Canstar Blue Telco Awards 2021

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 limit provided, as well as the features included, and the telco’s customer service offerings based on our data collection and research methodologies.

“These awards showcase 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.”

Outstanding Value Award – NBN Plans – TPG

Outstanding Value NBN logo

A well-known name in the Aussie telco world, TPG is Canstar Blue’s Outstanding Value NBN award winner for 2021. Having merged with Vodafone in 2020, TPG is one of the biggest players in the broadband space, but has consistently offered competitive, flexible and customisable NBN plans across the four major speed tiers.

One of TPG’s key strengths is the range of options available to its customers. The telco offers NBN 12, NBN 25, NBN 50 and NBN 100 plans, both on a month-to-month basis or a six-month contract with an included WiFi modem and no setup fee. While most plans feature unlimited data as standard, TPG also caters to low-level users with several ‘budget’ plans, with either 10GB or 100GB monthly data allowances.

Prices begin at under $30 for 10GB of data, or from $59.99 monthly for unlimited data at NBN 12 speeds. Like many leading NBN providers, TPG also offered introductory discounts across faster speed tiers through 2020 and into 2021, as a way to encourage new customers to opt for an NBN 50 or 100 plan.

All of TPG’s NBN plans feature an included phone line, with the option to pay-as-you-go or add a monthly calling pack. This makes TPG a strong contender for customers looking to bundle their broadband plan with a home phone line.

Despite serious competition from both new and established brands throughout 2020, TPG’s flexibility, pricing and plans – and options for multiple customer demographics, from renters to gamers to big families and occasional users – see the telco continue to lead the market when it comes to value-packed NBN.

The following table shows a selection of published TPG NBN plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of monthly cost, from lowest to highest, and then by data allowance. Use our NBN comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.

Outstanding Value Award – SIM-Only Postpaid – Moose Mobile

Outstanding Value SIM Only postpaid logo

Our Outstanding Value Award Winner for postpaid SIM plans two years running, Moose Mobile continues to lead in the pack in the competitive SIM-only space. Operating on the Optus 4G Plus network across Australia, Moose Mobile’s range of budget-friendly postpaid plans remained a strong performer throughout 2020, even as bigger names revamped their own SIM-only options to get a bigger slice of the BYO phone pie.

Moose Mobile offers both month-to-month and 12-month contracts, meaning you can choose whether to stay flexible, or commit for a year to lock in lower pricing. Prices begin at a low $8.80 per month for an entry-level plan with 1GB of data, and options are available up to 70GB monthly for serious data lovers. All plans include unlimited standard calls and texts in Australia.

Depending on your plan, Moose Mobile also throws in up to $400 of international credit each month, which can be used for calls and texts to overseas numbers. Plans also frequently offer bonuses for new sign-ups, such as extra data or limited-time discounts for your first 12 months, which makes Moose a brand worth considering if you’re looking to switch to a cheaper postpaid plan or simply want a bigger monthly data allowance.

Moving to a SIM-only plan is a great way to cut your bills down if you’re happy with your current smartphone, and Moose Mobile’s large range offers affordable options for low, average and heavy data users. If you prefer postpaid to the pay-in-advance model, Moose Mobile’s continually strong performance in our Outstanding Value awards makes it a leading contender for your SIM-only shortlist.

The following table shows a selection of published Mobile Mobile postpaid SIM-only plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our phone comparison tool to see plans from a range of providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

Outstanding Value Award – SIM-Only Prepaid – Amaysim

Outstanding Value Award prepaid logo

One of Australia’s most popular Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs), Amaysim was recently acquired by its long-time network provider Optus, but the deal has had little effect on the brand’s fuss-free prepaid service. The SIM-only provider is the Outstanding Value Award Winner for prepaid plans in 2021, thanks to its selection of affordable and flexible contract-free plans.

Amaysim offers standard 28-day plans, as well as short-term options and data-packed long-term plans with six and 12-month expiries. All plans include unlimited standard national talk and text in Australia, plus a data allowance per recharge/expiry period, and you’ll find the traditional 28-day plans also include extras such as international calls. Prices begin at just $12 for a 28-day plan, with data inclusions available up to 80GB.

While Amaysim’s 28-day plans are all prepaid, they also operate on an auto-renewing basis, meaning your plan will recharge automatically at the end of each expiry period. This is great news if you want the benefits of prepaid, but don’t want to be stuck without service or data due to a forgotten plan renewal. Plans are all contract-free, allow you to bring your own number and use your own phone, and extras such as international roaming are also available upon request.

Once a somewhat stigmatised sector of the mobile world, prepaid is now a go-to option for customers wanting simplicity, value and no bill shock. Although there’s dozens of names in the SIM-only prepaid field, Amaysim continues to shine thanks to its low prices, generous data inclusions, and reliable coverage via Optus’4G network. Frequent data bonuses and deals for new customers have kept Amaysim competitive throughout 2020, and the brand offers consistent value for returning users wanting an easy prepaid plan.

The following table shows a selection of published Amaysim prepaid SIM-only plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our phone comparison tool to see plans from a range of providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

Outstanding Value Award – Phone on a Plan – Vodafone

Outstanding Value Award Phone on a plan logo

Also the winner of Canstar Blue’s Most Satisfied Customers 2020 in the phone-on-a-plan category, Vodafone’s competitive pricing, wide range of devices and flexible payment options make it a leading name in handset plans. Offering a large selection of phone plans across the low, mid and premium-end device spectrum, Vodafone has been a consistent market leader when it comes to launching innovative plan features and addressing customer pain points such as bill shock.

Vodafone’s commitment to separating customer device payments from its monthly mobile plans has had a major knock-on effect with rival telcos, and gives customers the flexibility to change up their plans without impacting their phone payment. Customers buying a device from Vodafone can pay off their handset over 12, 24, or 36 months, and pair it with any of the telco’s SIM-only postpaid plans, which begin at $40 per month for 10GB of fast data.

All Vodafone phone plans include unlimited standard talk and text in Australia, a monthly high-speed data allowance, and ‘Infinite’ data capped to slower speeds (either 2Mbps, 10Mbps, or 25Mbps, depending on your plan). Adding ‘unlimited’ data in addition to a fast gigabyte inclusion protects customers against bill shock and adds increased value to Vodafone’s plans, particularly when combined with other features such as an international call allowance, 5G access and included tethering.

With regular monthly discounts and bonus data available to customers, Vodafone provides customers with plenty of incentives to get on board, and offers data allowances up to a massive 150GB per month as standard. The range of plan and payment options available to customers, as well as the many devices on offer from brands such as Apple, Samsung, Google and Nokia, saw Vodafone become a breakout performer in the phone-on-a-plan field throughout the past 12 months.

The following table shows a selection of published 24-month Vodafone plans for the 64GB iPhone 12 on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our phone comparison tool to see plans from a range of providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

How did we determine the Outstanding Value Award winners?

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

  • Outstanding Value Award – NBN Plans
  • Outstanding Value Award – Phone on a Plan
  • Outstanding Value Award – Prepaid Mobile Plans
  • Outstanding Value Award – 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 six months. The awards consider a provider’s best performing product within each consumer profile, and considers the plan’s 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 made available on request.

About the author of this page

Tara Donnelly

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.

Past winners

Canstar Blue’s Telco Provider of the Year Awards in 2020 saw the following winners:

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

Methodology

Further details on the awards methodology for 2020 can be found via the following links:

Canstar Blue’s Telco Provider of the Year Awards in 2019 saw the following winners:

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

Methodology

Further details on the awards methodology for 2019 can be found via the following links:

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