As the second biggest telco in Australia, Optus has long been a heavyweight in the local mobile market. Founded in 1992, Optus owns and operates a comprehensive network infrastructure which rivals industry leader Telstra for coverage and speeds, and which it makes available to other smaller mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) to provide a service.
But despite allowing other smaller phone carriers to benefit from its extensive network – most notably Amaysim, Vaya and Virgin Mobile – Optus itself offers some of the biggest and best mobile plans available in Australia today. With competitive offerings in the prepaid, SIM-only and handset plan categories, Optus mobile phone plans can rival pretty much any product offered by its competitors. Let’s review the range of plans from Optus and try to determine where you’ll find the best value.
Prepaid plans from Optus
Optus provides a huge number of prepaid plans to choose from, which are thankfully divided into four useful categories; each one has its own distinct focus, as well as multiple recharge options. You can add on 500MB of data for $5 or 1.5GB for $10 to any prepaid recharge, and you can also buy $20 travel credit for cheap international roaming rates. Optus prepaid mobile plans are as follows:
- Ultimate plans are similar to a phone plan, bringing unlimited texts and set amounts of calls and data. There are six recharges to choose from – the cheapest is $10 for 300MB and 100 minutes, with a 7-day expiry, while the most expensive costs $60 for 11GB, unlimited calls and unlimited international calls to select countries, lasting 28 days. Ultimate plans let you roll over up to 15GB of data, and all come with data-free music streaming for several major services.
- Daily Plus is a dead simple day-to-day plan – you pay $2 each day and get unlimited talk and text, 500MB of data, and the same data-free music streaming as the Ultimate plans. If you exceed your data limit, you’ll get charged another $2 for 524MB (and limited after that). Daily Plus is a great pick if you just need mobile service for a day or two.
- Long Expiry plans offer you $30, $40, $50 or $60 recharges, for which you get that exact dollar amount to use on cheap calls, texts and data. Your credit lasts for 186 days for the first four plans, and an entire year for the most expensive – perfect for a spare phone or one that’s seldom used.
- If it’s just data you’re after, Mobile Broadband is available in four amounts: $10 for 1GB, $40 for 4GB, $50 for 7GB, or $130 for 22GB. The expiry dates increase in proportion to the plan, meaning even the biggest big data purchase will last you a long time.
Here is a selection of Optus Unlimited prepaid plans, all bringing unlimited talk and text.
Post-paid plans from Optus
Optus has a newly simplified range of SIM plans, consisting of three different month-to-month options and three 12-month plans. All plans come with unlimited talk and text, making them perfect for those of us who love to chat. The top two plans for each contract option give you generous inclusions of international minutes – great for calling friends and family all over the world. You can even combine your mobile plan with a Mobile Broadband Plus plan and pool your data. How useful is that?
Optus’ SIM-only plans are summarised in the table below:
|Month to Month||12 Months|
|Calls & Texts||Unlimited|
|International calls||300 mins||500 mins||300 mins||500 mins|
Handset plans from Optus
Optus also offers five different mobile phone handset plans, each one over a 24-month contract. With all plans including unlimited talk and text to standard Australian numbers, they range in price from $40 per month for 500MB of data to $130 per month for a whopping 18GB. International call inclusions range from PAYG on the cheapest plan to unlimited on the most expensive – the latter also comes with international data roaming using Optus Travel Packs, which give you unlimited credit and 50MB of data each day you’re overseas.
Optus’ plans also come with a host of bonuses: you can currently stream several TV and music services data-free, including Netflix, Presto, Spotify and more, depending on what plan you’re on. And of course, Optus has exclusive rights to English Premier League football, allowing you to stream every match and highlights data-free on the dedicated Optus Sport app; this costs $15/month for the first two plans, and is included at no extra cost on the latter three. You can find out more below:
|Calls & Texts||Unlimited|
|Int’l minutes||–||150 mins||300 mins||400 mins||Unlimited|
How does Optus compare to other providers?
As one of Australia’s largest mobile service providers, Optus is targeted by the competition as a brand to beat. Its own plans, therefore, need to be well-priced and competitive. The company’s contract offerings compete against the likes of Virgin Mobile, Vodafone and Telstra in the top price segments, whilst the field swells to include carriers like Telechoice, Bendigo and several more as costs go down.
When it comes to prepaid, Optus competes with smaller brands such as Kogan Mobile, gotalk and Lebara, all of which offer cheap, monthly expiry prepaid recharges. Despite competing against several specialised prepaid providers, the Optus range and infrastructure means it still offers a solid value proposition across most products. Optus sticks it to the competition with its Ultimate recharge plans, which provide decent data inclusions and unlimited texts from just $10.
In terms of month-to-month SIM plans, the lower price point and wider range of plans means Optus competes with a great number of providers, including Jeenee Mobile, iiNet, Vaya, SpinTel and more, with many offering similar or superior value at similar costs. Optus’ entry-level plans offer a poor value proposition compared to the plethora of cheaper providers out there, but they make up for this with the exceptional value offered by their mid-range and more expensive plans – especially when accounting for their media streaming inclusions which few providers can match.
All in all, Optus has a vast range of products, which means there’s something on offer for just about everyone. Some of its plans represent better value than others, but rest assured that its quality network infrastructure and customer service ensures that any choice will be a decent one.