Paying more than $30 for your phone plan? You can do better!

This week saw headlines concerning mandatory movements to Australia’s National Broadband Network increasing users’ phone bills by a whopping 20%. Source The Australian

News like this draws in to focus the cost of telecommunications services and raises the uneasy feeling that we’re paying more than we should be. Right now is a great time to change your phone plan and save yourself some money.

Here’re 5 easy checks to save and make your phone spend go further…

1 – How much data do you use a month?

Average data usage reports suggest it’s around 2GB per month. Cisco Systems, one of the world’s biggest networking hardware companies has been analyzing data usage on mobile phones. They and the Australian Bureau of Statistics both agree that most of use only use 2GB a month. So why pay for more?

Dropping your data allowance could instantly save you money.

2 – Are you paying for coverage or a brand name?

Phone companies’ network coverage is now very similar. Recent upgrades mean that most of us will get the same 3G and 4G phone coverage whatever network you’re on. This information is actually on their websites – but very people take the time to review it. With such a difference in price between, these different networks, the chances are you can save money simply by switching to another brand – without compromising on the quality of coverage.

Phone Company 3G coverage (% of population) 4G coverage (% of population)
Telstra 99.3% 98.0%
Vodafone 96.0% 95.3%
Optus 98.5% 95.9%

3 – Are you with one of the big brands?

There’s never been a better time to shop around. Today you’ll get more for your money than ever before.  The simple fact is no-one in Australia should be paying more than $30 per month for a plan with 2GB of data. There are some really good smaller brands that will give you the same, or better deals than the bigger brands. And switching networks has never been easier.

Stay open minded about smaller phone companies. They often use exactly the same network as you’ll get from the bigger phone companies.

4 – Do you have a SIM only or a prepaid deal?

We think you should consider SIM Only / prepaid. The majority of prepaid plans sold cost $30 or less and have Unlimited Talk and Text (in Australia to Australian numbers) with 2GB of 3G/4G data. The majority of the Australian market ( more than 60% ) now buys their own phone and adds a SIM themselves. It can save you a great deal of money.

No-one wants a nasty surprise when they open their phone bill. We think prepaid plans are the pick of the bunch. They’ll work in any unlocked Australian phone and, if you recharge the face value, you simply cannot be charged anything extra!

Need to see what’s on offer ? Here are the best prepaid plans in Australia

5 – What entertainment extras are you getting?

If you’re not getting extras on your phone plan it could be time to switch plans. Many phone plans now include value add entertainment.

Some phone plans now include data free music streaming is part of a growing trend among the telcos. Increasingly, phone companies are media providers too. On higher end plans from the bigger phone companies , users are offered data free access to streamed video services.

Make sure you consider which sport and / or entertainment options are right for you. You’ll pay a bit more for plans with this sort of content but it could well be worth the extra to you !

Remember, so long as you use their app, watching these shows will not count against the data usage you are given in your plan.

Neil Aitken


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