Ask anyone who has the best mobile network in Australia and most people will agree that Telstra have the best quality network in terms of coverage strength in more places than Optus or Vodafone.
Telstra were the last network to allow third party companies access to sell plans based on wholesale access to their network, however the number of MVNOs (Mobile Virtual Network Operators) or resellers has grown rapidly since then with most of them offering prepaid services.
Resellers on the Telstra network have access to 98.8% population coverage including 90% population coverage for 4G, 98.5% for 3G and the remainder is 2G. This is slightly less than they offer to customers who connect directly with Telstra or Boost Mobile, who get 99.3% population coverage across all of their networks.
We’ve created a few tables to help compare plans from Telstra network resellers to make it easy to find one that suits your needs.
Low Usage Plans
If you only make occasional calls and don’t have a heavy data requirement, then the plans below could be a good fit for your usage patterns.
We recommend the Lycamobile plan – you get great coverage on the Telstra 3G Wholesale network at a fraction of what it would cost to go with Telstra.
Regular/Heavy Usage Plans
There’s a bit more choice of providers in this space, with a range of great plans available from Lycamobile. We’ve only included a small range of the Lycamobile plans because they offer so many different combinations of Talk, Data and Text.
The offerings from Lycamobile again are very competitive and are our recommendation.
Mobile Broadband Plans
The one thing we haven’t seen any of the resellers on Telstra’s network offering yet are data only plans, designed for use in Pocket WiFi Hotspot devices or similar.
That’s not to say that we won’t see things like that in the future, however if you want a data only service at the moment, the only option is to go direct to Telstra.
Why Would I Choose A Telstra Reseller?
Here are the five main reasons that people choose to go with a MVNO or Reseller, rather than direct with a network operator.
1. If you’re already using the Telstra network and are happy with the coverage that you’re getting, then switching to one of the resellers on their network should provide you with the same coverage at a discounted price. Just note that in some remote areas like mine sites, only Telstra Retail and Boost customers will have access, while Telstra Wholesale customers will not. But, not to worry – all of these options don’t require you to lock in to a 24 month contract, so you can always change providers if you find that you can’t get Telstra Wholesale coverage in a location that you need it.
2. Network resellers have much lower overhead costs, as they don’t have the large operating expenses that go along with running a mobile network. They also tend not to get involved in large scale advertising campaigns like Telstra do, which makes their operating costs lower, and they can pass these savings on to you in the form of better prices.
3. Most MVNOs are relatively small companies, with customer bases of 200,000 or less. As a result, you will tend to get a lot better levels of customer support from these companies than you may get with one of the big three network operators. The exception to this, of course, is Lycamobile who operate in 19 countries and are a global leader in the MVNO space.
4. Mobile Number Portability means that you are able to keep your current mobile number when you switch providers, making it a lot easier to switch to another provider and get a better deal, and not have the headaches associated with giving everyone a new number.
5. Finally, if you’re not with Telstra or a Telstra network reseller at the moment, you may find that your mobile will work better, in more places, when you switch to the Telstra network with one of these MVNOs.