Here is a selection of postpaid plans from Canstar Blue’s database with a minimum of 10GB of data, listed in order of standard cost, lowest to highest, then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Try using our mobile phone plan comparison tool to see a wide range of plans from other providers. This table includes products with links to referral partners.
Here is a selection of prepaid plans from Canstar Blue’s database with a minimum of 10GB of data each month, listed in order of standard cost, lowest to highest, then by data allowance, largest to smallest. If you want to compare a larger range of offers from other providers, use our phone plan comparison tool. This table includes products with links to referral partners.
Choosing a good mobile phone plan might seem complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. While there are a lot of telcos out there offering different phone plans, once you have a clear idea of what type of plan you want and what your budget is, comparing mobile plans is easy. Unsure where to start? Follow Canstar Blue’s 5 simple steps to deciding which mobile plan is right for you.
First up, you need to choose between whether you want a phone-on-a-plan (new phone bundled with phone plan), a SIM-only prepaid plan (phone plan only, paid upfront and recharged as needed) or a SIM-only postpaid plan (phone plan only where you are sent a bill each month to pay). If you’re choosing a mobile plan with a new handset included, this will generally be billed to you monthly as a postpaid plan with plan fees and handset repayments included.
These days, most mobile plans include unlimited standard national calls and texts, so this is less of an issue. However, some of the cheapest phone plans might have call or text limits. Consider how often you use these services to determine what inclusions you need.
The same can be said for international calls and texts. In that case, you’ll need to look into mobile phone plans which include enough international calls and texts for your needs and access to the right country.
This is the more complicated side of choosing a phone plan. Deciding on how much mobile data you need for your phone plan depends on how much data you think you’ll use. You can use your current mobile plan as a guide to whether you need more or less data. Otherwise, consider what you regularly use data for and how often you use it, to determine how much data you need.
This is where you need to decide on whether you want your mobile plan on the Telstra, Optus or Vodafone mobile networks. It doesn’t mean you have to sign up to a plan with one of the big three telcos — smaller telcos known as Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) use parts of one of these three mobile networks to deliver their mobile services. It’s worth comparing mobile network coverage from a range of telcos to determine which provider has the best coverage in your area, and be sure to compare not just where you live but also where you work, and areas you frequently visit.
Some phone plans include more than just the standard calls, texts and data. Telcos might offer bonuses such as data-free entertainment streaming, access to live sports coverage and exclusive content. Not to mention discounts, bonus data, discounts when bundling with an NBN plan and other deals on offer. If you like a little bit of extra value packed into your plan, compare mobile phone plans with extras to see which added value is best for you.
Apple’s iPhones are some of the most popular smartphones in Australia. If you’re looking at picking up a new iPhone on a mobile phone plan, you’ll be limited to Telstra, Vodafone and Optus if you want the latest iPhone on a plan.
iPhones are not the cheapest smartphones around. The iPhone SE released in 2020, is Apple’s more ‘affordable’ iPhone, however it’s still rather pricey. This device is available for around $60 per month on a 24-month plan.
The more premium iPhones, such as the iPhone 13, can cost closer to that $100 per month mark if you’re looking at a 24-month plan, and iPhone 13 Pro plans are typically well over $100 a month. With these plans you’ll have to look at what goes into the price – often it’s more than just the data, calls and texts. Telcos often include extra stuff such as data-free music streaming, access to live sports, entertainment extras, and more.
The most popular alternative to the iPhone, Samsung’s Galaxy smartphone range offers something for almost everyone — from low and mid-priced devices such as the Galaxy A series, to premium handsets. However, the Galaxy S series is undoubtedly Samsung’s flagship device range, and the current Galaxy S21 range (including the S21, S21+ and S21 Ultra) are some of this year’s most sought after Android-powered phones in Australia.
You can pick up the S21 range on postpaid plans through Telstra, Vodafone, Optus, Woolworths Mobile, Southern Phone and TeleChoice. Depending on your choice of plan and payment term, expect to pay prices from $60-ish per month, up to well over $100. Lower-data plans and longer repayment periods will result in smaller monthly payments, with Woolworths Mobile generally offering some of the cheapest options. However, if you like big data and plan extras, you may prefer a pricier plan from Vodafone, Telstra, or Optus.
When you’re choosing the best phone plan for your needs, you might also need to consider which mobile network your phone plan will be using.
In Australia, there are three mobile networks: Telstra, Optus and Vodafone. These networks offer 3G, 4G and 5G network coverage, however you might find access to these networks depends on where you live and what your phone is capable of connecting to.
In addition to Telstra, Optus and Vodafone, there are lots of other smaller telcos which offer phone plans. These are known as MVNOs (mobile virtual network operators) and each of these MVNOs use either the Telstra, Optus or Vodafone networks to deliver their services. In most cases, these smaller providers don’t receive access to the entire network. For example, the 5G networks operated by Telstra, Optus and Vodafone are generally not available on plans offered by an MVNO.
The best way to find out which network and which telco is right for you, is to visit the website of your telco of choice and check the network coverage map. This should give you some indication as to whether you have that network coverage in your area. If you live in a rural or regional community, your options for coverage might be limited.
If you want access to the full Telstra mobile network, including the Telstra 5G network, you’ll need to sign up to a Telstra phone plan.
Telstra offers a range of prepaid and postpaid plans, including mobile plans bundled with a new handset. You’ll find the latest and popular devices from brands including Apple iPhones, Samsung, OPPO and more.
Find more plans on the Telstra network here:
As Australia’s second largest telco, Optus offers a large mobile network and generally, you’ll need to sign up to Optus if you want access to the full Optus 4G and Optus 5G network. (although, smaller provider SpinTel also offers 5G plans on the Optus network).
Optus offers a range of SIM-only prepaid and postpaid plans along with a phone-on-a-plan options. You’ll have access to the latest devices including iPhones, Samsung phones and more.
For more plans on the Optus network, you can read more here:
The third largest telco, Vodafone is a little behind Telstra and Optus when it comes to mobile network coverage. However, it’s still a wide-reaching network and also includes an expanding Vodafone 5G network.
Vodafone offers plans including SIM-only prepaid and postpaid, along with mobile plans bundled with a new phone. You can expect devices from Apple, Samsung, Google, OPPO and more.
For more information and plans available on the Vodafone network, you can read more here:
As 5G rolls out to even more of the country, this new technology is the next step in the way we use internet and phones. While some might think that 5G is better than the NBN, this new technology is no doubt changing the way we use our mobile phones, especially as more 5G-compatible devices are released each year and 5G networks expand.
If you’ve been eyeing off a new 5G phone, whether it’s the latest 5G Apple or Samsung phones (or maybe a cheaper 5G phone), you’ll need a 5G phone plan to go with your device. Australia’s three mobile network operators — Telstra, Optus and Vodafone — are all building and expanding 5G mobile networks across Australia. These three telcos (along with Optus reseller SpinTel) offer 5G phone plans. At Canstar Blue, you can compare a range of 5G plans to help you find the best deal for you.
When you’re choosing a new phone plan, you’ll need to decide if you want a SIM-only plan or if you’d prefer a plan bundled with a new mobile phone.
SIM-only plans are mobile plans that include a SIM card to use in your existing handset, rather than buying a new phone as part of the deal. SIM-only plans can be either prepaid or postpaid.
A SIM-only plan can give you more flexibility and freedom. If you choose to buy a handset outright, you will own the phone and won’t be locked into a device contract.
A phone on a plan is when you receive a phone bundled with a postpaid phone plan. These plans are mostly over 12, 24 or 36-month payment periods. Your monthly bill is the cost of your chosen postpaid plan, plus your smartphone repayment cost. The price you pay each month for your phone depends on the storage size, overall device price, and length of payment plan.
The postpaid plan you bundle with will most likely have a set amount of data, calls, texts, and other extras offered by the telco. Like any postpaid phone plan, you might be charged excess usage fees if you go over your inclusions, especially your data allowance.
Choosing a phone on a plan is great if you want a new smartphone but don’t have the money to buy it outright. The downside is that you’ll typically be locked into a one, two or three-year contract for your device and be unable to switch mobile plans or providers without paying termination fees. You’ll also have less choice of providers, and your monthly phone bill can easily cost over $100 per month, depending on the phone you choose.
Postpaid mobile plans are plans that see you billed at the end of the month for the calls, texts and data you’ve used. Because the amount you pay depends on your usage, you could be charged more than you plan’s regular price if you exceed your plan’s standard inclusions. Postpaid plans can be SIM-only or include a new handset.
Postpaid phone plans can be month-to-month or on a contract over 12 months, or longer. Month-to-month plans usually don’t include termination fees if you decide to switch phone plans or providers.
Prepaid mobile plans are plans that you pay for upfront at the start of the month or expiry period. Paying upfront means you’ll have a set amount of calls, texts and data to use within that expiry period. If you reach these limits before the end of the billing period, your service will be cut off and you’ll need to recharge your plan at an extra cost or buy an add on, such as data pack. Some prepaid plans include an automatic recharge, so you don’t need to worry about having no service if you forget to recharge at the end of your expiry period.
Plans can run for as short as a week (a great option for overseas visitors or short-term use) or as long as a year. This varies greatly between providers, so keep an eye out for these expiry periods when you’re comparing prepaid plans. A cheap $10 deal might only last you for seven days – then it’s not so cheap if you’re recharging several times a month.
The best phone plan for you will be the one that has the right balance between price, inclusions and contract length, as well as the plan type itself and even the network provider. There are more than 30 reputable mobile plan providers out there, so it’s worth keeping your options open and shopping around for the right deal.
Here are some things to consider when considering which mobile plan is best for you.
Do you need a new smartphone with your plan? If so, you’ll only have four or five providers to pick from, depending on the brand of phone you want. If you don’t need a phone, there’s 30 plus telcos offering good SIM-only plans.
What is your preferred type of payment? If you prefer to pay upfront for what you’ll use, then a prepaid plan is the way to go. But if you like the idea of paying for what you use at the end of the month, a postpaid plan is probably right for you.
What about contracts? Would you prefer to keep it month-to-month and chase the best deals whenever you want? Or would you like to lock-in a competitive deal for a year or two, given that committing to a telco usually sees you rewarded with better value? Big decision!
Do you want to try 5G, or are you happy with 4G network coverage? Only the major providers have 5G networks – and coverage is limited to certain areas of big cities – whereas you can score 4G coverage with any mobile carrier. Also keep in mind that only certain phones are capable of accessing 5G.
Which mobile network do you want to use? Telstra, Optus and Vodafone all operate their own mobile networks in Australia, with Telstra generally considered to have the most comprehensive coverage in regional areas. However, if you live in a big city, then Optus and Vodafone should have you well covered. Going with Telstra usually means a higher cost. Keep in mind that all the other mobile carriers pay to use one of the big networks.
And of course, there’s the inclusions. Do you need unlimited data, or could you get by with a modest plan with a limited data allowance? Most deals over $15 a month will already come with unlimited calls and texts.
When you start to think about it, there’s actually a lot to consider when it comes to picking a new mobile plan, especially if you’re going with a new carrier for the first time.
You might want to set yourself a budget and compare mobile plans within that price range. Also consider how much data you’ll need on your plan. If you don’t use your phone data much, you might look at plans with around 1-5GB of data. If you like streaming video on the go, you might need a mobile phone plan with lots of included data, with some plans even including over 100GB per month.
If you’re looking at buying a new phone on a plan, your first starting point when comparing mobile plans should be the device and storage size you want. Then you can take a look at which telcos are offering your phone of choice and what plans are available with the phone.
If you want to keep your current phone number, you’ll be able to take it with you to a new plan and provider — but only if you don’t cancel your old plan before you switch over. Your new service will cancel the old one automatically if you’re keeping your number, but terminating your existing plan too soon could mean you lose your digits forever.
Once you’ve picked your new plan, the next steps are easy.
If you’re picking up a smartphone on a brand new SIM plan, the above steps also apply — you just won’t need to remove a SIM card from your new device’s card slot.
When you’re deciding whether to buy a new phone on a plan or outright, keep in mind there are pros and cons to both, and the choice really depends on your situation.
If you choose to buy a phone outright, the benefit is that you’re not locked into a contract and have more freedom and choice of SIM-only plans. Of course the downside is that depending on which phone you choose, you could pay upwards of $1,000 for your smartphone. Premium devices such as iPhones and some Samsung Galaxy phones can even cost around $2,000, so you’ll need to work out if this upfront price is something you can afford. Of course there are some great smartphones available under $1,000 which may be more affordable.
Buying a phone on a plan saves that upfront device cost, instead spreading your device payment over 12, 24 or 36 months. The payment period or contract length differs from telco to telco. For example, Optus and Vodafone offer phone payment periods over 12, 24 and 36 months, while Telstra offers 12 or 24 months and Woolworths Mobile offers 24 and 36 months. The longer the contract, the less you’ll pay for your device each month, but you will be stuck on that mobile plan for two or even three years, with cancellations usually requiring you to pay off the remainder of your device.
Consider your financial situation and take a look at your budget to help determine what the best option is for you. Also consider that when you buy a phone on a plan, you’ll be restricted to the choice of postpaid plans offered by that one provider. Therefore, you’ll also need to consider which telco is best for you in terms of plan prices, data inclusions and mobile coverage.
Switching phone plans has become incredibly easy in recent years. It can take just a matter of moments to switch your phone number from one provider to another. See below for a guide to switching plans.
If you’re keeping your phone and going SIM-only, you’ll want to make sure you know your device’s SIM card size before you swap. Most providers now offer a three-in-one SIM so you’re able to easily pop out the right size for your device, but you’ll find most newer phones are compatible with the smallest Nano SIM size.
You’ll also need to double check that your phone is network unlocked. Almost all phones will be fine to use on a different network, but if you bought your device on a prepaid plan from a telco you may need to check with your provider before you switch.
Much like any other contract, whether it’s for a loan or personal finance, your credit score might impact your ability to sign up to a phone contract. However, it is still possible to pick up a phone plan if you have bad credit.
Some telcos might run credit checks when you sign up to a phone plan, especially if it is a postpaid plan with a new mobile phone included. These plans are typically big monthly costs, so a telco will want to ensure you are able to make these repayments.
If you have bad credit, you can still get a phone plan. You’ll most likely need to avoid any of the mobile plans with a new phone, and instead opt for a SIM-only plan.
Your best option for postpaid is a month-to-month plan, which doesn’t require you to sign up to a contract for multiple years. However, prepaid phone plans are the best choice if you have bad credit — SIM cards can be bought online or from retailers such as supermarkets. Once you’ve set up your new SIM card, you can start using it almost straight away, and recharges are either automatic or you can choose to buy a recharge when needed.
The other good news is that there are lots of cheap phone plans out there. If money is a little tight, you can easily find plans with unlimited standard national calls and texts for around $10, although data inclusions are quite small at these price points.
While once telcos might have included phones for free when you signed up to a contract, these days, this is a very rare occurrence.
The more traditional two-year phone contract may have technically given you a phone for ‘free’ when you signed up to an expensive phone plan with a cheaper phone, as the handset cost would be balanced out by the expensive plan. However, since the big telcos now separate phone repayments and plan fees, you can no longer pick up a ‘free’ phone through that loophole.
If you are desperate for a phone and can’t afford to buy a cheap phone (some of which are under $200), it could be worth asking your friends and family if they have any unused devices that they could give you. Keep in mind that the condition of an older second-hand phone might not be great, especially if the phone has not been professionally refurbished like a refurbished phone, so you might experience issues with performance.
A Mobile Virtual Network Operator, sometimes referred to as an MVNO, is a telco that doesn’t actually own a mobile network, but instead ‘rents’ parts of that network from the company that operates that network.
In Australia, there are three mobile networks throughout the country — Telstra, Optus and Vodafone. The MVNOs will use one of these networks to deliver mobile services to customers, including call, SMS and data services.
Telstra, Australia’s largest mobile network, has several MVNOs using the Telstra network. At this time, the Telstra 5G network is not available to MVNOs. While most of these telcos only access some parts of the Telstra mobile network, Boost Mobile is the only MVNO to have full access to the Telstra 3G and 4G networks. Here are some of the MVNOs using the Telstra network:
As Australia’s second largest telco, Optus also has several MVNOs using parts of the Optus mobile network to deliver services. Optus does offer MVNOs access to the Optus 5G network, and currently, SpinTel is the only MVNO to offer plans on the Optus 5G network. Here are some of the MVNOs using the Optus network:
Vodafone is Australia’s smallest mobile network, however it still covers a large portion of the population and several MVNOs use this network. Currently, Vodafone does not offer MVNOs access to the Vodafone 5G network. Here are the MVNOs using the Vodafone network:
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