Boost Mobile vs Telstra: Phone Plans Compared

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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 like free music and sports streaming. Boost Mobile, on the other hand, specialises in cheap and cheerful prepaid phone plans, with data-free music streaming and generous international call inclusions. So let’s see how the two stack up and which one is right for you.

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 planprepaid plans and SIM-only postpaid plans. Meanwhile Boost Mobile is one of the oldest mobile virtual network operators (MVNO), operating with a concise bunch of SIM-only prepaid plans over various expiry lengths.

After a 13-year flirtation on the Optus network, Boost now operates on the Telstra 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. You still get the same coverage, though, so let’s see how the two compare when it compares down to their phone plans.

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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 – while Telstra’s range is slightly larger with more selection for plan expiry, starting at 7 days, and going up to 365 days, with 35 and 42-day plans also available. To make it a bit easy, we’ve compared six of Boost’s plans alongside six of Telstra’s ‘Prepaid Max Plans’, both of which offer standard unlimited talk and text.

Telstra Mobile Phone Plans

In the Prepaid Max arena, Telstra has six plans available and plans with some decent inclusions. Plans start off at $10 for seven days, and work up to $300 with a 12-month expiry. All plans come with unlimited standard national calls and SMS, plus unlimited international calls and SMS to 20 countries, including Canada, China, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Most plans also come with some form of ‘Extra Credit’ – this can be used for international calls and texts, roaming and premium SMS (say, to 1900 numbers).

Beyond that, Telstra comes with some juicy extra stuff:

  • Free and data free streaming of the AFL, AFLW, NRL and Netball through their respective apps.
  • Data-free music streaming with Apple Music.
  • Free WiFi data with Telstra Air hotspots.

Telstra’s Prepaid Max plans also allow customers to ‘bank’ up to 200GB of unused data. This means that if you recharge $10 or more 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; unlike Boost Mobile’s data rollover, it doesn’t expire after the following 28 days.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Telstra Logo

Prepaid Max $10

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Unlimited standard calls to 20 countries
  • Data-free music and sports streaming
  • Access the free Telstra Air WiFi network

min. cost $10 over 7 day expiry

2GBMax Data**/billing period $10Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Telstra Logo

Prepaid Max $30

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Unlimited standard calls to 20 countries
  • Data-free music and sports streaming
  • Access the free Telstra Air WiFi network
  • $5 extra credit
  • Special offer: 10GB bonus data on your first 3 recharges (offer expires 8/7/19)

min. cost $30 over 28 day expiry

10GBMax Data**/billing period $30Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Telstra Logo

Prepaid Max $40

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Unlimited standard calls to 20 countries
  • Data-free music and sports streaming
  • Access the free Telstra Air WiFi network
  • $10 extra credit
  • Special offer: 15GB bonus data on your first 3 recharges (offer expires 8/7/19)

min. cost $40 over 35 day expiry

20GBMax Data**/billing period $40Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Telstra Logo

Prepaid Max $50

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Unlimited standard calls to 20 countries
  • Data-free music and sports streaming
  • Access the free Telstra Air WiFi network
  • $15 extra credit
  • Special offer: 15GB bonus data on your first 3 recharges (offer expires 8/7/19)

min. cost $50 over 42 day expiry

28GBMax Data**/billing period $50Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Telstra Logo

Prepaid Max $150

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Unlimited standard calls to 20 countries
  • Data-free music and sports streaming
  • Access the free Telstra Air WiFi network
  • $50 extra credit

min. cost $150 over 6 month expiry

60GBMax Data**/billing period $150Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Telstra Logo

Prepaid Max $300

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Unlimited standard calls to 20 countries
  • Data-free music and sports streaming
  • Access the free Telstra Air WiFi network
  • $100 extra credit

min. cost $300 over 12 month expiry

150GBMax Data**/billing period $300Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all mobile plans listed on Canstar Blue

Boost Mobile Phone Plans

Boost, has five main prepaid plans with a 28-day expiry. Plans start at $10 but this low-cost option has an expiry period of 7 days, while $300 will get you a 12-month plan. While the 7 day plan might be useful to test out Boost before committing, it will work out to be more expensive over the course of a month than you may have originally thought. If you’re happy with the network, you might prefer to jump to a 28-day or even the long-expiry plans.

The five 28-day plans all come with data rollover, meaning you can roll over unused data to the next recharge. If you’re the type of user who uses your phone sporadically – 1GB one month, 5GB the next – this could be the perfect solution for you.

Another great bonus with Boost is that all plans have some international call inclusions, even the 7-day plan. On the $10, $20 and $30 plans, you’ll get unlimited calls and SMS to 20 countries, the $40 and $50 plans have unlimited calls and SMS to 25 countries and the $70 plan goes up to 30 countries for unlimited calls and SMS. In addition to the unlimited calls, all plans include capped minutes, SMS and MMS to even more countries. How many additional international minutes, SMS and MMS you get, depends on which plan you choose.

Customers can also stream music data-free on all plans using Apple Music. This is a super handy inclusion, but keep in mind you’ll still have to pay for the subscription yourself.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Boost Mobile

$10 Prepaid

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Unlimited standard international calls & SMS to 20 countries, 100 mins & SMS to 35 countries, 100 MMS to 55 countries

min. cost $10 over 7 day expiry

3GBMax Data**/billing period $10Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Boost Mobile

$20 Prepaid

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Unlimited standard international calls & SMS to 20 countries, 100 mins & SMS to 35 countries, 100 MMS to 55 countries

min. cost $20 over 28 day expiry

5GBMax Data**/billing period $20Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Boost Mobile

$30 Prepaid

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Unlimited standard international calls & SMS to 20 countries, 100 mins & SMS to 35 countries, 100 MMS to 55 countries
  • Get 15GB bonus data on the first 5 recharges. First recharge by 8/7/19. Terms apply.

min. cost $30 over 28 day expiry

20GBMax Data**/billing period $30Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Boost Mobile

$40 Prepaid

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Unlimited standard international calls & SMS to 25 countries, 200 mins & SMS to 30 countries, 200 MMS to 55 countries
  • Get 15GB bonus data on the first 5 recharges. First recharge by 8/7/19. Terms apply.

min. cost $40 over 28 day expiry

30GBMax Data**/billing period $40Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Boost Mobile

$50 Prepaid

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Unlimited standard international calls & SMS to 25 countries, 200 mins & SMS to 30 countries, 200 MMS to 55 countries
  • Get 15GB bonus data on the first 5 recharges. First recharge by 8/7/19. Terms apply.

min. cost $50 over 28 day expiry

40GBMax Data**/billing period $50Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Boost Mobile

$70 Prepaid

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Unlimited standard international calls & SMS to 30 countries, 300 mins & SMS to 25 countries, 300 MMS to 55 countries
  • Get 15GB bonus data on the first 5 recharges. First recharge by 8/7/19. Terms apply.

min. cost $70 over 28 day expiry

65GBMax Data**/billing period $70Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all mobile plans listed on Canstar Blue

Telstra vs Boost: The Final Word

If you’re after more than just a prepaid plan, Telstra is your only option here. Telstra, as Australia’s largest telco, understandably has a great mass of phone plans. From ones with handsets bundled in and postpaid plans to prepaid SIM only deals and more, Telstra crams a lot in.

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. For the price, and on the surface, Telstra offers less data for the price than Boost. Plus, Boost does have some very generous international call inclusions across all plans. However, Telstra offers more in the way of extra features — most notably, data-free subscriptions to NRL and AFL streaming apps. These alone are worth about $100 each year.

All in all, we’re calling this one a tie, as it all depends on what you’re after.

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