While Telstra has firmly established itself as the big dog of Australian telco brands, with prices that match its reputation, it isn’t the only mobile provider using its network. There’s a whole host of smaller providers that are powered by the Telstra network, which tend to offer the same core service but often at a cheaper price.
So, if you’re looking to get on Big T’s network for less, here are all the Telstra network providers you need to know about.
Table of contents
- What do Telstra’s SIM-only plans look like?
- The best mobile resellers on the Telstra network
- So why bother with Telstra?
What do Telstra’s SIM-only plans look like?
Before we look at other providers on the Telstra network, here are Telstra’s current SIM-only plans:
It’s also worth noting the reach of Telstra’s mobile network. Telstra’s 3G and 4G networks reach 99.5 per cent of the population, but the Telstra wholesale network only reaches 98.8 per cent of the population.
This may not seem significant, but it can affect coverage in some remote, regional, and rural areas. Here’s how the full Telstra network vs wholesale compare:
The best mobile resellers on the Telstra network
ALDI Mobile plans
ALDI Mobile is powered by the Telstra network and has a solid range of prepaid plans, all sold on a 30-day expiry.
The plans are a bit basic but spending at least $25 per month nets you unlimited talk and text to 15 countries and a further 100 minutes for another 35. You can currently snag bonus data on your first six recharges on most plans too.
All ALDI Mobile prepaid plans also include data rollover, and depending on which plan you go with, you can currently get double data for your first six recharges.
Belong mobile plans
You might not know it but Belong is quite literally budget Telstra. Telstra runs Belong as its discount brand, undercutting its own plans. For example, while you’ll pay $58 per month for a Telstra SIM-only plan with 40GB, you’ll typically only pay $35 per month for the same allowance on Belong.
All Belong plans are free from excess charges. If you go over your allowance, you’ll be able to keep using your plan with speeds capped at 1Mbps. That’s still fast enough for most basic online activity, including streaming music.
You’ll also get data rollover, and if you’ve got friends on Belong, you can also gift data in 1GB increments. All of Belong’s plans are contract-free.
Boost Mobile plans
Boost is kind of special when it comes to Telstra MVNOs; it’s the only one with access to the full Telstra network. In addition to more coverage, you get international call inclusions on all plans with a 28-day expiry or greater, and data rollover. Boost also has year-long recharges for those willing to commit to a longer time.
As part of its EOFY sale, you can pick up one of Boost’s plans with either a discount or extra data.
Exetel mobile plans
While Exetel used to offer mobile plans on the Optus network, it has now swapped over to Telstra. Its plans are prepaid, but they have a 30-day expiry, so you won’t need to top up 13 times per year as with a 28-day recharge. If you pick up one of its bigger mobile plans, you can score double data for your first six recharges.
MATE mobile plans
MATE is better known as an NBN provider, but the company also offers SIM-only plans powered by the Telstra network. The plans are decent value, but if you bundle one with a MATE NBN plan, you’ll save $10 per month on your monthly bill.
MATE is also running an introductory offer for new customers where your first month with the telco will only set you back $1.
More mobile plans
If you’re a CommBank customer looking for a plan on the Telstra network, More should be at the top of your list. More is partially owned by CommBank, and as such, offers a 30% discount on all its mobile plans to CommBank customers. This discount will last for your first year with More, after which your ongoing discount drops to 10%.
More also has the standard Telstra network perks including unlimited international calls to 15 countries on most plans and data banking.
numobile mobile plans
numobile is a telco with a twist. This Telstra network provider exclusively sells refurbished smartphones. Devices on offer tend to be a little older but this also means you save a bit of cash. Refurbished phone sellers like numobile put their phones through multiple stages of testing to ensure everything still works, but they may have some superficial damage like light scuffs and scratches.
Similar to many other Telstra MVNOs, numobile is also offering to double your data allowance on select plans for the first six months you’re with the telco.
If you’re not in the market for a new (well, refurbished) phone, you can still get a SIM-only plan from numobile.
Superloop mobile plans
Earlier this year, Superloop launched a range of SIM-only mobile plans that are powered by the Telstra network.
Superloop’s mobile plans work on a 30-day renewal cycle and a data rollover bank of up to 500GB, while its plans worth $28 or more come with unlimited international calls to 15 selected countries. You can also save $15 per month off your Superloop NBN plan when you bundle it with one of these mobile plans.
Most of Superloop’s plans also include double data for the first six recharges.
Tangerine mobile plans
Tangerine’s SIM-only plans are fairly typical for the Telstra network. The value is in line with the competition, as you get the same kind of 500GB data bank as you’ll find with other providers on the Telstra network.
Woolworths Everyday Mobile plans
You probably wouldn’t think about Woolies when it comes to phone plans, but anyone that frequents the fresh food people should consider swapping to a SIM-only plan. All Woolworths Mobile customers can get 10% off their Woolies grocery shop once a month, up to a maximum discount of $50. If you’re doing a big enough shop, you could potentially cover your entire mobile bill.
So why bother with Telstra?
While most MVNOs offer better bang-for-buck than Telstra itself, there are still a few compelling reasons to sell your soul to Australia’s largest telco.
Firstly, besides Boost, Telstra keeps its full network to itself. This means other MVNOs miss out on access to some towers, and in turn, have less coverage in some rural and regional areas.
MVNOs also tend to be a bad choice for global roaming. On Telstra proper, you’ll pay $10 per day you’re overseas which gets you 1GB of data and unlimited talk and text (or $5 per day in New Zealand). If you go over, you’ll pay another $10 for a 1GB top-up with a 31-day expiry. This can still add up quickly, so it is always worth considering a local SIM at your destination.
On the other hand, not all Telstra MVNOs offer international roaming. When they do, you won’t get quite as much data. For example, Boost’s travel packs start at $20 for 1GB with a three-day expiry. They all only include a limited amount of calls. While that’s cheaper per day, you end up with less data.
Telstra MVNO roaming packs – where available – also tend to work in fewer countries compared to Telstra roaming.
Lastly, Telstra customers also get access to the Telstra Plus perks program, which gets you a few bonuses. These include:
- $13.50 movie tickets for Event and BCC cinemas. A $3 surcharge applies after 5pm on a Saturday and on public holidays
- Presale tickets for select concerts and events
- Discounted tickets for select sporting events
Telstra Plus also means you’ll earn points for every dollar you spend with Telstra, which can then be redeemed on a gadget or a discount on a new phone. The dollar value of points is minuscule – you shouldn’t sign-up for Telstra just because it has a loyalty program – but it’s a welcome addition if you were going to anyway.
Alex Choros is Managing Editor at WhistleOut, Australia’s phone and internet comparison website.
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