Review of iiNet mobile phone plans

Best-known as a home internet provider, iiNet is a real home-grown success story, having become one of the biggest and most popular telcos in Australia since it was founded in 1993. The company has built up an unrivalled reputation for quality customer service and advocacy, and frequently rates highly in our customer satisfaction ratings.

Whilst iiNet’s roots are in fixed broadband, it also offers a comprehensive line-up of mobile phone plans. The mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) utilises the Optus 4G Plus network, ensuring reliable and fast connections for all customers. So what does iiNet offer in the mobile stakes and how does it compare to the competition? Let’s take a look.

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What does iiNet offer?

iiNet’s four different mobile plans follow a similar structure to other cost-conscious providers – all plans are SIM-only and come on a month-to-month basis. Your only upfront cost is a $10 SIM card fee, and you can even choose to buy one of several top handsets from iiNet if you don’t already have a phone in mind.

It’s worth noting, however, that a $10 SIM card charge is amongst the most costly you are likely to find. Most mobile service providers charge significantly less, at around $2, or in some cases you’ll get it for free. But let’s take a look at iiNet’s plans:

  • iiNet’s plans start with the $19.99 per month basic plan, offering 2GB of data and $400 worth of call and text credit. That’s a great data offering for the price. International calls are PAG, and you can always bolt on extra data for $10 per GB.
  • The second plan costs an extra 10 bucks per month, for which you get the same amount of data but unlimited standard calls and texts, with the same PAYG international rates.
  • iiNet’s third phone plan costs $39.99 per month and bumps up your data inclusion to a hefty 7GB, as well as bringing $300 of international call credit (the PAYG rates still apply). And naturally you’ll get unlimited talk and text.
  • Finally, iiNet’s top plan costs $49.99 per month and brings a huge 9GB of data in addition to the $300 of international call credit and unlimited local talk and text.

A quick word of warning, iiNet says that not all mobile handsets are compatible with its SIM cards and it may be necessary for your handset to be unlocked prior to use.

How does iiNet stack up?

You can’t help but admire the simplicity of iiNet’s phone plans. Just like with its fixed line broadband services, the telco knows how to make life easier for its customers, with products easy to compare.

iiNet’s phone plans offer some seriously valuable inclusions when you stack them up against other carriers. The bog standard $19.99 deal provides useful inclusions – 2GB of data and several hundred call minutes – at a price that’s significantly cheaper than most competitors. The only providers to challenge iiNet’s offer at this price point are Vaya, Dodo and Jeenee Mobile

The second tier plan from iiNet brings the same data inclusions but with unlimited credit. In terms of calls and texts it sits right up there with similarly-priced competition from Amaysim, Exetel, TPG and more, but several other providers offer up to 3GB of data or more – and without any upfront fees.

At the higher end, it’s a similar story to the first plan as iiNet’s 7GB deal at $39.99 per month brings great value compared to some other telcos. However, it faces tougher competition at this price point, with the likes of Amaysim, Vaya, Jeenee Mobile, Dodo and TeleChoice all offering similar inclusions. Whilst others have the upper hand in not charging a $10 start-up fee, the value equation of iiNet is still hard to challenge in the long run.

Finally, iiNet’s most expensive service gives you a whopping 9GB along with plenty of international call minutes, putting it right up in the stratosphere of phone plans along with the heavy hitters from Optus, Vodafone and the like. While iiNet easily beats out several smaller providers, it struggles in the value stakes against plans from telcos offering up to 10 or 12GB inclusions.

iiNet was recently acquired by telco rival TPG, but it’s showing no signs of diverting from its core principles of quality service and strong value. The question you’ll need to ask yourself is, can you find a better deal elsewhere?

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