If you’re making a lot of calls from your mobile every month and are constantly finding yourself going over the included value on your cap plan, then perhaps one of the best things you can do to save some money on your mobile phone bill is to sign up for one of these unlimited mobile plans. We have prepared a comparison table for the best unlimited mobile plans from all of the major providers, allowing you to quickly and easily compare offerings and find the best deal for you.
What Do Unlimited Mobile Plans Include?
In order to get the most out of an unlimited mobile plan, you need to understand what is included and what isn’t when a mobile provider refers to “Unlimited”, because some call types are excluded and this varies from provider to provider.
If you are only calling standard landline and mobile numbers in Australia, then any of the Unlimited plans that we have featured will allow you to do that with no issues. However, 13, 1300 and 1800 numbers are not included with every provider’s unlimited plan, which means you may be paying extra when you call these. Voicemail is also something to watch for – some plans will include access to your voicemail number as part of the unlimited plan, and others will not. Amaysim’s plan is one of the ones that does allow you to call voicemail as part of the included “unlimited” calls.
Another important thing to look at is SMS and MMS. Very few of the unlimited plans on the market actually allow you to send Unlimited MMS as part of the deal – it’s another extra that is charged on top. For example, the offers from Amaysim, Optus and Telstra include MMS, but the plan from Yatango does not.
Finally, it’s important to highlight that the unlimited calls and texts on these plans only apply to calling or texting Australian numbers from within Australia. If you choose to take your phone overseas with you, you will be charged normal international roaming rates when you use your mobile overseas.
Contract, Monthly Billed or Prepaid?
Most of the plans that we have picked for our comparison of unlimited plans, including our #1 pick, are from SIM only providers – to put it simply, you must bring your own phone (or buy a new one outright). They do not offer subsidised handsets, so there are no 24 month contracts to lock you in.
Because they are not subsidising the cost of your phone, BYO phone providers are able to pass the savings on to you and give you a better price for your mobile service.
Some of these providers require you to prepay for your usage by purchasing recharge vouchers or topping up a credit balance using your credit card, which means there’s no opportunity for bill shock. Other providers will allow you the convenience of a monthly bill. Amaysim, our #1 pick, allow you to choose between these two billing models when you join them at the same price.
What About Mobile Data?
Mobile data allowances, combined with the coverage of the underlying network, are the two biggest differences between all of the unlimited plans on the market.
In Australia, no provider offers unlimited mobile data plans, so all “Unlimited” plans will advertise the data allowance that you receive on that plan. This can vary between 2 GB on the low end and 5 GB at the high end of allowances.
Be sure to pay attention to this when choosing between the different unlimited mobile plans to ensure that you don’t find yourself with too little data and having to pay extra for a data pack (or excess usage fees).
Most providers also allow you to use the Personal Hotspot or tethering feature on your mobile phone as well – this means that there is no need to add on a mobile broadband service, as you can use some of the included data on your laptop or tablet by enabling the Personal Hotspot or Tethering function in your phone’s menus and sharing your mobile data when there are no WiFi hotspots around.
A Word About Fair Usage Policies
With all of these “Unlimited Mobile Plans”, there is typically a ‘fair usage’ policy that applies to the plan to stop it from being abused. Be sure to investigate this before signing up, to avoid an embarrassing shock later.
Some providers, such as Amaysim, do not specify a limit to the number of minutes of calls that you can make on the Unlimited plan – just that it must be for personal use only and that you can’t leave a call in an unattended state for a long period of time. The example they give for this in their Fair Go Policy for this was using a call as a baby monitor.
Other providers have a fixed number of minutes as an upper ceiling to your usage on their Unlimited plan – 2000 minutes is quite often the number, which is 1 day, 9 hours of talk time (or about 66 minutes per day).
Be sure to check for any restrictions that are mentioned by your provider.
Keep Your Current Mobile Number
Since September 2001, all Australian carriers have supported Mobile Number Portability.
This means you can transfer your current mobile number to a new provider at any time, to take advantage of a better deal like these Unlimited Mobile Plans that we have reviewed for you.
Mobile Number Portability is available for both prepaid and postpaid (monthly billed) services, and the entire process is managed by your new provider.
You just need your account number if you’re currently on a monthly billed service, or your date of birth if you’re currently using a prepaid service.
What Do You Get With Each Provider?
Because each provider is different, what is (and isn’t) included with each plan varies. Being an Unlimited plan, they all include unlimited calls and SMS messages to Australian numbers, but some also include MMS, voicemail, and even international call minutes.
Amaysim’s Unlimited plan is our number one pick because it has the largest data allocation of all of the plans at a massive 5 GB or 7 GB, and the most inclusions of extra services.
On top of allowing you to make unlimited calls to landlines and mobiles in Australia and send unlimited SMS messages to Australian numbers, Amaysim also include unlimited MMS to Australian numbers and unlimited voicemail in their plan – two of the services that some providers exclude from their plans. Amaysim is powered by the Optus 3G/4G network.
Amaysim’s Fair Go Policy states that the plan is for personal use only, and that you must be making reasonable use of the calls – ie, not leaving a call unattended for a long period of time, such as using a mobile phone call as a baby monitor or making large amounts of automated outbound calls from the service.
With no lock in contracts, there’s nothing stopping you from trying out Amaysim’s plan to see if it’s right for you.
Amaysim recently received the 2014 Canstar award for Most Satisfied Customers in both the prepaid and monthly plans categories, and have received numerous Money magazine awards.
Lycamobile’s Super Saver Plan includes unlimited calls to landlines and mobiles in Australia, plus unlimited SMS to Australian numbers. MMS is not included, as it is not available on Lycamobile. It’s a prepaid only offering, which means you’ll need to recharge monthly to keep the service active. The plan also includes 1 GB of data.
One of the biggest selling points of this plan is that it uses the Telstra Wholesale 3G network, which means you get access to part of the Telstra NextG network with a coverage footprint that is roughly equal to the combined footprints of Vodafone and Optus.
Lycamobile have come under fire in recent months from consumers who were disappointed at signing on at the $19.90 for 5 GB of Data and Unlimited Calls, only to have the price increased to $29.90 and then now $39.90. This might all change in another month or two, as Lycamobile are known for changing prices rapidly.