Review of Telstra mobile phone plans

Telstra operates Australia’s largest mobile network with the most comprehensive reach, covering no less than 2.4 million square kilometres of Australia’s vast land area. In addition to 4G coverage in major cities, Telstra also offers its 4GX service on the 700MHz spectrum for up to triple the maximum download speeds on compatible devices. To let you take advantage of this, the telco giant offers several prepaid, monthly and contract phone plans for you to choose from.

The sheer amount of detail and options these plans bring can become pretty confusing however, which is why we’ve prepared our review of Telstra mobile phone plans to help you cut through the fine print. So let’s take a look at Telstra’s phone plans and try to determine which offer the best value.

What are Telstra’s best prepaid plans?

Prepaid plans are ideal if you don’t use much credit or you’re looking to control your spending, and the wide range of phone plans provided by Telstra can certainly help in this regard. There are four different recharge categories to select from, each of which offers a different combination of inclusions:

  • Pre-Paid Plus: Telstra’s most value-packed prepaid plans give you unlimited texts and calls (or $700 of calls for the cheapest recharge), along with a bunch of data and international credit, all with a 28-day expiry. These plans are perfect for people who want the credit and data of a post-paid plan, but without the locked-in spending.
  • Beyond Talk: These recharges bring you fewer inclusions, but come with 1c texts to other Telstra mobiles after you use up your bonus texts. There are also more plans to choose from, with the top three including unlimited texts, as well as 30 days expiry. If you can’t resist messaging your mates every day, a Beyond Talk plan may be for you.
  • Simplicity: These recharge packs are just traditional prepaid – four recharge amounts to choose from, each of which gives you that exact dollar value to use on calls, texts and data. The more expensive the recharge, the longer your credit lasts, up to a maximum of 180 days for the $100 recharge – and with calls costing just 15c/min and texts 12c, your credit ought to last quite a while.
  • Long Life: This is another traditional prepaid recharge providing you with long-expiry credit – perfect for a spare phone or someone who seldom uses theirs. Long Life recharges come in six PAYG options, with a minimum expiry of 60 days and a maximum of 12 months. You also get bonus talk minutes thrown in, with the most expensive plan getting 200 minutes.

Here are some of Telstra’s cheapest prepaid options to consider:

However you look at Telstra’s prepaid mobile plans, it’s hard not to be confused. It seems that, in an effort to provide greater variety, the telco giant may have simply over-complicated the situation. You may therefore find Telstra’s post-paid SIM-only offerings a little easier to follow.

What are Telstra’s best post-paid plans?

Moving on to post-paid plans, Telstra offers you three varieties of mobile phone service – month-to-month and 12-month plans, both of which are SIM-only, or 24-month plans which include your choice of handset.

All of Telstra’s plans currently include a six-month Apple Music membership with data-free streaming, unlimited Telstra Air Wi-Fi data, an NRL and AFL Season Pass for streaming, and 200GB of Microsoft OneDrive storage. Selected plans also receive three-month subscription to Netflix, Stan AND Presto – all of which are accessible through Telstra’s new Telstra TV+ mobile app.

Telstra’s SIM-only plans

Telstra’s month-to-month and 12-month SIM-only plan ranges are the same, consisting of Small (S), Medium (M) and Large (L) varieties. The 12-month range also include an Mx plan which slots between the M and L plans, as the following table illustrates.

Plan S M Mx L
Cost/month $35 $50 $49 $70
Call & Text value $300 $1000 $1000 Unlimited
Data 500MB 5GB 7GB 10GB

Source: Telstra website

While these plans include solid value, the trend now is more towards unlimited talk and text inclusions, even at the sub-$30 mark. Only the $70 Telstra plan brings this, however the data allowances here are still fairly healthy for the price points.

Handset plans

The 24-month mobile plans, meanwhile, start at $55 per month and also offer an Extra Large (XL) plan which starts at $135 per month.  You can choose from a large range of mobile phones to go with your plan, but just remember that a fancier phone will add more money to your monthly bill.

Plan S M L XL
Cost/month $55 $75 $95 $135
Calls $550 Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Texts Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Data 1GB 3GB 8GB 20GB

Source: Telstra website

If the regular plans just don’t satisfy your craving for data, you can opt for Telstra’s massive Premium Mobile Plan. For a fee of $195 per month over 24 months, you’ll receive 25GB along with unlimited domestic calls, unlimited SMS/MMS and unlimited international calls to any landline or mobile. If you’re overseas, you’ll still receive unlimited credit and 1.5GB of data. You even get dedicated premium support from Telstra’s customer service team whenever you need it. If you’re looking for the ultimate mobile plan, this is it.

How does Telstra compare to other providers?

When stacked up against main rivals Optus, Vodafone and Virgin Mobile, Telstra’s plans certainly look like valuable propositions – especially given the telco’s recent boosts to data inclusions. Telstra’s prepaid plans are on par with those offered by the competition, from the $20 Simplicity recharge to the more expensive packs which can hit as much as $100.


Telstra’s prepaid recharges leave a bit to be desired – their included value currently trails the main competition at similar price points, though Telstra’s increasing overhaul of data inclusions means this may not be the case for much longer.


In terms of SIM-only no-contract plans, Telstra’s three monthly offers compete against the likes of Vaya, Amaysim and many other MVNO providers. While the entry-level plan is somewhat lacking in the value stakes, the larger plans make up for this with much bigger inclusions – the 7GB for $49 offered on the Mx plan, and 10GB for $70 on the L plan, are right on the money with most of the competition.

Meanwhile Telstra’s 12 and 24-month plans provide better value in exchange for less contract flexibility, meaning they can definitely be worth your while. Here Telstra competes with the traditional industry heavyweights such as Vodafone and Virgin Mobile, as only the larger companies tend to offer such expensive plans. It’s here that Telstra really does hold its own, with prices and data offerings right up with the market standards. This is especially true once prices get higher – the massive 20GB offered by the XL plan is basically unmatched.

Telstra has long been considered the default choice in the Australian telco market and remains the only viable option in some rural areas. But recent increases in competition have seen the former state-owned telco lift its game. Increased value and better plan features mean Telstra is becoming more and more appealing a provider, not just because it’s the only choice in town.

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