Canstar Blue Telco Awards 2019

Canstar Blue is all about helping Aussies make better-informed purchase decisions, whether it’s appliances, electricity, new cars, or phone and internet plans. When it comes to telcos, we publish annual customer satisfaction ratings to show which phone and internet providers are best-rated by their customers. But now we can also leverage the data from our comparison tools to show you – based on our expert methodology – which phone and NBN providers are consistently offering superior value. We want to give you as much information as possible before deciding which telcos to choose.

Canstar Research Manager, Mitch Watson, said: “These awards are all about finding out which telcos are consistently offering great value for new customers. Phone and internet costs are generally going down, but cheap prices don’t always translate to the best value. That’s why we’ve built comparison tools that allow Aussie consumers to compare based on the cheapest prices, but also the value proposition offered by the telcos, including the data provided, as well as the features included, and the telco’s customer service offerings based on our data collection and research methodologies.

“These new awards showcase the telcos that have had the best overall performance across the consumer profiles considered, and provide another point of reference for consumers comparing their options to find the right plan and provider for their needs.”

Provider of the Year – NBN Plans – Exetel

nbn provider of the year

Exetel emerged as the Provider of the Year – NBN Plans, having performed consistently well relative to the market, offering strong value propositions across its 100GB, 500GB and unlimited data plans on Basic, Standard Plus and Premium speed tiers.

Exetel offers customers 12-month and no lock-in contract NBN plans, with some of the cheapest prices around. It also performs well when it comes to typical evening speeds. Exetel may charge customers up to $10 more each month for the flexible option, but going for the 12-month term brings a free Wi-Fi modem. Unlimited home phone (VoIP) calls can be added to either 12-month or no contract plans for $10 extra per month.

“In a hugely competitive NBN market, Exetel has proven itself to be a serious challenger to the biggest providers, now offering an enticing value and service proposition to those getting ready to make the switch to the NBN, plus those already on board with another telco,” said Mr. Watson.

“Some consumers may still be wary of switching to a smaller NBN provider, but our price comparisons, value ranks and these awards prove that you can find genuinely strong value and service away from the biggest telcos.”

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Exetel

NBN Standard Plus Unlimited

  • Standard Plus Evening Speed (NBN 50)
  • $0 upfront

min. cost $69.99 over first month

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $69.99Advertised Data^^/billing period
Exetel

NBN Premium Unlimited

  • Premium Evening Speed (NBN 100)
  • $0 upfront

min. cost $89.99 over first month

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $89.99Advertised Data^^/billing period
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

Provider of the Year – Phone on a Plan – Optus

Phone on a plan provider of the year

Across the different consumer profiles considered, Optus was found to be a standout performer, based on its cumulative performance when it comes to phone plans that include paying for a handset. Combining competitive prices with feature-packed mobile plans, Optus is an enticing option for those who want to spread the cost of their phone over a traditional two-year contract.

With plans available across a range of price and data points, Optus also offers customers some appealing perks and features. Selected plans include money and data-saving extras like unlimited international calls and texts, data-free sports streaming, and included gigabytes for overseas roaming.  Optus also throws in heavy data allowances of up to 200GB per month on its higher-end plans.

“Despite facing strong competition from the other major telcos, Optus continues to offer customers an attractive variety of plan and phone options,” said Mr. Watson.

“Ultimately, it’s all about what gives you the best value for your money rather than just the cheapest prices, and Optus is right up there in terms of the overall value proposition for both premium smartphones and lower-priced devices.”

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

$45 My Plan Plus

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Stream Optus Sport data free

min. cost $1,080 over 24 month plan period, plus any device repayments

4GBMax Data**/billing period $45Advertised Data^^/billing period
Optus Logo

$65 My Plan Plus

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Stream Optus Sport data free

min. cost $1,560 over 24 month plan period, plus any device repayments

60GBMax Data**/billing period $65Advertised Data^^/billing period
Optus Logo

$85 My Plan Plus

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Unlimited standard international calls & SMS to 35 countries
  • Stream Optus Sport data free

min. cost $2,040 over 24 month plan period, plus any device repayments

80GBMax Data**/billing period $85Advertised Data^^/billing period
Optus Logo

$105 My Plan Plus

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Unlimited standard international calls & SMS to 35 countries
  • Stream Optus Sport data free
  • 2GB overseas roaming data

min. cost $2,520 over 24 month plan period, plus any device repayments

200GBMax Data**/billing period $105Advertised Data^^/billing period
Optus Logo

$125 My Plan Plus

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Unlimited standard international calls & SMS to 35 countries
  • Stream Optus Sport data free
  • 4GB overseas roaming data

min. cost $3,000 over 24 month plan period, plus any device repayments

200GBMax Data**/billing period $125Advertised Data^^/billing period

Provider of the Year – SIM-Only Mobile Plans – Vodafone

Sim only provider of the year

Despite the huge range of budget providers and plans now available, Vodafone’s suite of SIM-Only mobile plans has seen the brand continue to outperform its competitors in the bring-your-own-device market for mobile plans. The telco’s focus on big data inclusions – including unlimited slowed-down data to prevent bill shock, plus bonus data – make it a popular choice for heavy users, particularly on 12-month SIM plans.

With no-contract and year-long SIM-Only options available, Vodafone also offers customers flexibility. Consumers can elect to add Vodafone Passes from $5 extra per month, which provide unlimited data-free use and streaming from partnered services, including Netflix, Spotify and Instagram. Customers can also save by bundling plans with other Vodafone services, with additional discounts available for students.

“The inclusion of bonus data offers, plus the existing strong value of its standard plan inclusions, allows Vodafone to provide a strong value proposition relative to smaller SIM-Only providers, as well as its traditional rivals,” said Mr. Watson. “In a market filled with low-cost offers, Vodafone’s BYO plans pack in plenty of features for your dollar.”

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

$35 Red SIM Only

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS

min. cost $420 over 12 months

5GBMax Data**/billing period $35Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Vodafone Logo

$45 Red SIM Only

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • 1000 international minutes to Zone 1 countries, 100 international minutes to Zone 2 countries

min. cost $540 over 12 months

30GBMax Data**/billing period $45Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Vodafone Logo

$45 SIM Only Plus Plan

  • Unlimited data*(capped at 1.5Mbps after 30GB)
  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • 1000 international minutes to Zone 1 countries, 100 international minutes to Zone 2 countries

min. cost $540 over 12 months

30GBMax Data**/billing period $45Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Vodafone Logo

$55 Red SIM Only

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • 2000 international minutes to Zone 1 countries, 200 international minutes to Zone 2 countries

min. cost $660 over 12 months

80GBMax Data**/billing period $55Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Vodafone Logo

$55 SIM Only Plus

  • Unlimited data*(capped at 1.5Mbps after 80GB)
  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • 2000 international minutes to Zone 1 countries, 200 minutes to Zone 2 countries

min. cost $660 over 12 months

80GBMax Data**/billing period $55Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Vodafone Logo

$65 Red SIM Only

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Unlimited international minutes to Zone 1 countries, 300 international minutes to Zone 2 countries

min. cost $780 over 12 months

120GBMax Data**/billing period $65Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Vodafone Logo

$65 SIM Only Plus

  • Unlimited data*(capped at 1.5Mbps after 120GB)
  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Unlimited international calls to Zone 1 countries, 300 international minutes to Zone 2 countries

min. cost $780 over 12 months

120GBMax Data**/billing period $65Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all mobile plans listed on Canstar Blue

Provider of the Year – Prepaid Mobile Plans – Lebara

prepaid provider of the year

Long associated with overseas calling plans, Lebara’s Provider of the Year – Prepaid Mobile Plans award reflects the telco’s focus on offering a quality service at reasonable prices. With simple, hassle-free plan options, Lebara’s prepaid service includes 30-day and long-expiry phone plans, all of which feature unlimited international calling to selected countries.

Additional features include generous data allowances, the option to bank up to 200GB of extra data, and data bonuses for recharging on time. Lebara also offers international calling add-ons for customers, so Australians can easily add extra minutes to their plan each month, and unlimited international plans tailored to specific countries.

“Lebara’s straight-forward plans, competitive pricing, and generous international inclusions continue to attract customers looking for an inexpensive prepaid option,” said Mr. Watson. “Excellent data bonuses also mean that Lebara’s customers aren’t forced to choose between gigabytes or overseas talk benefits.”

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

Extra Small

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • 300 minutes standard international calls

min. cost $14.90 over 30 day expiry

3GBMax Data**/billing period $14.90Advertised Data^^/billing period
Lebara Logo

Small

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Unlimited standard international calls to 20 countries
  • Special offer: 6GB data + 6GB bonus data per month (offer available until withdrawn, terms apply).

min. cost $24.90 over 30 day expiry

6GBMax Data**/billing period $24.90Advertised Data^^/billing period
Lebara Logo

Medium

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Unlimited standard international calls to 30 countries
  • Special offer: 12GB data + 12GB bonus data per month (offer available until withdrawn, terms apply).

min. cost $29.90 over 30 day expiry

12GBMax Data**/billing period $29.90Advertised Data^^/billing period
Lebara Logo

Large

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Unlimited standard international calls to 45 countries
  • Special offer: 22GB data + 16GB bonus data per month (offer available until withdrawn, terms apply).

min. cost $39.90 over 30 day expiry

22GBMax Data**/billing period $39.90Advertised Data^^/billing period
Lebara Logo

Extra Large

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Unlimited standard international calls to 56 countries
  • Special offer: 40GB data + 16GB bonus data per month (offer available until withdrawn, terms apply).

min. cost $49.90 over 30 day expiry

40GBMax Data**/billing period $49.90Advertised Data^^/billing period
Lebara Logo

Extra Extra Large

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Unlimited standard international calls to 60 countries
  • Special offer: 62GB data + 16GB bonus data per month (offer available until withdrawn, terms apply).

min. cost $69.90 over 30 day expiry

62GBMax Data**/billing period $69.90Advertised Data^^/billing period
View all mobile plans listed on Canstar Blue

How did we determine the telco providers of the year?

Canstar Blue’s Telco Provider of the Year Awards uses a sophisticated rating methodology, which compares providers’ suite of telco products offered to new customers. The Provider of the Year awards consider providers’ performance across each of the following four categories:

  • Provider of the Year – NBN Plans
  • Provider of the Year – Phone on a Plan
  • Provider of the Year – Prepaid Mobile Plans
  • Provider of the Year – SIM Only Mobile Plans

The winners are determined by the cumulative performance of each provider across a range of consumer profiles within each category considered, over a period of 6 months. The awards consider a provider’s best performing product within each consumer profile, and considers the plans value proposition relative to the market based on Canstar Blue’s Value Rank for Mobile and NBN.

Methodology

Further details on the awards methodology can be found via the following links:

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