Want a better postpaid SIM-only phone plan? The Top 5 mobile phone providers to compare before you switch

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Are you sick of your current phone plan and are looking to save a bit of money? Or perhaps you just bought a shiny new smartphone, and need a new postpaid SIM card?

Whatever the reason, the best place to start is to compare postpaid phone plans from a range of providers. However for some, this might be a confusing and daunting prospect, especially due to how many mobile plan providers are out there. There are also many things to consider such as the mobile network your plan will be on, and how much data you will need for your plan. Not to mention whether you should sign up to a plan with one of the big three mobile network providers, or choose a smaller mobile virtual network operator (MVNO).

Each year at Canstar Blue, we release our Most Satisfied Customers ratings report for SIM-only postpaid phone providers. In a survey of 2,326 Australians with a current SIM-only postpaid plan, customers ranked their provider on a number of factors, including value for money, customer service, network coverage and more. From there, providers are scored on these factors and given an overall satisfaction rating.

From the 2020 Customer Satisfaction ratings for SIM-Only Postpaid providers, eight telcos made the cut and were ranked for overall satisfaction, with Australia’s top six favourite postpaid phone providers positioned as:

  1. Belong
  2. Southern Phone
  3. Vaya
  4. iiNet
  5. Vodafone
  6. Dodo

Since this ratings report was released, iiNet has changed its phone plans from postpaid to prepaid. For the sake of this postpaid plan comparison, we won’t include plans from iiNet. So, if you’re interested in what phone plans are available from Australia’s favourite postpaid providers, let’s take a look at what’s on offer.

Belong postpaid phone plans

Belong is a MVNO owned by Telstra and operates on the Telstra 3G and 4G mobile network. You’ll have a very simple selection of two postpaid phone plans to choose from — the Regular plan at $25 with 10GB of data, and the Large plan at $40 with 40GB of data. Both plans include unlimited standard national calls and SMS, while the Large plan includes unlimited international calls and SMS to select countries.

The following table shows Belong postpaid SIM-only phone plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of standard monthly cost, from lowest to highest. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers.

Southern Phone postpaid phone plans

Southern Phone came out on top in our 2019 ratings, but was pushed down one spot in the 2020 report. Operating on the Optus 2G and 4G mobile networks, Southern Phone offers a choice between month-to-month or 12-month postpaid SIM-only plans, with prices starting at $9 for 1GB of data and going up to $60 with 80GB of data. The advantage to signing up for a 12-month plan is that you’ll get more data for your money when compared to the month-to-month plans.

The following table shows Southern Phone’s 12-month postpaid SIM-only phone plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of standard monthly cost, from lowest to highest. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

Vaya postpaid phone plans

Coming in third place is Vaya, which also operates on the Optus mobile network. Vaya offers a simple selection of five month-to-month plans with prices starting at $16 for 3GB of data and going up to $56 with 64GB of data. There are reasonably priced plans for all types of data users — whether you occasionally web browse on your phone or stream the odd video now and then.

The following table shows Vaya’s postpaid SIM-only phone plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of standard monthly cost, from lowest to highest. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

Vodafone postpaid phone plans

Vodafone is the only one of the ‘big three’ telcos to make it into the top five of our ratings results. Unlike the other telcos we’ve covered so far, Vodafone operates its own mobile network, including an expanding 5G mobile network. This means that if you sign up to a postpaid SIM-only plan with Vodafone, you’ll have full access to its mobile network.

Vodafone offers five different month-to-month SIM-only postpaid plans. Prices start at $40 and go up to $120, and not only does your plan price reflect how much data (and other features including international calls) is included, but it also determines how fast your unlimited capped-speed data is. You won’t pay excess data charges: rather, after using up your fast-speed data allowance (with plans starting with 10GB and going up to 150GB), you’ll be able to continue using your data but at capped speeds of either 2Mbps, 10Mbps or 25Mbps.

The following table shows Vodafone’s postpaid SIM-only phone plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of standard monthly cost, from lowest to highest. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

Dodo postpaid phone plans

Rounding out our top five is Dodo. While Dodo is more well-known as an internet provider, there is a super-simple suite of three mobile plans available, which includes one of the most unique phone plan offerings on the market. Dodo’s $5 SIM-only plan is also known as its ‘no data’ plan, as it only includes unlimited standard national calls and SMS with no data inclusions. You can add 2GB of data to this plan for an additional $10 per month, which is great for users who use little to no data on their phones. The $20 plan includes 6GB of data, while the $30 plan includes 12GB of data, and both of these plans include some international call inclusions.

The following table shows Dodo’s postpaid SIM-only phone plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of standard monthly cost, from lowest to highest. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

What about other SIM-only postpaid mobile providers?

We’ve covered the top five providers (excluding iiNet’s prepaid plans), but what about the rest? The only two providers we didn’t cover above, happen to be Australia’s largest mobile network operators.

  1. Optus
  2. Telstra

Telstra and Optus have a lot to offer when it comes to postpaid phone plans. One big difference is that, like Vodafone, plan prices are usually higher than what is on offer from the MVNOs. But these plans often come with bigger data inclusions (and unlimited capped-speed data in the case of Telstra and Vodafone) and extra perks such as data-free streaming and subscriptions to a range of sports and entertainment, not to mention access to expanding 5G networks. At this point, MVNOs do not have access to any of the 5G networks available in Australia.

While these ratings give an indication of how Aussies feel about their current SIM-only provider, keep in mind that there are plenty of other telcos out there with a lot to offer. Providers such as Moose Mobile and Woolworths Mobile, might have the right prices and inclusions for you, so comparing phone plans from a range of telcos will help you to find the best postpaid phone plan for your needs.

If you’re curious about what plans are on offer from a range of other providers, the following table shows a selection of postpaid SIM-only plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of standard monthly cost, from the lowest to highest, then by data allowance, highest to lowest. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

How do I pick the right provider and phone plan?

If you’ve already compared plans from a range of providers and are struggling to choose between them, our Customer Satisfaction report may help give you an idea on how other Australians feel about their phone provider. Of course, everyone has a different experience with a phone plan and while one person may rate a provider highly for something such as network coverage, another person may rate them lower. However, you’ll hopefully find these ratings a useful guide to understanding how Aussies typically feel about their provider.

For those who are unsure where to start when comparing phone plans, there are several things you should consider before you compare providers:

  • Mobile network — check what coverage is like where you live, work and regularly travel to for an indication of which mobile network will best suit you.
  • Plan inclusions (especially data) — consider what type of data user you are and realistically, how much data you will use. Having too little data can result in excess data charges, while having too much data means you’re probably paying more than you should for your plan.
  • Cost — set a maximum budget that you’re willing to pay each month. If plans in your preferred price range don’t have enough data or inclusions for your needs, you may need to compromise on the price (and see how far you can stretch your budget to) or the inclusions (take advantage of WiFi networks, downloading shows on Netflix rather than streaming with mobile data, etc).
  • Plan length — many providers offer no lock-in contract (month-to-month) plans which means if you want to switch plans or providers, you most likely won’t need to pay any fees to cancel. Some providers offer month-to-month and contract plans, typically with cheaper prices or more data if you sign up on a contract. You can test out a provider on a month-to-month plan and if you’re happy with your service, consider switching to a contract for better savings or more inclusions.

Once you’ve sorted out what you need in a phone plan, compare plans from a range of providers to see which ticks all your boxes. If you’re still stuck between a couple of telcos, look into any extras such as entertainment bonuses, discounts for bundling services, etc, which could be of use to you.

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