2016 Mobile Phone Providers for Small Business
These ratings have been archived. For the latest ratings, have a look at the current ratings for small business mobile phone providers.
A good mobile phone plans is essential for small business owners, but which providers offer the best overall package? Compare your options at Canstar Blue.
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Canstar Blue research finalised in August 2016, published in August 2016.
See our Ratings Methodology.
Small businesses call on Optus for five-star value
A business is only as good as its communications, whether it’s a huge multinational based in Tokyo, or your local plumber. Let’s call him Dave. If that big corporation, or Dave, can’t effectively communicate with clients and customers, then they’ll go elsewhere. When it comes to the world of small business in Australia, successful communication begins with a good phone plan. If Dave doesn’t have one, he needs one – and quick.
Canstar Blue research shows that small business owners and decisions makers spend an average of $172 per month on their business phone plans. That’s a huge chunk of change, and you would expect a pretty amazing service for it. However, many small business owners do not think they’re getting great value from their phone plans, which is why Canstar Blue conducts an annual review of service providers to see which are hitting the mark and which have work to do. If you’re considering calling time on your plan provider, we hope this review is helpful.
As you can see, the big three mobile carriers have gone head to head in these ratings, but it’s Optus that tops the table for the second year in succession. Optus was rated five stars for overall customer satisfaction, receiving the Canstar Blue award for Mobile Phone Providers for Small Business in 2016. These ratings are based on the survey responses of more than 600 small business owners or key decision makers across Australia, who have Optus, Telstra or Vodafone as their service provider.
This is a strong performance from Optus, which also rated well in our review of broadband providers for small business.
What to look for in a business phone plan
The worst thing that Dave the plumber can do is fail to return your call when you’re neck deep in water, so it stands to reason that a phone plan with unlimited call time would be handy. In this digital age, Dave will also need a good data allowance to make sure he can always check his emails or other online messages. We asked our small business survey respondents what they consider the most important feature of a phone plan. They reported:
- Call time: 32%
- Data allowance: 32%
- The phone model itself: 29%
- Texts: 3%
- Not sure: 4%
This is interesting because our wider consumer research found data allowance to be a clear winner. So it seems that picking up the phone and calling a client or customer is still important to many small businesses.
Choosing a business phone plan
Optus, Telstra and Vodafone all offer phone plans specifically targeted at business users, with prices starting from as low as $25 per month. As most business plans come with unlimited talk and text, the amount you spend will ultimately depend on how much data you choose, and whether or not you would like a new handset thrown into the deal. For huge data plans and a brand new phone, you could easily spend over $200 per month over a two-year contact.
If you want the new iPhone 7 (32GB), Optus, Vodafone and Telstra offer the following business phone plans with unlimited talk and text, plus 10GB or more of data.
If you’re more of a Samsung business person, you’ll find the following plans for the Galaxy S7 edge with the same features:
Optus, Telstra and Vodafone also offer a wide range of SIM-only business plans, including some month to month deals. However, as you would expect, the longer you are willing to commit to a service provider, the better long-term value you are likely to find.
Ultimately, it’s all about matching your data requirements with an amount you’d be happy to pay each month. Or that you’d be happy for your business to pay! Our research shows that value for money is the number one driver of satisfaction for the majority of business customers, so make sure you regularly compare plans and consider your options.
Frequently asked questions
Canstar Blue commissioned Colmar Brunton to survey 800 small business owners or decision makers (i.e. the main decision maker for a small business) across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have a mobile phone plan that is used for work purposes – in this case, 669 people.
Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then alphabetically. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.