As anybody with a smartphone knows, mobile data can be hugely important – for many it’s the key feature of their phone plan. With our increased demand for data has emerged a reduced reliance on simple text messages and good old phone calls – both of which are cheaper services for the telcos to provide. As a result, more Aussie carriers have begun to offer something that would have been but a pipe dream a few years ago – unlimited phone plans.
What is an unlimited phone plan?
An unlimited phone plan includes infinite standard call time and text messages within the country the plan is paid for. This means plans are differentiated by what really matters to most consumers these days – data, media streaming and other bonus inclusions. While some expensive plans include unlimited international talk and text, the majority keep this limited to a national service.
Unlimited phone plans are available in both prepaid and postpaid form as SIM only deals. The majority of new handset phone plans also bring unlimited calls and messages as standard. So where can you find the best value? We’ve checked out the cheapest unlimited plans on the market to satisfy all of your usage needs. Remember that no service provider yet offers unlimited mobile data, so look at the amount on offer as the main point of difference when you compare plans.
Unlimited prepaid plans
Prepaid phone plans generally provide the most flexibility of any type of plan, especially if they come with unlimited talk and text. Not only do you avoid the worry of costly excess charges like you have with postpaid plans, but you can also sit back and relax in the knowledge that you’ll be able to make a call or send a text at any time you want – provided, of course, that you recharge your plan with it expiries.
The cheapest unlimited prepaid plans cost just $10, but usually only come with short expiry periods of 7-10 days. Coles Mobile, Boost Mobile, Vodafone, Optus and Telstra all provide unlimited calls and texts for $10 with short expiries, but you’ll have to pay a bit more if you want the convenience of a 30 day recharge.
For an unlimited prepaid plan with a 30 day expiry, look out for Kogan Mobile and Yomojo who both have some cheap deals and good amounts of data available for the price. Once you get over $20 per month, a lot of other providers such as Amaysim, OVO Mobile, ALDI Mobile and Lebara come into contention, with lots of data up for grabs. In the case of Lebara, some international call time also becomes a factor.
Unlimited postpaid plans
When it comes to getting value for money from your phone plan, you’ll often find the better deals in the postpaid segment. This is because the telcos would rather have you hooked in by a plan that automatically updates every billing period, rather than giving you the flexibility of taking a break whenever you feel like it. Postpaid plans, however, do have their advantages, namely the convenience of not having to manually recharge like with prepaid plans. And as we said, you’re also likely to get more bang for your buck this way, especially if you’re prepared to lock in a 12 month contract.
There are no short 7-10 expiry periods with postpaid plans, but it pays to keep your eyes peeled because some providers have plans on 28 billing periods rather than 3o days. The unlimited deals get going at around the same price as their prepaid cousins, but you’ll find the data allowance increase more sharply as you move up the price points.
For the cheapest no contract unlimited postpaid plans, you can’t look much further than Vaya and Yomojo who blow the rest out of the park with unlimited talk and text plus 1-2GB of data for under $20. After that, the likes of C Mobile, Jeenee Mobile and Amaysim are also competitive under $30.
Once you get up to around $30 per month, you can really start to see the value in postpaid plans, with 3GB of data the minimum on offer from carriers such as Dodo, SpinTel, Exetel, TeleChoice and Think Mobile. After this, the data goes through the roof!
Contract postpaid plans
In addition to the monthly unlimited postpaid plans mentioned above, there are a handful of providers who save arguably their best value offers for customers willing to sign up for 12 months. You are effectively rewarded for your loyalty. The four big boys of Telstra, Optus, Vodafone and Virgin Mobile come to play around these parts, with the latter two bringing up particularly good data versus price offers.
Unlimited handset phone plans
It’s unusual to see contracted handset phone plans not bring at least unlimited talk and text, with data and other inclusions the point of difference. Prices will naturally depend on the handset you choose, but let’s first compare costs for the iPhone 7 (32GB). The cheapest unlimited plans here come with modest amounts of data, with Virgin Mobile and Optus hard to beat.
If you’re more a Samsung fan, the Galaxy S7 is available from the same big players, plus Woolworths Mobile and Southern Phone. If you simply want the cheapest unlimited deal with this phone, then your options are as follows.
All about unlimited?
While some low-cost prepaid and postpaid plans are still available with set amounts of included call and text value, it seems that the future is very much unlimited. The amount of data the telcos are offering continues to rise – to as much as 30GB per month – so it’s certainly a good time to get into an unlimited frame of mind.