Telstra Mobile Phone Plans
Telstra operates Australia’s largest mobile network, covering no less than 2.4 million square kilometres of this vast country of ours. 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. If you want to find out more about Telstra’s phone plans read on a for a breakdown of mobile, postpaid and prepaid plans, including extras, network coverage, and more.
Telstra mobile phone plans: a guide
Telstra has a wide range of phone plans to suit a variety of phone plan needs. The telco has worked on simplifying its suite of phone plans in recent years to ensure there is enough selection for a range of different phone users, but without being too complicated. These plans can be split into two main offerings:
- Postpaid plans, which are available as SIM-only or can be paired with a phone payment plan
- SIM-only prepaid (available on short and long-term expiry periods)
The amount of detail and options on these plans will differ from plan to plan. For example, Telstra’s prepaid plans are available across different expiry periods with seven, 28, 35 and even 42-day expiry periods (not to mention the long expiry periods of six-12 months).
In comparison, Telstra offers just four postpaid plans, all of which are month-to-month and contract-free; customers can bring their own device and go SIM-only, or combine their plan with a new smartphone from Telstra.
If you are on the lookout for a new phone, Telstra offers a range of devices available to buy over 12 and 24-month payment periods (some devices are even available to buy outright), including the latest Apple iPhones, Samsung Galaxy S21 series, the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 phones, and plenty of other devices from a range of manufacturers.
Telstra has also been at the forefront of developing an Australian 5G network, and was the first telco to launch a phone plan bundled with a 5G phone in 2019. Since then, many phone manufacturers have released 5G models and the 5G network competition is heating up. While Optus and Vodafone are now rolling out 5G networks, Telstra was the first to go live and does carry a large selection of 5G devices including the 5G WiFi Home hub for your home broadband needs, and many 5G-compatible devices from Samsung, OPPO and more.
What are the best Telstra phone plans?
Choosing the best Telstra option for you depends on what you’re looking for in a phone plan. If you’re looking to cut down on your mobile expenses, Telstra might not be the right telco for you. But if you’re looking for a plan with lots of included extras, Telstra certainly does pack value into its phone plans.
If you’re considering a Telstra phone plan, the following table is a snapshot of the SIM-only postpaid phone plans currently on offer, all of which are available on a month-to-month basis with payment made automatically upfront rather than receiving that monthly bill. All of these plans are also available to pair with a Telstra smartphone — more information on how this works can be found further down the page.
Let’s take a look at the four postpaid month-to-month phone plans available from Telstra as published on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost from lowest to highest. Use our mobile phone plan comparison tool to see plans from a wide range of providers. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.
What does Telstra offer?
Not only does Telstra offer a wide range of plans and new handsets, but Telstra also gives its customers a long list of extras, from international call inclusions to entertainment extras — Telstra does offer a lot of perks for your money.
If you’re interested in what extras Telstra has to offer, here’s a table with some of the inclusions and options on Telstra plans:
|Postpaid plans||Prepaid plans|
|Data-free video streaming|
|Data-free music streaming|
|Data overage fees|
Telstra network and coverage
Telstra loves to talk up its mobile coverage, which is the largest in Australia. The company itself states that its mobile networks cover more than 99% of the Australian population. Currently, the telco still 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).
As for next-gen technology, 2018 saw the launch of the telco’s 5G mobile network, which went live in 2019 and is being expanded throughout the country and now covers around 50% of Australians. You can already pick up 5G devices on plans from Telstra, but with still a limited number of active 5G sites in the country, you might need to wait a bit longer to access the telco’s 5G mobile network.
Currently, 5G access is available free to customers on Medium, Large, and Extra Large postpaid plans, and to selected prepaid customers, and to
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. Many of these entertainment extras are standard to the majority of Telstra’s plans, so whether you’re looking for a new phone, a SIM-only postpaid or prepaid plan, many of Telstra’s deals include these extras.
- Apple Music: Telstra offers data-free streaming of Apple Music streaming on many plans, but you will need your own subscription.
- International calls and texts: Included standard calls to selected destinations are available on Telstra’s prepaid plans. Postpaid plans include unlimited standard international SMS (to any country) and 30 minutes of standard calls to overseas numbers.
- 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. Some plans include international roaming allowances.
- Sports streaming: While Telstra no longer includes free live sports streaming as part of its mobile plans, you can add a Kayo Sports pack to your account from $25 per month. Existing Telstra customers may be also eligible for discounted Kayo pricing.
- Entertainment: You can also add Netflix, BINGE, or Foxtel Now subscriptions to your Telstra account if you’re on a postpaid mobile plan, with prices beginning from $10.99 monthly for standard Netflix.
Individual Telstra Plans
Telstra SIM-Only postpaid plans
If you’re looking for a SIM-only phone plan (a Telstra mobile plan without a phone) for a smartphone you already own, Telstra has you covered — and with no lock-in contracts, you’re free to switch between plans or cancel without penalty. You’ll also pay for your plan automatically upfront, so no need to wait for that monthly bill. The telco has simplified SIM-only with four plan options, each including unlimited standard national talk and text, unlimited standard international SMS, 30 minutes of standard overseas calls, unlimited speed-capped gigabytes, and generous fast data inclusions. You’ll also be able to share data between up to 10 eligible services on the same account.
Plan start at $55 per month, and all options are free from excess data use charges. This means that once you’ve exceeded your full-speed data allowance, you’ll receive unlimited speed-capped data for the rest of your billing cycle. This data is capped at 1.5Mbps — fast enough for most web browsing and general social media, but not recommended for HD video streaming or bandwidth-intensive activity.
If you do use up your fast data, and find 1.5Mbps speeds a struggle, you can upgrade your Telstra mobile plan to a higher plan at any time (and back down again the following month). Plan switches are free and available once per month, both for SIM-only users and customers paying off a Telstra smartphone.
Telstra Smartphone Plans
All of the above SIM-only plans are also available to pair with your choice of smartphone, on a 12 or 24-month payment term. Telstra separates phone purchase plans from its actual mobile service, so you’ll no longer be locked into a single mobile plan for the duration of your phone payment period. Mobile plans are month-to-month only, and you’ll instead sign a contract solely for your device repayments. Monthly phone repayments will remain the same, but you’ll be free to switch between Telstra’s four postpaid plans on a monthly basis.
If you decide to cancel your Telstra service, you’ll simply need to pay the remaining balance on your smartphone, settle your final Telstra bill, then take your device and go. There are no further early termination fees or catches, and your phone is yours forever once you’ve made the final payment.
As for the phones you can pick up on a plan from Telstra, you’ll find a wide selection of phones from several big manufacturers. It’s easy to pick up a Telstra mobile plan with iPhones, a range of Samsung Galaxy devices, OPPO phones, Google Pixel, Huawei, Nokia and even Telstra’s own brand of phone.
The following table shows all published Telstra 24-month 64GB Apple iPhone 12 plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest. Use our phone plan comparison tool to see plans from a wide range of providers. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.
Telstra Prepaid Phone Plans
If you’re after a fuss-free, no-frills plan with maximum flexibility, then a prepaid plan could be right for you. Telstra has a small but comprehensive range of prepaid plans, over two categories:
- Prepaid Mobile: Generally, these plans offer the best included value over a range of expiry periods.
- Prepaid Casual: Plans with expiry periods longer than 30 days and small data, talk and text inclusions.
These are Telstra’s standout prepaid plans, featuring unlimited texts and calls and generous amounts of data. Plans even come with international call and text inclusions, plus data rollover of up to 200GB. If you’re after a cheap-ish, no-fuss plan on Australia’s largest network, these could be worth considering. Some of these plans may only be offered as recharges, so you might need to purchase a $2 SIM Starter Kit then top up with your preferred plan.
Telstra Prepaid Casual
These plans feature a small amount of data, plus talk minutes to standard Australian numbers and up to 300 SMS/MMS in Australia each recharge. You’ll need to first sign up to a $2 SIM kit or Telstra’s $30 Casual SIM kit to get started, then recharge for either $20, $30, $50, $70 or $100.
Expiry periods range from 45 days to a full year, so these plans are an option for very occasional users who want phone access in case of emergencies, or for the odd check-in with family and friends. If you’re a frequent caller, texter or data user, Telstra Prepaid Casual plans aren’t for you, but very light and infrequent users may find benefit in a long-life plan.
|Brand||Features||Max Data**/billing period||Advertised Cost^^/billing period|
Prepaid Casual $2
min. cost $2
Prepaid Casual $30
min. cost $30 over six month expiry
|View all mobile plans listed on Canstar Blue||**^^View important information|
Getting support from Telstra
Need some help with your Telstra plan or service? The telco offers plenty of contact and support options, including:
- General customer support: 13 22 00 (multilingual phone support available)
- CrowdSupport online customer forum
- 24/7 online chat
- Facebook support: https://www.facebook.com/Telstra/
- Twitter support: @Telstra
- Telstra 24/7 app for both iPhone and Android
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:
- Boost Mobile
- ALDI Mobile
- Woolworths Mobile
- Belong Mobile
- C Mobile
- Think Mobile
Is Telstra a good deal?
If you’re looking for the absolute cheapest phone 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 plans – such as data-free streaming of Apple Music – it’s a great option for anyone who prioritises entertainment. Not to mention the elimination of excess data charges thanks to the inclusion of unlimited capped-speed data, so there’s no more need to worry about your data usage.
Finally, gadget lovers will appreciate the range of handsets on offer with Telstra mobile plans, and the option to pay off devices over a 12 or 24-month period. Plans may be on the pricey side, but Telstra continues to offer plenty of incentives for customers who like their phone plans jam-packed with features.
- The Cheapest Mobile Phone Plans
- Top Mobile Deals
- SIM Only Plans Compared
- Excess Data Charges Explained
About the author of this page
This page was written and is regularly updated by Canstar Blue’s Telco Editor, Tara Donnelly. Having spent over seven years writing for and editing telco comparison websites, she’s an expert in all things phone & internet, including NBN plans, wireless technology, the latest mobile devices and how to find the best deal for your family. She loves to highlight the next best deals, while also flagging the things you need to be aware of.
What do customers think about Telstra phone plans?
In 2019, Australians gave Telstra 3 out of 5 stars for Overall Customer Satisfaction in handset phone plans.