Want a Telstra plan without the price tag? Consider one of these telcos that use Telstra’s network

Mobile phone plans are like health insurance – most people sign up, and then promptly stop thinking about whether they’re getting the best deal possible. After all, we like to feel good about our choices, so why compare offerings after we’ve already signed up?

Well, the answer is simple really – to get the best value going. It’s the same reason people chop and change NBN plans (though, arguably, that’s a little easier) – with so much competition in the mobile space, finding a better deal isn’t hard.

So, today we’re going to look at what Telstra offers, alongside the offers from other telcos that use Telstra’s network.

Telcos like this are called MVNOs, or Mobile Virtual Network Operators – they have their own billing, customer service, plan options, and more .. but they don’t have their own towers. They use a larger mobile network. In Australia, this means they use Telstra, Optus or Vodafone.

One thing MVNOs do have, which the larger carriers often don’t, is great value plans and so you can often find a better deal with an MVNO!

Telstra’s own offerings

Telstra has simplified its plans a lot in recent times, and really only offers four main plans to consumers and small business customers:

They’re not unreasonable value, offering big data for a reasonable cost, on a network that covers more places at higher speed across Australia. The other advantage to going Telstra direct is access to the company’s 5G network which, for now, resellers don’t get access to.

However, as these plans start at $50 a month for 15GB data, there are better options around. Let’s take a look.

Telstra MVNO plans

There’s a range of MVNOs selling Telstra-backed plans, including mate, TeleChoice, Pennytel, Belong and Tangerine. Some offer better value than others, but here’s the ones that compare to Telstra’s own offerings:

As you can see, Mate’s $25 plan includes 15GB data and no contract – fully half the price of the same data inclusion from Telstra. TeleChoice and PennyTel also have some great options for this amount of data.

In fact, if you were to spend $40-$50 (to bring you in line with Telstra’s cheapest plan offering, you could get as much as 40GB data – nearly three times what Telstra offers for the same price here. Belong’s 40GB for $40 is a great price.

What if you want more data, though?

There’s not too much competition from Telstra MVNOs at the high end; Tangerine offers 60GB data for $70 a month, but as you’ll note, Telstra offers this same data for $60 a month. None of the Telstra MVNOs have bigger data inclusions though – if you want 100GB or 150GB, Telstra’s your only option.

Telstra’s network has a reputation – fostered by the company itself, in no small part – of being a ‘premium’ option, and the price tag often reflects this. For lower data inclusions, MVNOs are very competitive and offer incredible value.

However, at the higher end, there’s really not many alternatives.

Prepaid Telstra MVNO options

Not everyone wants a post-paid plan, and some people – particularly younger customers and those without a fixed income – may find it difficult to qualify. However, that doesn’t mean you miss out – there are some great prepaid options from Telstra MVNOs too, and they’re great value.

$40 gets you around 42GB to 45GB a month from Lycamobile, Boost and Woolworths Mobile. Spend a shade more – $45 a month – and ALDIMobile will give you 48GB of data to use in a 30 day period.

You’ll note that these rates are virtually the same as the post-paid offerings from other Telstra MVNOs, meaning that those looking for great value prepaid can do very well here.

In coming days we’ll compare Optus and Vodafone and the respective MVNOs that use their networks too.

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