There’s probably never been a better time to hop into a new phone plan. As usual, Telstra remains king for a lot of Aussie consumers, and offers a full complement of phone plans with extras and perks. Boost Mobile, on the other hand, specialises in cheap, data-packed prepaid phone plans, with decent value added. So let’s see how the two stack up, and find which provider is right for you.
Telstra vs. Boost Mobile: selected plans compared
The table below shows a selection of prepaid plans from Canstar Blue’s database around the $30, $40 and $50 price points, listed in order of advertised standard cost, lowest to highest, then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our phone plan comparison tool to see a wider range of plans from other providers. These are products with links to referral partners.
Telstra vs Boost Mobile: Networks
Telstra is the largest telco in Australia, and also claims to have the widest-reaching network. It has a full suite of plans, including phones on a plan, prepaid plans and postpaid plans. Meanwhile, Boost Mobile is one of the oldest mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs), operating with a comparatively concise bunch of SIM-only prepaid plans over varying expiry lengths.
After a 13-year flirtation on the Optus mobile network, Boost now operates on the Telstra mobile network. In fact, Boost is unique among MVNOs in that it’s the only one to use the full Telstra network. Others use only parts of it and may not offer the same level of coverage, especially in rural regions.
However, where Boost differs is that it does not use Telstra’s full ‘4GX’ speed capacity, and has a speed cap on the 4G network – 100Mbps. So although you’ll still receive the same level of coverage on Boost as you would on a Telstra plan, your speeds won’t be quite as fast. Also, as the Telstra 5G network expands, you’ll only be able to access this network on a Telstra plan as it’s currently not offering 5G network coverage to any MVNOs.
Telstra vs Boost Mobile: Prepaid Phone Plans Compared
Boost Mobile specialises in prepaid plans, so it’s only fair to compare it to Telstra’s prepaid plan range. Both can be purchased and recharged online and in a range of retail stores.
Boost has a large range of plans starting from $10 for 7 days and up to $300 for 12-months, all with unlimited calls and texts. In comparison, Telstra’s range is similar, with plan expiries ranging from 7 days to a full 12 months.
To keep things simple, we’ve compared Boost Mobile’s 7 and 28-day plans plans alongside Telstra’s Prepaid Max Plans, all of which offer standard unlimited talk and text.
Telstra Mobile Phone Plans
Telstra’s standard suite of prepaid plans have prices beginning at $10 over 7 days and up to $300 with 12 months’ expiry, with some plans available as starter packs and others as recharges only. All plans include unlimited standard national calls and SMS, plus mobile data, with 5G network coverage available on the $60 recharge only. You can also pick up international text and call minutes on some plans, with the number of messages, minutes and zones you can call, dependant on the recharge cost.
Most plans, with the exception of the two long-expiry plans, include continuous data rollover up to 200GB. This means that if you recharge before your current expiry, any data you haven’t used will roll over, and be stored away for future use. You can access banked data so long as you have an active recharge and it doesn’t expire after the following 28 days.
The following table shows all of Telstra’s prepaid starter plans from Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of advertised standard cost, lowest to highest, then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our comparison tool to see a wider range of plans from other providers. These are products with links to referral partners.
Boost Mobile Phone Plans
Boost Mobile offers five main prepaid plans with a 28-day expiry, starting at $20 for 5GB of data. A $10 plan is also available, but this cheaper option has an expiry period of just 7 days. While the 7 day plan might be useful to test out Boost before committing, 28-day plans tend to offer more value — so if you’re happy with the network, you might prefer to jump to a larger plan.
All five 28-day plans include data rollover, meaning you can roll over any unused data to the next recharge (provided you recharge before your plan’s expiry). If you’re the type of person who uses your phone sporadically — 5GB one month, 10GB the next — this could be the perfect solution for you, but keep in mind rolled-over data expires after 28 days, so it’s not quite the same as Telstra’s data bank.
Boost has fairly generous international call inclusions on the $30, $40, $50 and $70 28-day plans, with unlimited standard international calls to 20 select countries and 300 minutes to 20 select countries. All of Boost’s plans (7-day, 28-day and long-term) also include data-free streaming of Apple Music. This is a super handy inclusion, but keep in mind you’ll still have to pay for the subscription yourself.
The following table shows all of Boost Mobile’s prepaid plans from Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of advertised standard cost, lowest to highest, then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our comparison tool to see a wider range of plans from other providers. These are products with links to referral partners.
Telstra vs Boost: The Final Word
Telstra, as Australia’s largest telco, understandably has a large selection of phone plans on offer. From plans with handsets bundled in, to prepaid SIM-only deals and more, Telstra caters to almost every type of phone owner. If you’re after 5G network coverage, Telstra does fit the bill, although 5G network access is limited to three of its postpaid plans, and to only one of its prepaid recharges.
Boost Mobile has the advantage of accessing the full Telstra 3G and 4G mobile networks, and typically offers more value for money on its prepaid plans than Telstra. As an example, if you’re looking for a plan with 20GB of data (excluding bonus data offers), you’ll pay $30 for 28-days with Boost, compared to $40 for 28-days with Telstra. The inclusion of data-free Apple Music streaming is also a big plus for Boost, as Telstra only offers this on postpaid plans. While Telstra does offer some international call inclusions, it’s not quite as generous as what is available from Boost. However, Telstra has continuous data banking up to 200GB, while Boost only offers a data rollover each recharge, which does expire.
In the prepaid world, the competition is pretty tight. It tends to go down to the wire, and may work out to three things — price, data and features. Both Telstra and Boost have a lot to offer customers when it comes to prepaid phone plans, so ultimately it will depend on what matters to you most, whether it’s value for money, access to faster mobile networks, data banking or added inclusions. Either way, you’ll get plenty of value for money, and reliable Australia-wide coverage.