Mobile Plan Showdown: Woolworths Mobile Vs Telstra

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The fresh food people may not immediately come to mind when you're thinking about phones, but Woolworths Mobile has made a name for itself thanks a spate of great value plans.

In fact, Woolworths is the only provider other than Big T that sells phones on the Telstra network, making it an attractive option if you want a new device (on a contract) without paying too much of a premium.

You may be wondering whether Woolies' cheaper options can really stack up to what you get with Telstra. To help, we're going to take a look at how the pair compare.


Coverage

Woolworths Mobile may be powered by Telstra, but it doesn't have access to the entire network.

Woolworths Mobile uses the Telstra wholesale network to deliver mobile service, which reaches 98.8 per cent of the Australian population. Telstra's full network reaches 99.4 per cent.

This might not seem like a massive difference, but it can affect coverage in remote, regional, and rural areas.

Here's how the full Telstra network's coverage compares to Woolworths Mobile.


Phones On A Plan

Woolworths Mobile is one of the few providers outside of the big three that sells phones on a plan, but it typically only ranges Samsung and OPPO devices.

These plans do however tend to be some of the cheapest around when it comes to the devices in question.

If you were after a 128GB Samsung Galaxy S10+, Woolies will sell you it for $84.11 per month with 10GB. Here's a complete look at Woolworth's Mobile Galaxy S10+ plans:

For comparison, Galaxy S10+ prices start at $114 per month on Telstra. Typically this would only get you a 3GB plan, but thanks to a current promo, Telstra also has a 50GB plan at the same price.

Here's a look at Telstra's Galaxy S10+ plans:

And here are the Samsung devices you can currently get on Woolworths Mobile:

Woolworths Mobile also has a range of OPPO devices, many of which aren't available with other telcos:

Device plans from Woolies can be paid off across the standard 24 months, or over 36 months if you'd prefer a lower monthly bill.

These plans are no-contract on the basis that you can leave at any time, but you'll need to pay out the remaining value of your smartphone.

Woolworths Mobile smartphone plans also include data banking. At the end of each month, any unused data gets stored in a "data bank" that can then be used if you ever exceed your standard monthly allowance. You can bank up to 100GB with Woolworths.

Woolies might win on price and flexibility, but Telstra has far more handset options than Woolworths, including iPhones, Pixels, and Huawei devices. Here's a quick snapshot of some of the phones on offer:

You can check out the full Telstra phone range here.

Telstra plans also have larger data options than what you'll get on Woolworths Mobile. Woolies maxes out allowances out a 35GB, whereas Telstra has 50GB, 160GB, and even truly unlimited data plans available.


SIM-Only Plans

Telstra SIM-only plans tend to be a bit pricey when promotions aren't involved.

The good news is Telstra is currently throwing in a whole heap of bonus data on its top two SIM-only plans. You can currently get 60GB for $59 per month, or 90GB for $89 per month.

These plans also include "peace of mind" data: if you manage to go over your massive allowance, you'll be able to keep using mobile internet with no excess usage fees, albeit capped to speeds of 1.5Mbps.

Here are Telstra's current SIM-only plans:

You can't get quite as much data on a Woolies SIM-only plan, but they are a lot cheaper across the board.

If you're after one of these, the middle two options are your best bet in terms of value. $30 per month gets you 10GB, or $40 per month gets you 22GB.

As with Woolworths' handset plans, the telco's SIM-only plans let you bank up to 100GB of data.

Here are Woolworth Mobile's current SIM-only plans:


International Roaming

Woolworths Mobile doesn't include international roaming on any of its plans. If you're hoping to use your phone overseas, you'll need to grab a local SIM when you arrive at your destination or buy a travel SIM before you head off.

On the other hand, Telstra 24-month contract postpaid plans worth at least $119 per month include some roaming inclusions at no extra cost.

The $119 plan (excluding handset repayments) has 2GB of monthly roaming data, while the big daddy $199 Actually Unlimited Data plan has 10GB of international data. Both these plans also include unlimited talk and text for while you're travelling.

Here are Telstra postpaid plans that include roaming as a standard feature:

Other Telstra postpaid plans include roaming at Telstra's standard rates. $10 per day gets you 200MB of daily data and unlimited talk and text in more than 70 countries.

If you're travelling to New Zealand, you'll only pay $5 per day.

If you go over your 200MB of daily data, Telstra will bill an extra $10 and a further 500MB of roaming data to your account. This data has a 31-day expiry and can be used on subsequent days whenever you go over your initial 200MB.


Bonuses

Telstra plans might be pricier, but they tend to come with a bunch of freebies. To start, every Big T mobile customer gets the following with their plan or recharge:

  • Data-free music streaming through Apple Music
  • Free access to Telstra Air Wi-Fi hotspots in Australia
  • Free access to Fon public Wi-Fi hotposts when overseas

Customers spending at least $30 per month on their plan or recharge also get AFL, NRL, My Football, and Netball Live Passes, which allow you to watch every game of the season live and data-free.

You'll also get access to the Telstra Thanks (soon to be Telstra Plus) perks program, which gets you a few other bonuses.

These include:

  • $12.50 movie tickets for Event and BCC cinemas, excluding sessions after 5pm on a Saturday, public holidays, and special events
  • Free popcorn and drink large combo upgrade when you book a movie ticket through Telstra
  • Presale tickets for select concerts and events
  • Discounted tickets for select sporting events

Woolies doesn't offer the same kind of perks or freebies you'll get on a Telstra plan, but it has a couple of promos going around.

If you sign up for any Woolworths Mobile plan before May 26, you'll get a 20GB "holiday data" bonus added to your account every three months.

Much like your regular data, this can be banked and saved for later. However, a maximum of four bonuses can be accumulated at one time.

New customers are also eligible for a free 12-month subscription to Family Zone Protect, which allows parents to filter adult content, restrict the use of social media, and manage screen time on their child's device.

Alex Choros is Managing Editor at WhistleOut, Australia's phone and internet comparison website.


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