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Telstra Mobile Phone Plans Review

Telstra operates Australia’s largest mobile network, covering no less than 2.4 million square kilometres of our vast, brown land. A household name for decades, Telstra is probably the first brand that comes to mind when you think of mobile plans, and with good reason: according to the company, there are over 17 million mobile services activated on its plans throughout Australia.

While Telstra is known for its extensive coverage, particularly in regional areas, it’s not the most affordable provider out there. However, the telco does throw in some great extras with selected plans, so if you’re after a mobile service with all the bells and whistles, awesome data speeds, and a reliable network – occasional outages notwithstanding – you may find the extra cost worth it. Read on a for a breakdown of Telstra’s postpaid and prepaid plans, including extras, coverage, and more.

Telstra plans at a glance

Telstra’s suite of phone plans is comprehensive. It is a ‘full service’ provider, meaning it offers all kinds of plans, from contracted ones with a new handset, to SIM only postpaid and prepaid options. Although there’s plenty of plans available, Telstra’s range has simplified over the last twelve months, with a slightly more streamlined prepaid selection and better postpaid plans on offer.

Despite the positive change, the amount of detail and options these plans bring can still be confusing: prepaid plans feature standard 28-day, five-day, and long-expiry options, while postpaid plans include SIM-only 12-month deals and 24-month handset plans. To give you an idea of Telstra’s options, several popular 24-month postpaid plans are listed below.

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

$59 Small

  • Unlimited National Calls & SMS

min. cost $1416 over 24 month plan period

3GBMax Data**/billing period $59Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
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$79 Medium

  • Unlimited National Calls & SMS

min. cost $1896 over 24 month plan period

10GBMax Data**/billing period $79Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
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$99 Large

  • Unlimited National Calls & SMS

min. cost $2376 over 24 month plan period

30GBMax Data**/billing period $79Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all mobile plans listed on Canstar Blue

What does Telstra offer?

What doesn’t Telstra offer? Aside from a selection of plan types, Telstra gives its customers a long list of extras (some of which are outlined under ‘Features and Bonuses’ below).

Here’s a quick at-a-glance table of some of the inclusions and options on Telstra plans:

SIM-Only plans Phones on a plan Prepaid Extra plans
Entertainment bonuses
Data-free video streaming
Data-free music streaming
International calls/texts
International roaming
Set-up fees
Data overage fees

Compare Mobile Phone Plans

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Telstra network and coverage

Telstra loves to talk up its mobile coverage, which is (still!) the largest in Australia. The company itself states that its mobile networks cover over 99% of the Australian population..

Currently, the telco operates 3G and 4G networks, including its extra-fast 4GX service on its 700MHz spectrum. Combined with a compatible mobile device, 4GX can supply speeds up to six times as fast as Telstra’s original 4G, and is currently available in more than 1600 towns and cities (and counting).

Telstra is also working to deliver reliable and extended coverage to customers in regional areas: rolling out mobile base stations in ‘black spot’ areas, offering coverage extension devices and satellite mobile options, and recommending ‘Blue Tick’ certified phones ideal for use in rural areas.

Below is a screenshot of Telstra’s current 4G and 3G coverage (in green and orange). More detailed coverage information can be found at Telstra.com.

Telstra: plan features and bonuses

All of Telstra’s plans come with the standard national talk and text, plus data use within Australia. But sign up for selected plans, and you’ll also get access to a bunch of awesome bonuses and extras, thanks to Telstra’s many entertainment partnerships.

  • Data-free live sport: Customers can stream live matches from the AFL, AFLW, NRL, Hyundai A-League and Australian Netball data-free on their devices, including the NRL Grand Final and State of Origin.
  • Apple Music: New Telstra customers on eligible plans will receive a bonus six-month subscription to Apple Music. You’ll also receive data-free streaming of all tracks from the music service, even after your free subscription expires – all you need to do is stay on your eligible Telstra plan.
  • Telstra Air: Telstra customers have access to more than one million free Telstra Air WiFi hotspots within Australia, and 19 million free Fon Spots when travelling overseas.
  • International roaming: Telstra offers International Day Passes in more than 70 eligible countries, for $5 per day in New Zealand and $10 daily in all other destinations. This pass gives you unlimited talk and text, plus 200MB of data per day, when activated outside Australia. You’ll pay $5 or $10 for each day you use the service when travelling.
  • BigPond Movies: New Telstra customers will receive a free, new release rental from BigPond Movies: simply register with the service before 30 January, 2019.

Telstra postpaid mobile plans

Telstra SIM-Only plans

If you’re looking for a SIM-only plan for a smartphone you already own, Telstra has you covered – but you will need to commit to a 12-month contract. The telco has simplified SIM-only with three plan options, each including unlimited standard national talk and text, and generous fast data amounts.

Plan start at $49 per month, and both the Medium and Large options include unlimited ‘peace of mind’ data, which is capped at 1.5Mbps, but ensures you’ll never pay for data overages. Both these plans also feature unlimited international talk and text to 15 countries.

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

Small

  • Unlimited National Calls & SMS
  • 15GB + 15GB bonus data

min. cost $588 over 12 month plan period

30GBMax Data**/billing period $49Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Telstra Logo

Medium

  • Unlimited National Calls & SMS
  • Unlimited Calls & Texts to 15 countries
  • 30GB + 30GB bonus data
  • ‘Peace of Mind’ data included
  • $10 monthly credit

min. cost $828 over 12 month plan period

60GBMax Data**/billing period $69Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
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Large

  • Unlimited National Calls & SMS
  • Unlimited Calls & Texts to 15 Countries
  • 60GB + 30GB bonus data
  • ‘Peace of Mind’ data included

min. cost $1068 over 12 month plan period

90GBMax Data**/billing period $89Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all mobile plans listed on Canstar Blue

Telstra plans with a phone

As mentioned above, Telstra offers a selection of postpaid and prepaid plans at various price points, over several contract terms. If you’re looking to buy a new phone on a plan, you’ll need to sign a 24-month contract; however, you can choose whether to pay off your device over two years with no further obligations, or lease your phone over the same period.

Mobile Lease Plans mean you’ll pay about $10 less each month for your phone, but you won’t get to own it after two years; instead, you’re basically renting it, and will need to return it to Telstra after the lease period expires. You do have the option of upgrading to a newer phone after 12 months, but you’ll need to hand back your lease device and pay a $99 upgrade fee.

Standard Telstra two-year mobile plans can be paired with any stocked postpaid phone, while leasing is available for selected high-end handsets. Whether you buy or lease, your mobile plan options are the same, and are listed below.

You’ll notice that Telstra’s $199 Ultimate plan includes unlimited ‘best speed available’ data. Telstra is currently the only Australian provider to offer unlimited data that isn’t capped to 1.5Mbps, but you’ll need to sign up for a two-year contract – and pay almost $200 each month – for the privilege. You’ll also find that a ‘fair use’ policy applies, as with all Telstra plans.

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

$59 Small

  • Unlimited National Calls & SMS

min. cost $1416 over 24 month plan period

3GBMax Data**/billing period $59Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Telstra Logo

$79 Medium

  • Unlimited National Calls & SMS

min. cost $1896 over 24 month plan period

10GBMax Data**/billing period $79Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Telstra Logo

$99 Large

  • Unlimited National Calls & SMS

min. cost $2376 over 24 month plan period

30GBMax Data**/billing period $99Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
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$129 Extra Large

  • Unlimited National Calls & SMS
  • 60GB bonus data
  • $10 monthly credit

min. cost $3096 over 24 month plan period

60GBMax Data**/billing period $129Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
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$199 Ultimate

  • Unlimited National Calls & SMS
  • *Unlimited data offered with ‘the best speeds available’

min. cost $4776 over 24 month plan period

Unlimited*Max Data**/billing period $199Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all mobile plans listed on Canstar Blue

Telstra prepaid phone plans

If you’re after a fuss-free, no-frills plan with maximum flexibility, then a prepaid plan could be the big ticket for you. Telstra has an impressive range of prepaid plans, over three categories:

  • Prepaid Max: Generally, these plans offer the best included value.
  • Day2Day: Plans with daily credit allowances, for ultimate flexibility.
  • Long-Life: Plans with expiry periods longer than 30 days.

Prepaid Max

These are Telstra’s standout prepaid plans, featuring unlimited texts and calls and healthy amounts of data. Plans of $40 and up even come with unlimited international calls to 10 popular countries, plus extra credit for roaming and additional overseas calling. If you’re after a cheap-ish, no-fuss plan on Australia’s largest network, these could be worth considering.

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

Prepaid Max $30

  • Unlimited national calls & SMS, plus $5 extra credit
  • 10GB Data Bank bonus on your first 5 recharges

min. cost $30 over 28 days

8GBMax Data**/billing period $30Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Telstra Logo

Prepaid Max $40

  • Unlimited national calls & SMS
  • Unlimited calls to 10 countries
  • $10 extra credit
  • 10GB Data Bank bonus on your first 5 recharges

min. cost $40 over 28 days

18GBMax Data**/billing period $40Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Telstra Logo

Prepaid Max $50

  • Unlimited national calls & SMS
  • Unlimited calls to 10 countries
  • $15 extra credit
  • 10GB Data Bank bonus on your first 5 recharges

min. cost $50 over 28 days

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

Prepaid Max $60

  • Unlimited national calls & SMS
  • Unlimited calls to 10 countries
  • $20 extra credit
  • 10GB Data Bank bonus on your first 5 recharges

min. cost $60 over 28 days

38GBMax Data**/billing period $60Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all mobile plans listed on Canstar Blue

Day2Day plans

If you’re a low-level user with minimal data needs, Telstra’s Day2Day is the dollar-a-day prepaid plan that offers flexible recharges. For $1 daily, you’ll get unlimited talk and text, plus 100MB of data, and you’ll also have access to around one million Telstra Air WiFi hotspots across Australia. Recharges start from $5 for five days of access.

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

Day2Day

  • Unlimited national calls & SMS
  • 100mb/day, Telstra Air Wi-Fi

min. cost $5 over 5 days

100MBMax Data**/billing period $5Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all mobile plans listed on Canstar Blue

Long-Life plans

These recharge packs are just traditional prepaid: a choice of five recharge amounts, each of which gives you that exact dollar value to use on calls, texts and data. The more expensive the recharge, the longer your credit lasts, up to a maximum of 365 days for the $100 recharge – and with calls costing just 30c/min, texts 30c and data 10c a megabyte, your credit ought to last quite a while.

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

Long Life Plus $20

  • Data 10c per MB

min. cost $20 over 45 days

N/AMax Data**/billing period $20Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Telstra Logo

Long Life Plus $30

  • Data 10c per MB

min. cost $30 over 186 days

N/AMax Data**/billing period $30Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Telstra Logo

Long Life Plus $50

  • Data 10c per MB

min. cost $50 over 186 days

N/AMax Data**/billing period $50Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Telstra Logo

Long Life Plus $70

  • Data 10c per MB

min. cost $70 over 365 days

N/AMax Data**/billing period $70Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Telstra Logo

Long Life Plus $100

  • Data 10c per MB

min. cost $100 over 365 days

N/AMax Data**/billing period $100Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all mobile plans listed on Canstar Blue

Getting support from Telstra

Need some help with your Telstra plan or service? The telco offers plenty of contact and support options, including:

How does Telstra compare?

If you’re interested in Telstra, but want to take a lot at your other options, the following smaller carriers also offer plans on parts of Telstra’s 4G and 3G networks:

Is Telstra a good deal?

If you’re looking for the absolute cheapest plans on offer, Telstra isn’t for you. The company markets itself on being the premium Australian telco, and usually prices reflect that; however, if feature-packed plans, regional coverage, and super-fast data is important to you, Telstra should tick your boxes.

Considering some of the extras that Telstra includes on its postpaid plans – such as Apple Music and live sport – it’s a great option for anyone who prioritises entertainment, both on-the-go and at home. The telco is also the only Australian provider to offer unlimited full-speed mobile data, even if does come with a $199 price tag each month.

Finally, gadget lovers will appreciate the range of handsets on offer at Telstra, and the option to lease higher-end devices with a view to upgrading after 12 months. Plans may be on the pricy side, but Telstra continues to offer plenty of incentives for customers who don’t like to scrimp on essentials or extras.

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Telstra Postpaid Mobile Plans

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