The main takeaways with Spintel are:
- Large range of plans – something for everyone
- Flexible plans offer plan ‘bumps’, but this can get costly
- Larger plans have great data inclusions
Vaya is earning a growing reputation for providing value-packed phone plans at some of the cheapest prices around. The budget telco’s plans come in two categories – Unlimited and Power Plans. As you would expect, the Unlimited plans comes with limitless call and text inclusions, with data allowances of between 1GB and 8GB the only point of difference. The Power Plans, meanwhile, all feature unlimited SMS with varying amounts of call credit and data. With prices starting at just $16 per month and a new price-beat guarantee on similar plans from other providers, Vaya presents a strong proposition. Some noteworthy facts about Vaya are:
- Some of the cheapest plans on the Optus network
- Easy to compare plans based on increasing data offers
- Price-match guarantee if you find better value elsewhere
Of course, we couldn’t write a review of phone plans on the Optus network without mentioning the mother ship herself. It pretty much goes without saying that the telco giant provides a large range of postpaid options – 11 to be precise. You can choose a plan over 12 or 24-months or without a contract at all. Your one or two-year commitment will see some extra value included. In addition to strong data offerings, the big selling point of these plans is that they also provide access to English Premier League soccer matches on your mobile! The plans range from $30 a month, all the way up to $120. Below are a handful of them, but first let’s consider the main positives of Optus postpaid plans:
- Watch EPL soccer on your mobile
- Impressive data inclusions at mid-range price points
- Better value on offer if you commit to 12 month contract
Prepaid mobile providers on the Optus network
If you like the no-pressure, ‘DIY’ nature of prepaid plans, take a look at these leaders. Prepaid is great as you can have the flexibility to recharge when you like with no hassle.
One of the best-known and most popular MVNOs out there, Amaysim’s explicitly online-only business model allows it to deliver great value on all of its SIM-only 4G plans. Amaysim offers five different plans with 28 day expiry, all with unlimited calls and texts and some great data inclusions. The increasing price points simply reflect the additional data, making these plans easy to compare. Be aware though that these plans expire after 28 days as opposed to the 30 days you get with most other carriers. So let’s just recap what Amaysim offers:
- Easy to compare plans by data allowance
- Some of the cheapest prices on the Optus network
- Plans expire after 28 days instead of 30
All three major grocery chains in Australia provide phone plans (ALDI and Woolworths both operate on the Telstra network), but Coles Mobile stacks up well against its rivals. Coles has three plans – $10, $20 and $40 in price. The latter two plans are both on 28-day plans, with unlimited calls and texts, as well as 2GB and 7GB of data respectively. The $10 plan is over 10 days, and even with this short billing period it still works out to be pretty solid value. You can recharge with your Flybys points, though, keep in mind that the plans have 28 day billing periods whereas others are 30 days.
- Three plans, all solid value
- Stack up well against ALDI and Woolies plans
- Over 10 and 28 days instead of 30
An exciting new telco on the block, OVO Mobile offers some simple, distinct plans that are sure to make a few people happy. OVO Mobile offers three different plans – $24.95, $34.95 and $44.95 in price. All have healthy amounts of data included, and all have unlimited calls and texts, but the value dramatically rises when you jump up into the higher plans. For example, for $24.95 you’ll get 2GB of data, $34.95 will give you 8GB and $44.95 will give you a massive 12GB of data.
Another neat feature of OVO Mobile is their unlimited streaming options. OVO has teamed up with V8 Supercars, Audi Sport Customer Racing and Gymnastics Australia to deliver free and unlimited streaming of these three sports using OVO Time – OVO’s streaming app. Motorsports season is upon us, and there are always gymnastics competitions happening, so if you’re interested in one or both then OVO could be the way to go.
We can’t forget about the maiden of the prepaid ship, Optus. In the prepaid arena, Optus offers five rather interesting plans that are up there with the best of them. They range from $10 to $60, and all have unlimited calls and texts. The first plan is a peculiar one – you have to pay $10 for a SIM card, but you receive unlimited calls and texts as well as 500MB of data when you trigger a ‘$2 day’. So, while this may seem expensive over the course of a month, the fact is if you trigger it every day then over 28 days you’ll get 14GB of data for $56. The convenience lies in not having to trigger a $2 day though.
The other four plans are a little bit more conventional with the standard procedure of increasing data with each plan. The most expensive plan – $60 over $28 days – has 10GB of data (with 1GB bonus data for a limited time). Another great bonus is that all of these plans have free music streaming until July 2017, as well as data rollover up to 15GB on all but the $10 plan. With these plans you also have the opportunity to bundle the plan with a phone from a choice of six. Just to recap, Optus has:
- Surprisingly good-value plans
- Great flexibility in the $10 plan
- Great bonuses such as unlimited music streaming
Who offers the best value on the Optus network?
If you’re after a new phone plan on the Optus network, there truly is a huge selection of great value offers to choose from. The list isn’t complete in this article – there are handfuls more that may be up your alley. It’s hard to go past Vaya, Jeenee, Virgin and Optus in the postpaid arena, and Optus and OVO in the prepaid sector. We’d consider them all leaders of the pack, but for different reasons. However, there’s nary a bad apple in the whole landscape! In fact, each of these providers has a unique selling point. Good luck trying to decide! It pays to shop around for the best deal that’s right for you.