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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. In addition to 4G coverage in major cities, Telstra also offers its 4GX service on the 700MHz spectrum for up to triple the maximum download speeds on compatible devices. However, a couple of Telstra outages in recent times have tainted the company’s reputation a little, leaving some to wonder if they would be better off elsewhere – despite the free data handouts. If you’re thinking about a new Telstra plan, or switching to Telstra from another provider, this review of Telstra phone plans is for you.

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. The amount of detail and options these plans bring can become pretty confusing, which is why we have prepared our review of Telstra mobile phone plans to help you cut through the fine print. So, let’s take a look at Telstra’s phone plans and try to determine which offer the best value.

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Telstra Mobile Phone Plans

As Australia’s largest network provider, Telstra understandably has a massive range of plans – more than 30 of them in total! They are further broken down by whether you want prepaid, plans on a contract, or plans with no contract. This is how Telstra mobile looks:

Telstra Prepaid 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 and chances are there’s one that’s right for you. They are broken down into five categories, which are:

  • Prepaid Extra: Generally plans that offer the best value included
  • Day2Day: Plans with daily credit allowances for ultimate flexibility
  • Simplicity: Simple flat rates for calls & texts
  • Long-Life: Plans with expiry periods longer than 30 days

Prepaid Extra

These are Telstra’s most standout prepaid plans, and something that we are sure a lot of people can get behind. Telstra’s most value-packed prepaid plans give you unlimited texts and calls, along with healthy amounts of data. Some plans even come with international call credit. If you’re after a cheap no-fuss plan on Australia’s largest network, these could be worth considering.

Day2Day Plans

From just $1 per day, Telstra’s Day2Day plan comes with unlimited calls and texts, with 100mb of data and unlimited Telstra Air WiFi data. Recharges start from $5, which lasts for 5 days before having to recharge again. You can add extras like extra data and unlimited international calls to 10 countries from $1 extra.

Simplicity and Long-Life Plans

These recharge packs are just traditional prepaid – four recharge amounts to choose from, 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 180 days for the $100 recharge – and with calls costing just 15c/min, texts 12c and data 10c a megabyte, your credit ought to last quite a while.

As for the Long-Life plans, they are also fairly simple like the Simplicity plans, but often come with longer expiry periods. These are helpful if you rarely use a mobile phone and just need to make a few phone calls. These could be helpful for a child who walks or catches public transport to school and only needs to use the phone in emergencies. Here’s a snapshot of both the Long-Life and Simplicity plans:

However you look at Telstra’s prepaid mobile plans, it’s hard not to be confused. It seems that, in an effort to provide greater variety, the telco giant may have simply over-complicated the situation. You may therefore find Telstra’s post-paid SIM-only, no-contract offerings a little easier to follow.

Telstra SIM Only, No Contract Plans

Now these are plans nearly everyone can get around. Starting at $49 a month, you stand to get $500 call value plus 2GB data. However, if you’re willing to spend just $20 more you’ll get way more value included, and extra bonuses. Bonuses include Apple Music memberships, unlimited Telstra Air data and so on. Telstra has rejigged and tinkered with its plans, and if you’re willing to spend over $50 you’ll get a lot in return.

Telstra SIM Only, 12 Month Plans

This segment is a key battleground. Telstra’s 12 month plans are much the same type of deal as its no-contract plans but often with more data for less. For example,  for less than $60 a month you’ll get unlimited calls & texts and 15GB data. Data-free music streaming is also a common feature, as are Apple Music memberships.

  • If you’re willing to spend nearly $100 a month you’ll get a massive 30GB

Telstra has also teamed up with Foxtel to offer subscriptions to Foxtel Now on some of its more expensive plans. If you want your phone and entertainment needs bundled in one neat package, these plans could be it.

Telstra Phones on a Plan

Telstra’s bundled plans start at $59 a month, but with the extra phone repayment as an added cost. When you look at an iPhone 8 phone plan, the minimum you can expect to pay is around $80 a month.

  • However, keep in mind that most of the most attractive-looking plans are ‘lease’ plans
  • Lease plans give you things like discounted phone plans, extra data and other perks with the condition that you return your phone – or upgrade it – at the end of your contract

With Telstra these are called ‘Go Mobile Swap’ plans and you can upgrade your phone after 12 months if you wish. For about $80 a month, you’ll get unlimited calls and texts as standard, plus 2GB of data. The equivalent plan where you actually get to keep your phone is $10 dearer per month. You can see the difference between the two types of plans below with a base model iPhone 8 64GB phone bundled in:

How does Telstra compare to other providers?

With such a big range of plans, Telstra is well-poised to be one of the stronger performers against a growing number of competitors. So let’s see where it sits, who it beats, and who – if anyone – offers superior value.

Telstra Prepaid Plans Compared

Telstra’s large range of prepaid plans may even be too large. With a swathe of them simply using dollar values, it’s hard to compare as different companies charge for calls, text and data differently. We assume most users would just want something cheap and easy if opting for a prepaid plan, and while Telstra does offer this, other providers may go one better. In the prepaid plan world, providers like ALDI Mobile and Amaysim, as well as main rival Optus, offer some exciting plans. Telstra benefits from regularly offering things like bonus data and other perks that smaller MVNOs often cannot match.

Telstra SIM Only, No Contract Plans Compared

This is where MVNOs tend to shine, and as you can see, unlimited calls & texts plus 1GB data can be found for less than $20 these days. Telstra somewhat struggles to keep up, with its $49 plan still carrying dollar-value call amounts and just 2GB data. However, if you’re willing to spend over $50 Telstra rewards you with lots of extra data. If you’re after a cheap, no-fuss plan, look to providers such as Moose Mobile, Vaya Mobile and Jeenee Mobile.

Telstra SIM Only, 12 Month Plans Compared

In this space, Telstra works hard to make sure it remains on top of the pile. However, if you’re willing to sign up for 12 months, 5GB of data comes in at less than $30 a month these days. Such providers to offer this are Bendigo Bank Telco and Jeenee Mobile. If your budget is $30, these providers may be worth a look into. They are Optus Network MVNOs and are well worth a look into if ‘bang for buck’ is your thing. At the other end of the spectrum, Optus and Telstra duke it out for supremacy and included data is a key battleground. Optus seems to win out in terms of data a lot of the time, but Telstra offers other perks like its expansive Telstra Air network and international credit.

Keep in mind; if your budget is a bit higher, Telstra goes one further to include Foxtel packs as part of its plan deal. No other provider really offers this, but do keep in mind that Optus includes Optus Sport with its plans from time to time and this streaming service has the rights to English Premier League soccer.

Telstra Phone Plans Compared

If you’re willing to lease your phone, rather than repay to own it, Telstra really steps it up a notch. It is now a very competitive provider across most plan price points. Keep in mind that Optus also offers lease plans, but Virgin and Vodafone currently do not.

  • For just under $100 a month, Telstra offers a lease plan with a massive 20GB data, with which you also get lots of bonuses like international call credit, and subscriptions to Foxtel Now from time to time

Optus offers a similar proposition, but keep in mind that you will have to hand your phone back at the end of your contract… or upgrade your phone after a year for a nominal fee. The other leg of the tripod, Vodafone, also offers some competitive plans that aim to split phone and plan to give customers more flexibility. MVNOs such as Virgin Mobile and even Woolworths Mobile come to play here with some competitive options. While Woolies does not offer any iPhone 8 plans at present, it will be interesting to see if it does down the track, and how it compares to the big providers. However, it’s hard to beat Telstra’s compelling lease plans here, and its large range of extra perks.

Are Telstra phone plans good value?

The short answer is yes – but with a few caveats. Telstra’s large range of plans means that there’s likely something out there that’s worth your money. Telstra has rejigged its phone plans to reflect the ever-competitive market.

  • In the prepaid world, Telstra does quite well but MVNOs like ALDI Mobile and Amaysim may offer more data for less
  • For SIM only plans, Telstra is one of the more competitive networks, but again other providers like Jeenee Mobile and Bendigo Bank offer 5GB for less than $30
  • For contract plans, Telstra is hard to beat for ‘lease’ plans but is still one of the more expensive providers for plans where you get to keep your phone

Don’t let this deter you, though; Telstra is often king for extra perks, like Foxtel and unlimited Telstra Air data. On many plans you also get NRL & AFL data-free streaming, as well as music streaming and Apple Music memberships. What we’re seeing is a modern and innovative Telstra, and if you want a phone plan with a bit of everything, then Telstra – Australia’s largest telco – is tough to beat.

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What do customers think about Telstra postpaid mobile plans

In 2017, Australian customers gave Telstra 3 out of 5 stars for Overall Customer Satisfaction for postpaid mobile plans.

Telstra Postpaid Mobile Plans

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