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
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.”
Provider of the Year – Phone on a Plan – Optus
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 120GB 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.”
Optus iPhone 11 Plans
The following table lists a selection of published 24-month Optus plans for the 64GB iPhone 11 on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost from lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of providers.
Optus Samsung Galaxy S10 Plans
The following table lists a selection of published 24-month Optus plans for the 128GB Samsung Galaxy S10 on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost from lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of providers.
Optus OPPO Reno 5G Plans
The following table lists a selection of published 24-month Optus plans for the OPPO Reno 5G on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost from lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of providers.
Provider of the Year – SIM-Only Mobile Plans – Vodafone
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 on month-to-month plans, 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.”
Provider of the Year – Prepaid Mobile Plans – Lebara
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.”
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.
Further details on the awards methodology can be found via the following links: