Optus Mobile Phone Plans Review
Optus has not only kept pace with the fast-moving world of mobile phone plans, but is also one of the most innovative companies in Australia. Besides its traditional rivals, it also competes against the new tiny telcos that piggyback off the Optus network. But Optus itself offers some of the biggest and most attractive mobile plans available in Australia today. With competitive offerings in the prepaid, SIM Only and handset plan categories, Optus has something for pretty much everyone, including some of the best plan features and added perks around, such as data-free music streaming, data-free Netflix and Stan viewing, as well as access to exclusive sports coverage.
Let’s review the range of plans from Optus and try to determine where you’ll find the best value. You might find yourself saying ‘Yes’ to Optus.
Compare Optus Phone Plans
Optus Mobile Phone Plans
As it stands, all Optus plans have unlimited calls and texts as standard, so you are really paying for extra data and perks like international calls and roaming in the case of the two dearest plans. Let’s break this down to plan type and see which plans stand out as offering good value.
Prepaid Plans from $2-$60
If a prepaid plan is your flavour, Optus may be up your alley. There is a large gamut of plans, each with something different to offer. There are a few peculiar plans here, so it pays to pay attention.
- Arguably the most interesting is the $2 a day plan, whereby activating your $2 a day trigger (simply by using any inclusions) you get unlimited calls and texts and 500mb of data, which equates to 15GB over 30 days. This is great as it allows flexibility and for people whose phone use is erratic – hectic some days, quiet the next.
There are also a couple of long-expiry plans on offer from Optus. They are pretty standard fare, with expiries ranging from 45 days to 365 days (6 months or a year). These are great for the light user, or for the spare phone that sits in the drawer most of the year.
- They range in price from $10 to $60.
- Calls are billed at 20c/minute, texts are 20c each and data is 5c per megabyte.
- It’s important to note that the $10 option is only available on recharges; you have to start out by paying $30-$60.
As mentioned before, with these prepaid plans you can choose from a variety of eight phone handsets. As expected, there are no high-end, new-release phones here. This can be handy for convenience’s sake, but you’ll have to weigh up your options.
SIM Only, 12 Month Plans from $30-$70
If you fancy yourself as a non-quitter committer, these plans may be more up your alley. There are four plans in total – ranging in price from $30 to $70. At these prices on postpaid terms, you can get some serious data for your money, which is especially apparent when you spend $40 a month or more. You also get a range of international inclusions, with international credit being included on $40 plans and above.
- Data-free music steaming with Google Play Music, iHeartRadio and Spotify also come as standard on all plans.
Note that to get the best deals, you usually have to sign up online. The best deals include things like lots of bonus data and discounted phone plans. If you’re willing to go online and strike while the iron’s hot, Optus’ 12 month SIM plans do offer some enticing deals from time to time.
SIM Only, No Lock-In Plans from $35-$60
These plans are kept short and sweet. They start at $35 a month for unlimited calls and texts, as well as 1.5GB data, and unlimited international texts to selected countries. Then you’ll be paying $50 a month for unlimited calls and texts, 6GB data, and 300 international minutes to selected countries. The dearest plan costs $60 a month and boasts 9GB of data, unlimited calls of texts and 500 minutes of international calls. The best thing here is that there are no gimmicks or confusing bonuses, just flat-out value. Although, you can add in Optus Sport for $15 a month, and customers also receive data-free music streaming as standard.
Phone on a Plan Bundles from $40-$160
Optus bundled plans are a different kettle of fish, with over 10 plans available. They differ in price based on what phone you choose to bundle it with. Basically, the plans start at $45 with unlimited calls and texts plus 2GB of data, and work their way up to $149 per month for unlimited calls and texts, plus over 100GB phone data, as well as unlimited international minutes to selected countries.
- If you bundle these plans with a 64GB iPhone 8, the minimum you can expect to pay is $70 a month
Keep an eye out for ‘lease’ plans, labelled ‘Flex’ plans that give you access to things like extra data and cheaper plans at the sacrifice of having to hand your phone back at the end of your contract. Bonuses are especially pronounced at the upper end of the spectrum. Below you can see the differences between ‘Plus’ and ‘Flex’ plans:
How does Optus compare to the competition?
As one of Australia’s premier mobile service providers, Optus is targeted by the competition as a brand to beat. Its own plans, therefore, need to be well-priced and competitive, with lots of added features to keep you interested. Let’s take a look at how its plans really stack up against the competition.
Optus Prepaid Plans Compared
In the prepaid circuit, Optus faces stiff competition but fares quite well against a lot of smaller providers. However, the telco giant is beaten to the post by smaller MVNOs such as Boost, Amaysim and OVO Mobile, which all offer at least 3GB of data for $30. Amaysim offers a class-leading 5GB for $30, while OVO offers a similar plan over 30 days and 8GB for just under $35.
Optus SIM Only, 12 Month Plans Compared
Seeing as Optus’ entry into contracted plans is at the $30 mark, we felt it fitting to compare others around this price bracket. For $30 you get 3GB of data with unlimited calls and texts. What’s evident at this price point is that Optus is outdone by other MVNOs on its own network, including Exetel, Jeenee Mobile and Dodo. Though there is still merit to Optus, if you want more than just the standard fare. Data-free music streaming may see your data go further, and things like international minutes that come on dearer plans may also be an incentive to some.
Optus SIM Only, No Lock-In Contract Plans Compared
Optus month to month plans (i.e. no lock-in contract ones) are seeing the fiercest competition in the mobile market. For 5GB phone plans, Optus really struggles to compete against MVNOs that offer the same data for much less money. Here it’s worth comparing providers like Spintel, which is the cheapest at under $25, Moose Mobile – the cheapest with 10GB – and Vaya Mobile, which also offers supremely competitive plans. While Optus does include data-free music streaming other perks like international credit, if it’s just data you want then it’s hard to beat an MVNO.
Optus Bundled Plans Compared
Here Optus fits in pretty well, as to bundle the hottest mobile phones on the market, you are pretty much stuck with the ‘Big 4’ providers – Optus, Telstra, Vodafone and Virgin. For 64GB iPhone 8 plans, Optus does come in as one of the cheapest providers, but keep in mind that these are for ‘lease’ plans.
- The cheapest plans where you can keep your phone are generally from Virgin – an Optus MVNO – at just under $70 a month over 24 months.
- Vodafone offers arguably the best flexibility, with no lock-in plans, but 12, 24 or 36 month terms for the phone repayment
- Telstra also offers lease plans and other perks like big data bonuses and entertainment packs
In this sphere, it all depends what you’re after – a cheap price or all the bells and whistles. Optus manages to straddle the line somewhere in between. Above all, your decision could just go down to which mobile network you prefer. Here is how the cheapest iPhone 8 plan bundles look:
Big Data, Big Inclusions, Big Price
A special mention should be made for the new plan from Optus with a massive 100GB of data that can either by used all for just yourself, or shared in a data pool. It costs $149 a month and you’ll not only get 200GB of 4G data, you’ll also get great international inclusions as well as data-free music streaming, as well as data-free streaming of Netflix and Stan services. This is an unprecedented level of data in Australia, and the closest plans come from Telstra, as well as Moose Mobile, Jeenee, SpinTel and Exetel. The latter four offer 90GB for around the same price, BUT keep in mind that this data is 3G only, which is markedly slower than 4G in metro areas. If it’s big data and top speeds you crave, Optus wins out, but if 3G is good enough for you then these other providers may be up your alley. Telstra is also worth considering here, albeit at a higher price. Are these massive data inclusions enough to replace your home internet?
Is an Optus phone plan right for me?
As one of the leading telcos in Australia, Optus – perhaps unsurprisingly – has a large range of phone plans to cover all bases. From plans on a contract, to no-contract, to prepaid, to bundled or SIM Only plans, Optus likely has a plan out there that you’re impressed with. The telco that says ‘Yes’ frequently competes and beats out rival companies – Telstra, Vodafone and Virgin – in terms of value included and handy extras.
However, where Optus falls behind is primarily in the no contract and prepaid segments, where new MVNOs are always popping up offering more and more data for a cheaper price. A lot of these MVNOs piggyback off of the Optus network, so it can be hard for Optus to compete on basic inclusions. What it does to, however, is offer some amazing value add-ons. The best of these are only available with a 24 month contract, so you’ll have to consider if that’s a path you want to go down. Overall, Optus represents a convenient ‘one stop shop’ for your mobile needs, and is one of the largest telcos in Australia, but if it’s a cheap price and more data you need then it may pay to look at a range of different providers.
What do customers think about Optus postpaid mobile plans
In 2017, Australian customers gave Optus 4 out of 5 stars for Overall Customer Satisfaction for postpaid mobile plans.