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Compare mobile phone plans, data, offers and prices

From Telstra to Optus, Vodafone, and more, find and compare mobile phone plans across Australia. Filter by price, phone, data or plan type, and work out the best mobile plan for your needs.

40+ phone plan providers in RateCity’s database

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How to find a phone plan in Australia

If you have a phone you love, great work, but finding a phone you like is only one half of the battle. You also need a way to use the phone, and in Australia (and much of the rest of the world), that means a plan. Not just any plan, but a plan that you can be proud of. 

Mobile phone plans come in a variety of options, but before you decide, ask yourself some important questions:

  • How many calls do you expect to make?
  • Do you text often?
  • How much data do you need when you're on the go? 
  • How much ideally do you want to spend?

Most plans offer unlimited calls and text

So here's the good news: most plans in Australia come with unlimited phone calls and unlimited text, making it more or less a standard if you're subscribing to a telco on a plan. You could make one call, ten calls, or a thousand calls inside the country, and provided you're on a plan supporting unlimited calls, you won't get charged extra for the amount you make.

The same typically goes for texts, because if you have friends and family inside Australia, unlimited texts means you can text without a text count being charged back to you. 

There are some catches for each: international calls may not be part of your unlimited deal, and neither will premium numbers. And if you're overseas and roaming, calls will very likely be counted, unless you're on a phone plan specifically citing the opposite. It may be a similar story for text messaging, as well, which may rack up costs when the international side of things is brought in. 

However, if you're planning to call and text people from inside the country, you can typically rest assured that most mobile phone plans in Australia will cover unlimited calls and texts as part of the deal. 

Data needs for your phone

How much data you need can vary greatly depending on how much you use your phone and where you use it. 

For instance, if you use your phone mostly at home for social, email, web surfing, entertainment and music, and other apps, you might have WiFi there, and may not need as much data. But if you use these services on the go where WiFi isn't available, you might want to consider more data for your mobile plan, and that can get costly. 

Data is the most costly part of any mobile plan these days, outside of the obvious cost of the phone, and it can rack up based on use.

Take watching movies: if you plan on streaming from Netflix, Stan, ABC iView, Disney+, or any of the number of entertainment services available on your phone, standard quality video could consume up to 700MB per hour, while high definition (HD) could chew through between 1GB and 3GB per hour. 

Music streaming services can consume data, as well, and depending on your audio quality settings, you could be munching through mobile data at a rate of between 40MB to 400MB per hour. Most people will likely hit under 100MB per hour, but the more you turn those quality settings up, the more your downloads are likely to feel it. 

Web browsing also makes a stab for your data, and the more you do, the more downloads you're dealing with. There's no standard number for how many downloads you might go through, but if you use your phone a lot, you may want to expect between 50 and 250MB per day just for web browsing.

The point is this: anything and everything using the internet in some fashion on your phone requires a download of data in some form, and your download needs also have to cater for upload needs, as well. Uploads count alongside downloads in a mobile phone data amount. 

So how do you work out what you need? Start with a guess, and then gradually increase the amount if you hit the limits a little too quickly. 

Consider starting at 40 or 60GB, and if you need to increase on a monthly basis, you'll find phone companies are typically entirely happy to let you do so. Alternatively, you may find these are too big, and you can go down. 

Many phone plans in Australia even capped monthly downloads at a slower speed, so when you hit your 40 or 60GB monthly, the plan is capped, and the rest of the downloads are unlimited at a slower speed. If you opt for one of these plans, the data amount you pay for – that 40 or 60GB –  will be downloaded at the fastest speed available to your phone and the network at the time. Once you hit the maximum monthly download limit, the speeds will drop to something much slower, but still provide internet access. 

How much should you spend?

One question worth considering is how much you should spend, and that becomes important once you work out your data requirements. 

These days, phone plans are often quite competitive, but using a mobile phone plan comparison system, you can find the answers more easily than checking each phone company's site individually. 

Some plans will come with a phone and some without, but by comparing options and making your own phone plan comparison, you can determine how much you need to spend and who has the best plan for you. 

This article was reviewed by Personal Finance Editor Mark Bristow before it was published as part of RateCity's Fact Check process.

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^Words such as "top", "best", "cheapest" or "lowest" are not a recommendation or rating of products. This page compares a range of products from selected providers and not all products or providers are included in the comparison. There is no such thing as a 'one- size-fits-all' financial product. The best loan, credit card, superannuation account or bank account for you might not be the best choice for someone else. Before selecting any financial product you should read the fine print carefully, including the product disclosure statement, target market determination fact sheet or terms and conditions document and obtain professional financial advice on whether a product is right for you and your finances.