While there’s a lot of emphasis in the mobile world on bundling your plan with a brand new smartphone, saving-savvy Aussies know that the phone-on-a-plan upgrade cycle isn’t always the most cost-effective. If you want lower prices, flexibility, and more choice across the board, going SIM-only is a great way to find the best deals.
If you’re happy with your phone, but not so happy with your mobile provider, swapping to a new SIM-only, bring-you-own-device plan is simple. But with dozens of telcos on the Australian market — and both postpaid and prepaid options available — it can be overwhelming searching through the hundreds of plans on offer.
To help sort through the SIM-only space, Canstar Blue has released its 2021 Most Satisfied Customers ratings for both postpaid and prepaid SIM-only plans. With well over 3,000 Australian phone users surveyed across each rating, our findings look at not only customer overall satisfaction, but also elements such as value for money, customer service, coverage, plan flexibility, sign up/activation, ease of recharge, and billing, for a comprehensive look at how each included telco performs.
This year, both prepaid and postpaid awards have been dominated by the smaller-name providers, leaving household names like Telstra and Optus in the dust. So if you’re looking to trim down your phone bill, these are the must-read ratings to help you find a better plan.
Best-rated postpaid provider: Moose Mobile
This is Moose Mobile’s first year in Canstar Blue’s Customer Satisfaction ratings for SIM-only postpaid plans, and the telco has made an impressive debut. Entering at first place, Moose Mobile received five stars for overall customer satisfaction, value for money, customer service, network coverage, plan flexibility, sign up and activation, and for billing.
Moose Mobile was not only the sole included provider to receive a five-star score across all seven of our postpaid ratings categories, but was the only brand to be awarded five stars for any category in 2021. The telco beat out big names Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone, as well as fellow challenger MVNOs such as Southern Phone, Woolworths Mobile, Vaya and last year’s winner Belong.
Moose Mobile also received Canstar Blue’s Outstanding Value Award for Postpaid Mobile Plans in both 2021 and 2021. These awards are determined by the unique value rank methodology built into Canstar Blue’s comparison tools, and showcase the telcos displaying the best overall plan value throughout the year.
Operating on the Optus 3G and 4G mobile networks, Moose Mobile offers both month-to-month and 12-month SIM-only plans, with its year-long options featuring slightly lower pricing. All plans are under $50 per month, with prices beginning at just $8.80 for 1GB of data.
Moose Mobile frequently offers introductory discounts and data bonuses for new customers, but standard prices are competitive even without short-term special offers. The telco is also Australian-owned and operated, with customer service based in Australia.
The following table shows selected published Moose Mobile postpaid plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.
The full list of best-rated SIM-only postpaid providers for 2021 is below. For more info, read our full 2021 Most Satisfied Customers: Postpaid SIM-Only Plans ratings.
- Moose Mobile
- Southern Phone
- Woolworths Mobile
Best-rated prepaid provider: ALDI Mobile
For the second year in a row (and fourth time overall!), ALDI Mobile is the top-rated prepaid provider in Canstar Blue’s SIM-only ratings. The supermarket brand received a five-star score in most of our seven ratings categories, including overall customer satisfaction, value for money, network coverage, sign up and activation, and ease of recharge.
ALDI Mobile beat out big names including Telstra, Optus, Vodafone, Boost Mobile and Amaysim, although several other brands received five stars in some categories. Amaysim was given a five-star score for customer service, while Boost Mobile earned five stars for network coverage, and Woolworths Mobile received five stars for value for money, sign up, and billing.
ALDI Mobile offers a range of standard 30-day prepaid plans, as well as four-person family plans and pay-as-you-go options. All plans are contract-free, and 30-day plans feature unlimited standard calls and texts in Australia, plus data rollover and no surprise fees.
With service on parts of Telstra’s 3G and 4G networks, ALDI Mobile remains a popular provider for customers who are looking to cut down on monthly mobile bills, but don’t want to sacrifice their coverage or reception.
The following table shows selected published ALDI Mobile prepaid plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers.
The full list of best-rated SIM-only prepaid providers for 2021 is below. Or, click through to our full 2021 Most Satisfied Customers: Prepaid SIM-Only Plans ratings.
- ALDI Mobile
- Woolworths Mobile
- Boost Mobile
- Catch Connect
- Lebara Mobile
- Kogan Mobile
2021 SIM ratings: small providers dominate as Aussies look for better deals
Both our postpaid and prepaid ratings for 2021 showed that, while the market share is still overwhelmingly dominated by Telstra, Optus and Vodafone, it’s the smaller-name providers that are keeping customers happy.
The ‘big three’ telcos can offer plenty of perks, but on price alone challenger brands remain a standout. And according to Canstar Blue’s 2021 research, 52% of Australians consider cost the biggest factor when it comes to switching providers — so it’s not surprising that cheaper names like Moose Mobile and ALDI Mobile are among our best-rated.
The flexibility of a SIM-only plan also makes it easier to find a good deal, and take your business elsewhere when you’re not satisfied. 45% of postpaid SIM-only users surveyed by Canstar Blue like to shop around, with 65% saying that SIM-only plans offer better value. This sentiment is shared by prepaid users: 44% like to look for the best deals, 70% think prepaid offers better value for money, and 72% plan to stick with prepaid for the foreseeable future.
With the average SIM-only monthly plan cost being $35 for postpaid, and $29 for prepaid, bringing your own device to a mobile plan is a great way to cut down on bills, especially if your current phone is still in great condition. It’s also your best bet for avoiding being locked into a plan or provider for one to three years, as buying a handset from your telco usually means you’ll need to commit for a 12, 24, or 36-month payment term.
If you’re a current SIM-only user looking for a new deal, or you’re considering make the jump to a BYO plan, we’ve compiled a range of postpaid and prepaid plans in the tables below.
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.