Optus has refreshed its postpaid mobile phone plans, upping both prices and data allowances.
Optus’ SIM-only postpaid phone plans previously started at $45 per month with 20GB, but you’re now looking at $49 per month with 30GB. The $55 per month plan with 80GB is now $59 per month with 100GB. $65 per month previously got you 200GB, which has now become $69 per month with 220GB. And lastly, the $85 per month plan with 240GB is now an $89 per month plan with 360GB.
In addition, Optus has rejigged its Optus Plus Promo plan. It still comes with 500GB, but you’re now looking at $69 per month for your first six months, and $119 per month thereafter. This offer runs until August 4.
So how do these new plans compare to Telstra and Vodafone? Before we start, here’s the new core range of Optus SIM-only plans:
No contract SIM-only plans
Despite Optus’ plans now costing $4 per month more across the board, Telstra is still the most expensive option on a SIM-only plan.
Vodafone has the cheapest SIM-only plan out of the three, offering 40GB of data for $40 per month. On the other hand, you’re looking a $49 per month for 30GB on Optus, or $58 per month for 40GB on Telstra.
Stepping up, Vodafone gets you your best data for dollar option: you’ll pay $60 per month for 300GB. For comparison, Optus charges $59 for 100GB, or Telstra $68 for 180GB.
If you go over your allowance, all three providers offer unlimited data at capped speeds. On Telstra and Optus, you’ll get restricted to 1.5Mbps. Vodafone plan capped speeds vary between 2Mbps and 10Mbps, depending on how much your monthly spend is. The more expensive your bill, the faster your capped speeds are. Vodafone also has a truly unlimited plan currently available for $65 per month.
Optus plans with a phone
All telcos now sell phones the same way: you pick from one of their SIM-only plans, and then add on a handset. You’ll then pay it off over 12, 24 or 36 months, interest-free, at an overall cost that’s roughly equivalent to the outright price. Telstra doesn’t consistently offer 36-month repayments, but Optus and Vodafone do.
The similarity between how all three telcos now sell phones means pricing is a lot more predictable: you’re just taking the outright price of the phone and tacking it onto your chosen plan. However, a few other factors can alter this equation. We’ve seen telcos apply discounts to the outright price of a phone to make them a little cheaper, for example.
Here’s a look at how the cheapest options from the Big Three providers compare for some of the latest devices:
iPhone 13 (128GB)
iPhone 13 Pro (128GB)
Samsung Galaxy S22 (128GB)
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (128GB)
Google Pixel 6a plans (128GB)
Google Pixel 6 Pro (128GB)
OPPO Find X5 Pro (256GB)
Optus postpaid plans worth at least $59 per month (excluding handset repayments) include unlimited talk and text to 35 countries.
For comparison, Telstra’s Upfront mobile plans include unlimited SMS and MMS to all international numbers and 30 minutes of calls to any standard international number. If you want to make more than 30 minutes of international calls in a month, you’ll need to add on a $10 per month International Calling Pack.
Lastly, Vodafone postpaid plans start to get international calling inclusions from the $45 per month and up mark. These are typically broken down into Zone 1 and Zone 2 destinations. For example, Vodafone’s $50 per month plan includes 1,000 minutes to Zone 1 destinations and 100 minutes to Zone 2. All Vodafone postpaid plans include unlimited standard international SMS.
On top of talk, text and data, plans from the Big Three all include a couple of extras.
Optus customers don’t have as many extras as they used to. While Optus Sport used to be a free inclusion on all Optus postpaid plans, Optus customers now get a discounted rate. Instead of paying $24.99 per month, you’ll pay $6.99 per month if you’ve got a postpaid mobile plan with Optus. Optus customers also get discounted tickets through Hoyts.
Telstra plans get you discounted movie tickets from Event Cinemas and data-free access to Apple Music. You’ll need to join Telstra Plus if you want cheap movie tickets, however.
Joining Telstra Plus also earns 10 points for every dollar you spend on your monthly bill as part of a Frequent Flyer style rewards scheme. You can spend these points on selected gadgets or use the points discounts on devices. Telstra Plus is free to join.
Telstra customers are also currently eligible for a one-month free trial of Foxtel Now and a one-month free trial of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.
Vodafone doesn’t have much in terms of extras, but if you’ve got multiple postpaid plans on the same Vodafone account, you’ll save 5 per cent on your total bill for each plan after the first, up to a maximum of 20 per cent. This includes SIM-only, mobile, tablet, and mobile broadband. Vodafone mobile customers can also get a discount on Vodafone 4G home internet, 5G home internet, and NBN plans.
What are my other options?
If you’re looking for a cheaper plan on the Optus network, these plans with at least 40GB start at $20 per month. The standout offer comes from Circles.Life where you can pay $25 per month for 50GB with the promo code FREEZE50. This pricing lasts for the life of your plan.
Alex Choros is Managing Editor at WhistleOut, Australia’s phone and internet comparison website.