TPG’s offerings have traditionally been focused on lower prices and value for money, whereas iiNet’s focus has been on more premium services such as the NBN, fibre to the home and fully-loaded bundles, as well as customer service and advocacy. However, with TPG’s emergence as Australia’s second largest home internet provider (behind Telstra) its image has shifted somewhat to a more ‘big brother’ provider, with prices on the whole pretty similar to those of iiNet. So how do the two brands stack up in terms of their plans for everyday customers?
TPG vs iiNet: Internet Compared
iiNet at face value is more expensive, but you often get 250GB as a base data amount, whereas with TPG your data allowances are as low as 50GB, which is quite low nowadays. This is how they line up:
|TPG Monthly Prices From||iiNet Monthly Prices From|
|NBN Fixed Line||$49.99 (10GB)||$59.99 (500GB)|
|NBN Fixed Wireless||$59.99 (100GB)||$59.99 (500GB)|
|NBN SkyMuster||N/A||$39.99 (150GB)|
|ADSL2+||$29.99 (50GB)||$59.99 (500GB)|
|Naked DSL||$49.99 (50GB)||$59.99 (500GB)|
NBN Plan Comparison
iiNet’s NBN offerings are pretty exciting, with a full complement of plans, where most start at $60-odd a month for 250GB of data. While TPG’s entry price is generally lower, its starting data caps are lower as well. Another noteworthy thing is that for rural or remote customers, TPG might not even be on the agenda as it doesn’t offer SkyMuster satellite plans. However, among the coastlines and populated areas, both have pretty comparable plans with their fixed wireless and fibre plans.
- TPG’s cheapest unlimited plan is $59.99, attracts a $130-odd set-up fee but comes with no contract
- iiNet’s cheapest unlimited offering is $69.99, attracts only a $10 upfront fee, but you’re locked-in for 24 months
- As for speed tiers, top Tier 4 plans with unlimited data both near the $100 mark, but TPG’s start to include local and national calls
- Both providers use VoIP services for home phone calls
It’s pretty neck and neck between them, with iiNet coming in at a higher base price, but with more data, while TPG offers call packs as standard with a lot of dearer plans.
ADSL2+ Plan Comparison
If you’re still on an ADSL2+ internet connection, both TPG and iiNet are some of the more competitive big providers out there. Prices start at just $30, but this – in TPG’s case – does not include much data by today’s standards.
- The cheapest unlimited option comes from TPG, at $59.99 a month
- iiNet’s plan is $79.99 a month
However, you need to look at more than just cost alone to determine overall value. TPG’s plan, while cheaper, requires an additional home phone line, which can cost $20 in some cases. Further, you’re locked in for at least 12 months and still have to pay an upfront fee. iiNet might win out here because it includes home phone line rental with PAYG calls and comes on a no-contract basis.
Naked DSL Plan Comparison
If you want to do away with pesky line rental or don’t have much need for a home phone line, naked DSL is a great option for no-fuss broadband. While you’ll generally pay a bit more per month as opposed to ADSL2+ plans, the convenience factor may be worth it – especially for young people or renters.
- TPG’s plans start at around $50 for which you’ll get 50GB, and iiNet starts at about $60 but you’ll get 250GB
- Both providers charge around $70 for unlimited data
Another thing to consider here – especially if you’re renting – is contract length. TPG’s contract is six months, but you’ll pay a higher set-up fee, and iiNet’s is 24 months. iiNet’s plan also includes Netphone VoIP services. Another peculiar thing to note is that iiNet’s ADSL2+ plans include line rental anyway, so this option may be worth a look into if you’re looking for naked DSL.
TPG vs iiNet: Phone Plans Compared
You may not normally associate TPG and iiNet with mobile phone plans, but maybe you should. Both have some pretty sweet SIM-only deals up for grabs, detailed below:
|Mobile Phone Plans||TPG||iiNet|
|Under $5||$1 (PAYG rates, 50MB data)||N/A|
|Under $20||$19.99 ($400 value, 2GB data)|
|$19.99 ($550 value, 1.5GB data)|
|Under $30||$29.99 (Unlimited calls & texts, 4GB data)||$29.99 (Unlimited calls and texts, 2GB data)|
|Under $40||$34.99 (Unlimited calls and texts, 9GB data)||$39.99 (Unlimited calls and texts, 7GB data)|
|$39.99 (Unlimited calls and texts, 12GB data)|
|Under $50||N/A||$49.99 (Unlimited calls and texts, 9GB data)|
Source: Respective service provider websites
TPG’s mobile offerings are fairly simple and easy to understand. It sells five different 4G plans, all of which come SIM-only and paid month to month on a prepaid basis.
- The cheapest is a $1 PAYG option, which seems cheap but the costs can stack up in the long run
- This is in contrast to iiNet’s plans, which are on a postpaid basis instead
Beyond the $1 option, both providers are pretty neck and neck, however TPG generally offers more data as standard for comparable prices. For example, TPG is one of the cheapest providers in Australia to offer at least 10GB of data with unlimited calls and texts. For an equivalent price, iiNet can only muster up 7GB. iiNet also has the most expensive plan, at just under $50 for 9GB.
- You can’t really go wrong with either, but your choice may depend on whether you prefer a prepaid or postpaid connection
- TPG utilises the Vodafone Network while iiNet uses the Optus Network
- TPG may offer more data in the more expensive plan options, while at the cheaper end, iiNet seems to be a more compelling provider
TPG and iiNet Entertainment Options Compared
One of iiNet’s big drawcards is its recent addition of iiNet TV with Fetch. In an almost identical move to Optus, iiNet has partnered with TV service Fetch to offer customers a set-top box and access to a number of entertainment services. These include pausing, recording and rewinding live TV, buying and renting movies and TV shows, and streaming from services such as Netflix and Stan.
- iiNet TV by Fetch starts at around $10 extra a month and you can add it to any iiNet broadband plan. Various entertainment channel packs are extra, as per Fetch’s pricing
TPG isn’t totally left in the dark, however, with its own IPTV service. IPTV allows you to watch selected TV channels via your internet connection (i.e. through your laptop or computer) and is included with a TPG ADSL2+ connection – you just need to sign up to get it.
- IPTV channels are mainly international news outlets such as Al Jazeera and Bloomberg TV
- TPG says that sports channels are coming soon
The cheaper option is obviously TPG’s IPTV, but iiNet has a pretty compelling product for $10 extra per month. Would you rather watch Hungarian news, or the NBA Playoffs? The choice is yours.
TPG vs iiNet: Who Wins?
The product sets of TPG and iiNet show some clear similarities, but also many differences which reflect their fundamentally different approaches to running a telecommunications business. Based on image alone – and it’s subjective – TPG appears the more ‘corporate-oriented’ of the two, whereas iiNet looks to be a bit more ‘consumer friendly’. However, what you will find is that both offer compelling internet and mobile phone plans. Both are good alternatives to the bigger guys, and it’s hard to separate the two.
Apart from a few little differences, iiNet and TPG are fairly similar when it comes to pricing – and the value you get. We can, perhaps, expect to see more uniformity now that TPG has acquired iiNet, but it seems for now that both providers are set to retain their own identities. We’re rating this one a tie, as both have some strong positives – and only a few arguable negatives. In the end, it all depends on your own circumstances; you might find one is better for you than the other.