Belong Mobile Review: Budget BYO on the Telstra Network
What is Belong Mobile?
In the early days of the NBN rollout, an already frustrated broadband consumer base was becoming increasingly confused by the additional fees and jargon they had to contend with when Internet Service Providers (ISPs) began introducing speed tiers into the conversation. Telstra, a brand not typically associated with the words “affordable” and “simple” introduced its subsidiary broadband provider for the budget-conscious, Belong. Belong quickly became one of the most well-known names in the growing list of budget NBN providers and a few years later, in 2017, Telstra decided to expand its discount subsidiary by offering access to the Telstra wholesale network via Belong Mobile.
In 2018, there are plenty of prepaid and postpaid mobile providers that take advantage of the Telstra Wholesale Network, such as ALDI Mobile, Boost Mobile and Southern Mobile, and they all offer impeccable value on the Telstra network. So does Belong’s budget-friendly broadband mindset translate to its menagerie of mobile plans? Is it even your best option as a Telstra MVNO? Let’s take a look in our Belong Mobile review.
Belong Mobile Review
In our Australian mobile provider analysis, Belong Mobile came out as one of the top providers with a 4 out 5-star rating overall. This was thanks mostly to Belong’s 4.5-star score for data per dollar value but being on Telstra’s wholesale network contributed heavily to the provider’s high overall score. Out of all the Telstra wholesale network providers, Belong was second only to ALDI Mobile (which offers some top-notch prepaid deals).
Belong was only let down by its lack of additional features like its lack of travel pack bolt-ons and data sharing.
Who will Belong Mobile suit?
ALDI Mobile might be the best prepaid provider on the Telstra wholesale network but Belong is by far the best postpaid provider.
Most notable is Belong’s top tier offer, the Large 30GB plan. Which, not only includes a good chunk of data for the price but also includes unlimited data banking, meaning you don’t lose any unused data at the end of the month. To top it off, Belong’s top plan includes unlimited calls and texts to select international numbers with no long-term commitment whatsoever.
So if you’re a regional customer or someone with spotty Optus/Vodafone coverage and you’d prefer the peace of mind offered by a postpaid plan, you can’t go past Belong.
Who won’t Belong Mobile suit?
As a SIM-only provider, Belong won’t hook you up with a new iPhone if you drop your old one down an elevator shaft. Belong’s plans are BYO (Bring Your Own) phone; meaning you already have a phone you’re happy with before you sign up, or you plan on purchasing one outright.
As far as coverage goes, Telstra’s wholesale network covers most Australians but its network footprint isn’t quite as broad as Telstra’s main network so there could be a few select Aussies who are better off on Telstra (and probably better off with a Blue Tick phone).
Belong also doesn’t offer any prepaid plans which is fine because we’ve got ALDI Mobile; which provides similar value in prepaid space.
Belong Mobile Phone Plans
Just like its small suite of broadband plans, Belong offers only a handful of straightforward SIM plans. There are three options in total, with the option to add an international SIM pack on the bottom tiers. Here’s what Belong Mobile is currently offering.
Does Belong Mobile offer prepaid plans?
Unfortunately, no. If you’re after a cheap prepaid deal on the Telstra network, we’d recommend ALDI Mobile, Boost Mobile or Lycamobile. Here are the most popular plans from prepaid Telstra MVNOs according to WhistleOut’s comparison engine.
Belong vs Telstra
The coverage you get on Belong isn’t quite as comprehensive as Telstra’s but it is close and the difference in coverage is a small price to pay for Belong’s cheaper plans. It’s no secret that Telstra customers have always paid a premium price for premium coverage and Belong’s second-best network is a godsend for rural customers looking to save a fair chunk of cash on their phone bills.
Here’s a small selection of Belong and Telstra SIM plans with 10GB of data or more compared side-by-side.
Who owns Belong Mobile?
Unlike Boost Mobile, which is a privately owned telco that partnered with Telstra, Belong is owned and operated by Telstra as a subsidiary brand. Rather than muddy its own range of plans with budget-friendly options, Telstra launched Belong as a way to sell affordable access to the NBN and Telstra’s 4G network under a friendlier moniker.
What network does Belong Mobile use?
As we mentioned above, Belong uses Telstra’s wholesale network. The wholesale 4G network isn’t quite as widespread as Telstra’s main network but it’s still larger than Optus and Vodafone. Use the slider on the map below to see the difference between Telstra’s main network and the wholesale network.
Belong Mobile coverage
Belong Mobile Customer Care
There are three ways you can get in touch with Belong’s customer care team, by phone, live chat and logging a support ticket. The telco’s website suggests the fastest way to get a mobile issue revolved is by lodging a support ticket on the site’s support page.
Belong Mobile Contact Number
If submitting a support ticket isn’t an option for you, you can get Belong on the blower by dialling 1300 235 664 (e.g. 1300 BELONG). Again, the website suggests this isn’t the fastest way to get an issue resolved but if you have a complicated issue or request, you can’t beat a good ‘ol fashioned phone call.
Belong Mobile Online Chat
If you’d rather not speak to somebody on the phone, you can always get in touch with Belong’s customer care team using the website’s live chat feature. This can also be accessed on Belong’s contact page (in the top nav, next to ‘Support’).
The live chat service is the fastest way to get in touch with a real person without waiting on the phone. We were impressed by the support team’s response time in live chat.