Did you know there is more to the mobile phone plan world than just the ‘Big Three’ – Telstra, Vodafone and Optus? There are, in fact, more than 30 mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) that piggyback off these three networks. The end result is that you have a lot more choice and the ability to bag a bargain if you shop around.
As the largest network in Australia, it’s little wonder a lot of MVNOs want to get on board the Telstra train. The telco giant has the most expansive network in the country and given its great reception in many rural areas, it’s a claim that seems to hold true. Despite some high-profile outages in recent times, Telstra serves several million Aussie customers. However, there are several third-party providers which also utilise Telstra’s network services to provide their own mobile phone plans – and in many cases, provide similar or superior value. Most are SIM-only and operate online, but offer convenience and great prices.
If you’ve been thinking of switching services, but love the Telstra coverage, then you may want to consider other providers that use the Telstra network. Read on for our list of providers using Telstra’s nationwide networks, or jump straight into our SIM-only comparison tool below to find a great deal.
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Best mobile plans using the Telstra network
While Telstra might not be the cheapest telco on the market, you can still pick up a cheap phone plan from many of the MVNOs using the Telstra network. However Telstra often makes up for the price with a range of bonuses and extras generally not available through other telcos, not to mention access to its full mobile network and expanding 5G network.
Postpaid plans on the Telstra network
The table below shows a selection of postpaid plans from Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of standard advertised monthly cost, lowest cost first, then by data allowance. Use our phone plan comparison tool to see a wider range of plans from other providers. These are products which may contain links to referral partners.
Prepaid plans on the Telstra network
The table below shows a selection of prepaid plans from Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of standard advertised monthly cost, lowest cost first, then by data allowance. Use our comparison tool to see a wider range of plans from other providers. These are products which may contain links to referral partners.
Mobile Providers using the Telstra Network
There are a handful of operators on the Telstra network, with both prepaid plans and postpaid plans. If you’re having trouble, we can help you work out whether prepaid or postpaid plans are better value for you.
The leading mobile providers that use the Telstra network include:
A prepaid service provider that, historically, has marketed to a younger demographic, Boost Mobile has ‘matured’ a little since the early 2000s, growing into a great-value telco across the board. It ceased using the Optus network for phone plans in 2013, and jumped ship to Telstra. Currently, Boost is the only MVNO to make full use of the Telstra 3G and 4G networks and includes 5G access – others only use parts of it.
Boost Mobile offers a range of prepaid plans running across different expiry periods, with the main offerings running on 28-day cycles. Boost packs a lot of value into the plans with generous data, and most plans include unlimited international calls and SMS to select countries, plus the option to roll over unused data to the next recharge. All in all, you get get some fantastic value for money and all with full access to the Telstra network. The below table includes all of Boost’s 28-day plans.
As a direct Telstra subsidiary, Belong offers a dead-simple approach to its postpaid plans, offering four SIM-only plans with 5G access. Starting at $29 and going up to $55 over a one-month period, all plans feature unlimited national calls and texts and if you need international call inclusions, you can add an international calling pack to select countries for an additional $5 each month.
The big plus for Belong users is access to unlimited data banking. This means that any unused gigabytes will roll over and can be stashed away for future use and you can even gift your data to other Belong mobile users. All Belong plans are offered on a monthly basis, with no lock-in contracts. The below table includes Belong’s postpaid plans and includes sponsored links.
Perhaps more well known for its NBN plans, Tangerine offers a range of postpaid phone plans using the Telstra network, including a selection of 5G plans. Its two cheapest plans include 4G only (with a speed cap of 100Mbps), while the $33 plan and up include 5G access but with capped speeds of 100Mbps — or 250Mbps in the case of its most expensive $58 plan. All plans include up to 500GB of data banking and the option to gift data to other Tangerine mobile customers. There are also international call inclusions on select plans and international roaming add ons.
Everyday Mobile from Woolworths
As one of the grocery giants in the mobile phone market, Everyday Mobile, formerly Woolworths Mobile, offers three 30-day prepaid plans and three long-expiry prepaid plans across 180 and 365 day expiry periods. As for postpaid, there are also three SIM-only monthly postpaid plans available, priced at $40, $50 and $60 per month with 5G network access on these three plans only. You’ll have access of up to 500GB of data banking on prepaid plans and up to 1,000GB data banking on postpaid plans, and Everyday Mobile also offers discounts on your in-store grocery shop when your phone account is paired with an Everyday Rewards account.
A sister company to Tangerine, More also uses the Telstra network, with SIM-only postpaid plans available as either 4G only or with 5G network access. The two cheapest plans include 4G only with speeds capped at 100Mbps, along with 500GB of data banking. Its 5G plans also have speeds capped at 100Mbps, although the most expensive plan has speeds capped at 250Mbps. The two cheaper 5G plans include up to 500GB of data banking, while the two more expensive 5G plans include up to 1000GB of data banking. All plans include unlimited standard national calls and SMS and are also available as eSIM. If you’re a Commonwealth Bank customer, you can also score discounts on your plan fees.
A small service provider that offers both SIM-only and handset phone plans, TeleChoice differs from its competitors in a number of ways. Unlike most MVNOs, TeleChoice maintains brick-and-mortar stores nationwide, offering a range of month-to-month postpaid plans as well as prepaid and long expiry. TeleChoice’s long expiry plans include a ‘prepay’ feature: essentially you prepay the minimum monthly charge upfront for several months access to your ‘postpaid’ plan —either seven or 13 months of service— and if you go over your inclusions, you pay the excess on a post-paid basis.
TeleChoice offers six postpaid options, with prices for the month-to-month plans starting at $19 and going up to $49 per month. If you’re looking at a new handset, TeleChoice will give you six different plan and phone bundle choices. The below table features TeleChoice’s month-to-month postpaid plans, and includes sponsored links.
Best-known for providing home broadband services, Exetel also offers six different SIM-only phone plans with quality inclusions. With unlimited calls on all of its no lock-in prepaid plans, Exetel is rightly proud of its straightforward products designed to appeal to all Australians. You’ll have a good range of plans to choose from with the cheapest offering unlimited standard calls and texts, along with 7GB data for $18.
ALDI Mobile offers a solid range of prepaid phone plans, including pay-as-you-go options and family packs; however, there is also a range of 30-day plans which include unlimited standard national calls and SMS.
These plans also include unlimited data rollover, along with unlimited calls and SMS to 20 select countries. Plans are also competitively-priced, beginning at $19 for 10GB of data.
This list wouldn’t be complete without Telstra itself. The telco giant has a decent selection of prepaid plans with expiry periods starting at seven days and going up to 365 days. Prepaid plans include continuous data rollover and some plans may include some international call and text inclusions.
Telstra offers three main SIM-only plans, all of which are available on month-to-month contracts. These start at $62 a month for 50GB of high-speed data, and all three options include unlimited lower-speed data (capped at 1.5Mbps). While these plans are technically postpaid, you’ll pay for your plan upfront automatically each month, so no need to worry about checking that monthly bill.
Telstra may seem expensive, but it is of course the only provider here to offer unbridled access to its own network – others (except for Boost) only receive parts of it. It has also now granted 5G network access to MVNOs, however many smaller telcos may have capped 5G speeds, while Telstra offers uncapped 5G on two of its three postpaid plans. Telstra also sweetens the deal with the ability to add on entertainment extras like Kayo sports (and sometimes with a discount) to your plan so you have everything on the one bill, so there is extra value that could make these plans more appealing to you.
Other providers on the Telstra network
There are other small providers that use the Telstra network that may be worth checking out. These include:
- Think Mobile: a dual-carrier postpaid MVNO (the Vodafone network being the other one used), with plans on the Telstra network starting at $15 per month.
- Lycamobile: ideal for anyone looking for great international calling inclusions, with selected plans including unlimited calls to up to 60 countries. All prepaid plans are contract-free and feature unlimited standard national talk and text.
- Pennytel: keeps things simple with five SIM-only postpaid plans available, all of which come with unlimited calls and SMS.
- Numobile: known more for selling refurbished phones but also has a simple range of SIM-only postpaid phone plans that run month-to-month, with most plans including unlimited international talk and text to 15 select countries. Each plan also includes a data bank of up to 500GB of data to roll over into the next month.
How to choose the best plan on the Telstra network?
Choosing the best Telstra network mobile plan for you should be decided by three factors:
- Do you want a prepaid or postpaid phone plan?
- What is your budget?
- What inclusions do you need (call, SMS, data, etc)?
Once you’ve narrowed down if you want a prepaid or postpaid plan, compare the plans from those providers using the Telstra network and see which providers offer plans around your budget and the inclusions you need. For example, if you only want to spend $20-$30 on your phone plan and you need a minimum of 10GB of data, compare plans from these providers to see which telco matches your criteria the best. If you have your comparison narrowed down to a few providers, you might then look at the length of the plan (whether its on a contract, month-to-month or the expiry period if prepaid), and any other perks available from the provider, such as data banking, entertainment extras, etc.
Telstra may be Australia’s dominant telco provider, but it is by no means the only option if you’re after a great-value plan. If you want to explore more plan options across other mobile networks, Canstar Blue’s mobile phone plans comparison tool shows over 30 other providers to help you find the right mobile phone plan for you.