Optus mobile and internet services may be back online, but the fallout from the headline-grabbing outage continues. Ten million Optus customers were left without phone or broadband access for up to 12 hours on Wednesday, and it seems a good number wasted no time in jumping ship to more reliable – and affordable – providers.
Smaller telcos have reported an influx of new customers in the last 24 hours, indicating that Optus may be about to experience a ‘churn event’ as thousands of subscribers cancel their existing plans.
Prepaid provider Kogan Mobile confirmed its eSIM sales rose by a massive 400% during the Optus outage chaos. More Telecom and Tangerine CEO Andrew Branson told Canstar Blue both telcos have also seen a “sizeable bump” in sales, particularly for their newly-launched eSIM offerings.
Boost Mobile also saw an unprecedented sign-up spike, alongside a doubling of its usual website traffic. Sales of the prepaid telco’s SIM-only plans were five times the average, making Wednesday Boost’s most successful day during a non-sales period.
How eSIMs make leaving Optus easy
An eSIM – or embedded SIM card – allows customers to transfer their mobile service, and even keep their existing mobile number, without the need to swap out the physical SIM card in their device. This makes moving to a new phone plan fast and easy – giving unhappy Optus customers even more incentive to ditch their service for a better deal.
“eSIM allows customers to switch seamlessly and quickly without the need to collect a SIM from a store or wait for it to arrive in the mail,” Mr Branson said. “In today’s fast-paced world, we know that customers want affordable mobile options on a reliable network.”
Kogan, More and Tangerine are among a growing group of smaller providers who now offer eSIM compatibility. Felix Mobile, Everyday Mobile (formerly Woolworths Mobile), and Lebara also give customers an eSIM option, alongside traditional physical SIM cards.
The downside to eSIM technology is that it’s not available on every phone, although most new models are now eSIM or dual SIM ready. Apple, Samsung, Google, OPPO, Motorola, and Huawei all offer eSIM capability across most new and high-end devices, but older or budget models may not come with the feature.
In addition to making changing plans easy, eSIMs also offer additional benefits. You’ll be able to have multiple SIMs and numbers on the one device, which can be useful for travelling overseas or managing business and personal calls on your smartphone. An eSIM is also great for smartwatch owners: it eliminates the need to link your watch and phone with Bluetooth, and allows you to leave your handset at home but still accept calls and texts.
Prepaid offers you might like
The following table shows a selection of sponsored SIM Only plans on Canstar Blue’s database with links to referral partners.
SIM Only Prepaid
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What mobile plans are available for switching customers?
Although eSIM makes changing telcos relatively stress-free, you don’t need an eSIM-ready phone to switch – and it’s free and easy to keep your current number. As long as you’ve activated your new service before cancelling your old plan (and you indicate ‘yes’ if asked whether you’d like to keep or port your number), you can take your digits with you to a new provider.
There’s a wide range of SIM-only options out there for frustrated Optus customers, although many smaller providers use the Optus mobile network. If you’d prefer to steer clear of Optus coverage completely, look for telcos operating on Telstra or Vodafone’s networks, such as the providers below.
Kogan Mobile offers: 60% off plans for one month
Optus customers ready to make the switch can take advantage of Kogan Mobile’s current new customer offer. Sign up now, and you can score 60% off any monthly plan for your first month.
This offer applies to Kogan Mobile’s Small $15 plan with 10GB of data, its Medium $25 plan with 40GB, and its Large $40 plan with 80GB. All plans are month-to-month and SIM-only, and include unlimited standard national talk and text in Australia, plus up to 200GB of data rollover.
Compared to Optus’ current SIM-only postpaid plans, which begin at $49 monthly for 30GB of data, customers can cut their mobile bills substantially by moving to Kogan or a similar smaller telco. Kogan Mobile also offers coverage on the Vodafone 4G network, with a 5G trial currently available on the telco’s Large plan.
The following table show a range of Kogan’s prepaid SIM plans from Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of standard cost, lowest to highest, then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our free mobile phone plan comparison tool to see a wide range of plans from other providers. This table may include products with links to referral partners.
Boost Mobile offers: Telstra coverage, plus bonus data on first three recharges
Boost Mobile is also welcoming Optus customers with open arms, and General Manager Jason Haynes has been keen to talk up the provider’s full Telstra network coverage. A recent Boost Mobile study shows 46% of respondents consider good network coverage to be the most important element of a telco provider, followed by price at 44%.
“Our research indicates that even with better deals right in front of consumers, there are a lot of Australians that are still reluctant to switch provider, whether that is for fear of losing their number or perceived inconvenience of the process,” Mr Haynes said. “This is simply not the case as customers can come across easily, bring their number, and find value on the full Telstra network with minimal effort nor hassle.
“This is a wake-up call that you don’t need to be with the same company you’ve always been with, and it’s a great time to shop around.”
Boost Mobile offers a range of 28-day and 12-month prepaid plans, with 28-day options currently including bonus data for your first three recharges. All plans include Telstra 4G and 5G coverage where available, with the largest $70 recharge offered free of download speed caps.
The following table shows a selection of Boost Mobile prepaid plans from Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of standard cost, lowest to highest, then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our comparison tool to see a wide range of plans from other providers.
More and Tangerine offers: double data
Both More and Tangerine are giving new customers double data for three months on 5G-ready SIM plans. More’s 50GB and 32GB 5G plans each come with bonus data, as well as Tangerine’s 32GB, 50GB, 80GB and 150GB options. Each provider also offers coverage on Telstra’s 4G and 5G networks.
The following table below shows a selection of Tangerine’s postpaid phone plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of standard advertised monthly cost, lowest to highest, then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Please use our mobile phone plan comparison tool to see a wider range of postpaid plans from other providers. These are products with links to referral partners.
More is also giving CommBank customers their first three plan months free on any 4G or 5G plans, provided sign-up is done with a CommBank credit or debit card before February 29, 2024. Once the three month free period ends, CommBank customers will receive an ongoing 10% monthly discount.
The following table below shows a selection of More’s postpaid phone plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of standard advertised monthly cost, lowest to highest, then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Please use our mobile phone plan comparison tool to see a wider range of postpaid plans from other providers. These are products with links to referral partners.
Outside these offers, there’s plenty of postpaid and prepaid plans available for customers wanting an Optus alternative. If you’re not concerned with which network you use, you can compare a bigger range of SIM-only plans in the tables below.
Here is a selection of postpaid plans from Canstar Blue’s database with a minimum of 10GB of data, listed in order of standard cost, lowest to highest, then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Try using our mobile phone plan comparison tool to see a wide range of plans from other providers. This table includes products with links to referral partners.
Here is a selection of prepaid plans from Canstar Blue’s database with a minimum of 10GB of data each month, listed in order of standard cost, lowest to highest, then by data allowance, largest to smallest. If you want to compare a larger range of offers from other providers, use our phone plan comparison tool. This table includes products with links to referral partners.