The best mobile phone plans in Australia (February 2024)

If you’re after a mobile phone plan that’s SIM-only or prepaid data, has a lot of data or a little, comes with a new handset or cutting-edge 5G speeds, we’ve got you covered.

Best value mobile plan
Southern Phone
Southern Phone Medium SIM-only Plan
3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5
Starts at
$20
/mo
Data
50GB
🔥Deal
20% off for the first 3 months
Typical monthly cost
$25
Best cheap mobile plan
Spintel
Spintel $22 Mobile Plan
3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5
Starts at
$14
/mo
Data
25GB
🔥Deal
36% off for the first 6 months
Typical monthly cost
$22
Best iPhone plan deal
Optus
$49 Optus Choice Plus Plan
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
Starts at
$49
/mo
Data
30GB
🔥Feature
No excess data charges (1.5Mbps)
Cost with iPhone 15
$90.62/mth
Best big-data mobile plan
Moose Mobile
Moose 28.80 SIM Only
3.8 out of 5 stars
3.75
Starts at
$28.80
/mo
Data
100GB
🔥Deal
22% off for the first 12 months
Typical monthly cost
$36.80
Best prepaid mobile plan
TPG
TPG 45GB Mobile Plan
3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5
Starts at
$15
/mo
Data
45GB
🔥Deal
50% off for the first 6 recharges
Typical monthly cost
$30
Show more picks
Nathan Lawrence
Feb 15, 2024
bullet11 min read

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This page is dedicated to the three main kinds of mobile phone plans. It covers some of the best SIM-only mobile plans, a selection of the best prepaid mobile plans, and it also caters to those in the market for a new iPhone 15.

We track more than 100 mobile plans in our comparison engine from dozens of Aussie telcos. In terms of costs, you can nab a cheap mobile plan for around $10 or go beyond $50 if you’re after a whole lot of . Expect to pay around $100 per month to pair a postpaid mobile plan with a shiny new flagship mobile phone.

Scroll on to discover the best mobile plans for this month.

Best value SIM-only mobile phone plan

Southern Phone Medium SIM-only Plan

🔥 Deal: 20% off monthly price for the first 3 months. 

How we chose this plan:

  • We ranked SIM-only mobile plans with at least 30GB of base data (capped at $40 per month) then used dollar-to-data comparisons to find the best value. More widespread networks, plan features and our in-depth provider schema are used to settle tie-breaks.
pro
Pros
pro 50GB of data
pro Discounted initial pricing
pro $50 international call credit
con
Cons
con No Optus 5G
con No international roaming
con eSIM not supported

Based on our experiences and research, most Australian mobile users will comfortably get by with 30GB of data each month. That’s the data minimum we start with for plan comparisons in this category, with credit given to plans that have discounted pricing and great dollar-to-data value.

This month, the Southern Phone Medium SIM Only Plan is our top pick. Why? The three months of discounted pricing helps: $20 instead of the usual $25 monthly fee. Get in by the 8th of April 2024 to score the cheaper pricing. While users can’t access Optus 5G speeds, we do like that 50GB is enough to suit most monthly data needs. For comparison, consider two 40GB alternatives: the iiNet Mobile 40GB Plan or Kogan Mobile’s Medium Monthly Plan.

How does this mobile phone plan compare?

Compare the winner above with these popular SIM-only plans below that don’t have initial pricing beyond $40 and have at least 30GB.

Photograph of a woman with pink hair using her SIM-only plan on her smartphone

The best SIM Only plans in Australia

Your one-stop shop for the best SIM Only plans in Australia.

Best cheap SIM-only mobile phone plan

Spintel $22 Mobile Plan

🔥 Deal: 36% off monthly price for the first 6 months.

How we chose this plan:

  • We ranked SIM-only mobile plans with at least 10GB of base data (capped at $25 per month) then used dollar-to-data comparisons to find the best value. More widespread networks, plan features and our in-depth provider schema are used to settle tie-breaks.
pro
Pros
pro 25GB of data
pro Cheap promo pricing
pro Great first-year value
con
Cons
con No Optus 5G plans
con No international calls
con eSIM not supported

If you find that you’re regularly falling short of your monthly data allocation, it’s worth considering a cheaper SIM-only mobile plan. For light users or people whose phones are almost always connected to WiFi, there’s bucks to be saved with a plan that has between 10GB and 30GB of monthly data.

With that in mind, the top pick this month is the Spintel $22 Mobile Plan, which comes with 25GB of Optus 4G data. That “$22” in the plan name is the typical price, but new customers can enjoy a $14 monthly fee for the first six months. For cheap alternatives, compare this Spintel SIM-only winner with the Optus 5G-capable Moose Mobile 16.80 SIM only plan (15GB) or the cheaper Kogan Mobile Small Monthly Plan (10GB).

How does this mobile phone plan compare?

If you want more cheap SIM-only options, the popular plans below are capped at $25 monthly fees (at least initially) and come with at least 10GB of data.

Best iPhone plan deal

iPhone 15 + $49 Optus Choice Plus Plan

🔥 Feature: No excess data charges (1.5Mbps).

How we chose this plan:

  • We use the iPhone 15 128GB model for comparisons across plans with at least 30GB of data and 36-month repayment terms. Plans are ranked in terms of monthly cost and overall value. More widespread networks, plan features and our in-depth provider schema are used to settle tie-breaks.
pro
Pros
pro 30GB Optus 5G data
pro No excess data charges
pro Sub-$100 monthly fees
con
Cons
con 30GB isn’t much for 5G speeds
con No international calls
con No data banking

If you’re in the market for a new mobile phone, you can pay off an interest-free handset over a couple of years or few with a participating telco. We use the iPhone 15 128GB as our comparison handset, but you can easily sub in any other available smartphone you prefer. The monthly cost will go up or down depending on the mobile phone, though.

This month, we’re backing the $49 Optus Choice Plus Plan as our top pick to pair with a new mobile phone. It’s a competitive $90.62 monthly fee over three years and comes with 30GB of Optus 5G data, which is a decent amount for most users. Plus, we like that there aren’t any excess data charges; go over 30GB and you’ll be instead capped at 1.5Mbps for the rest of the billing cycle.

How does this mobile phone plan compare?

Check out more popular mobile plans on 36-month repayment terms with the iPhone 15 128GB.

Best SIM-only big-data mobile phone plan

Moose Mobile 28.80 SIM Only

🔥 Deal: 22% off monthly price for the first 12 months.

How we chose this plan:

  • We ranked SIM-only mobile plans with at least 60GB of base data (capped at $55 per month) then used dollar-to-data comparisons to find the best value. More widespread networks, plan features and our in-depth provider schema are used to settle tie-breaks.
pro
Pros
pro 100GB of Optus 5G data
pro Great first-year pricing
pro 200GB data bank
con
Cons
con 100Mbps download cap
con Moderate support pathways
con eSIM not offered

We consider 30GB of data plenty of everyday users, but we double that allowance for those with heavy data needs. Big-data plans are best for people who use mobile data every day, particularly when it comes to streaming video. All of our big-data contenders are SIM-only plans with at least 60GB of data.

This month, the Moose Mobile 28.80 SIM Only plan takes out the top spot. If you’re new to Moose, you lock in great $28.80 monthly pricing for the first 12 months. It reverts to a $36.80 monthly fee if you stick around after the first year. The Moose Mobile plan comes with 100GB of data with capped 100Mbps speeds on the Optus 4G and 5G networks. There’s also 200GB of data rollover, to squirrel away spare gigabytes between months.

How does this mobile phone plan compare?

For more big-data alternatives, the SIM-only plans below don’t cost more than $55 and have at least 60GB of data.

Best prepaid mobile phone plan

TPG 45GB Mobile Plan

🔥Deal: 50% off for the first 6 recharges.

How we chose this plan:

  • We ranked 28-day to monthly prepaid mobile plans with at least 30GB of base data (capped at $40) then used dollar-to-data comparisons to find the best value. More widespread networks and our in-depth provider schema are used to settle tie-breaks.
pro
Pros
pro 45GB of Vodafone 4G data
pro Great six-month discount
pro eSIM available
con
Cons
con No Vodafone 5G support
con International calls cost extra
con No data rollover

Prepaid plans are meant for people who want full control over their mobile phone bills. For our best prepaid category, we set the data slider at 30GB but favour any plan above that minimum. Note that in prepaid terms, a ‘month’ may be an actual month, or it may be either 30-day or 28-day recharges. The fewer the monthly days, the more recharges you need per year.

This month, the TPG 45GB Mobile Plan takes out the top spot in part because it offers actual monthly recharges instead of 28 or 30 days. You’ll get 45GB of data to play with for $30 per month. New sign-ups pay half that monthly fee for the first six months, too. We also like that TPG offers eSIM support so you don’t have to wait for a physical SIM card to arrive. For even more data on the Vodafone 4G network, consider the Felix Mobile 50GB Mobile Plan, which doesn’t have excess data charges.

How does this mobile phone plan compare?

Check out these other prepaid plans with at least 30GB of data and a max $40 fee per recharge (at least initially).

Best SIM-only 5G mobile phone plan

Tangerine 150GB 5G Mobile Sim

🔥 Deal: 100% off monthly price for the first two months.

How we chose this plan:

  • We ranked 5G SIM-only mobile plans with at least 60GB of base data (capped at $60 per month) then used dollar-to-data comparisons to find the best value. More widespread networks, plan features and our in-depth provider schema are used to settle tie-breaks.
pro
Pros
pro 150GB of Telstra 5G data
pro First two months free
pro 1000GB data bank
con
Cons
con No data sharing
con Moderate support pathways
con eSIM not offered

As Australia’s 5G mobile networks continue to expand, mobile plans that support the latest mobile connectivity are becoming more common. We track more than 70 in our database, across prepaid and SIM-only plans. We lean towards SIM-only plans for this category, though, as they tend to have better perks.

This month, the Tangerine Telecom 150GB 5G Mobile SIM plan is our top pick. Get in before the end of February 2024 to score the first two months on Tangerine. Afterwards, it’s $58 a month, which is a competitive price to pay for 150GB of Telstra 5G data. While certain 5G plans are capped at 100Mbps speeds—technically the fastest speed available for 4G plans—this Tangerine winner offers up to 250Mbps download speeds, a 1,000GB data bank, eSIM support and unlimited calls to 15 dialling destinations.

How does this mobile phone plan compare?

For comparison, check out these 5G plans, which may be prepaid or SIM-only, that come with minimum 60GB and don’t cost more than $60 per month.

Popular Telstra network mobile phone plan

Tangerine 12GB Mobile SIM

🔥 Deal: 100% off monthly price for the first two months.

How we chose this plan:

  • We highlighted the most popular Telstra network SIM-only and prepaid mobile plans on the 9th of February 2024.

If you want to buy a Telstra plan, you can expect to pay a premium to access Australia’s most widespread network. Still, given the ubiquity of the Telstra network, it’s unsurprising that Telstra mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs)—other telcos that aren’t Telstra—are a popular pick for mobile users across SIM-only and prepaid plans.

At the start of the month, the Tangerine 12GB Mobile SIM was the most popular Telstra network pick in our comparison engine. New sign-ups get the first two months for free before this Tangerine plan reverts to its $22 typical monthly fee. Download speeds are capped at 100Mbps but this popular pick is eSIM-ready and comes with a 500GB data bank.

Please note the choices below may change daily based on the most popular mobile plans on the Telstra network.

How does this mobile phone plan compare?

For other popular Telstar network picks, check out these mobile plans.

Popular Optus network mobile phone plan

Catch Connect 365 Day Plan – 120GB

🔥 Deal: 21% off monthly price for the first 365 days.

How we chose this plan:

  • We highlighted the most popular Optus network SIM-only and prepaid mobile plans on the 9th of February 2024.

The Optus network isn’t quite as widespread as the Telstra network, but it still has great coverage and its MVNOs offer competitively priced plans with a decent chunk of data. Typically, popular Optus network plans may change based on whichever telco is offering the best deal at the time.

At the start of this month, the Catch Connect 365 Day Plan – 120GB was the most popular pick on the Optus network. This long-expiry prepaid plan comes with 120GB of data for a year on the Optus 4G network. New customers who sign up by the 27th of February 2024 can take $31 off the typical recharge cost.

Please note the choices below may change daily based on the most popular mobile plans on the Optus network.

How does this mobile phone plan compare?

The list below showcases the most popular prepaid and SIM-only plans on the Optus network today.

Popular Vodafone network mobile phone plan

TPG 12GB Mobile Plan

🔥 Deal: 50% off monthly price for the first 6 recharges.

How we chose this plan:

  • We highlighted the most popular Vodafone network SIM-only and prepaid mobile plans on the 9th of February 2024.

The Vodafone 4G and 5G networks aren’t as widespread as the Telstra or Optus networks. Still, the Vodafone network is available to 24 million Australians, so it’s not exactly small. Typically, SIM-only and prepaid mobile plans on the Vodafone network offer competitive pricing with a comparatively healthy amount of data.

At the start of the month, the TPG 12GB Mobile Plan was the most popular pick on our comparison engine for Vodafone plans. This TPG prepaid plan has a monthly recharge cycle and comes with 12GB of Vodafone 4G data. New customers pay $10 per month for the first six recharges, otherwise it’s $20. It’s great to see TPG supporting eSIM, too, for faster sign-up with compatible mobile phones.

Please note the choices below may change daily based on the most popular mobile plans on the Vodafone network.

How does this mobile phone plan compare?

You can see the other popular Vodafone network prepaid and SIM-only plans below.

What to look for in a mobile plan

What type of plan do you need?

The first question to answer before getting to which mobile plan is right for you is whether you’re using an existing mobile phone or want a new one. If you want a new one, you’ll either have to purchase a compatible prepaid handset or pair a SIM-only mobile plan with a new iPhone or other option. New-model mobile phones can be paid off over 24 or 36 months from participating telcos like Telstra, Optus and Vodafone.

For those happy to use their existing mobile phone, it’s either prepaid or SIM-only. Prepaid plans are great for people who want to control their spending and aren’t overly interested in perks. While prepaid plans are paid in advance of use SIM-only plans are paid at the end of a billing month (except for Telstra Upfront plans).

SIM-only plans are always monthly offerings but prepaid mobile plans have a range of durations, from a day or few to a month-ish—28 days, 30 days or an actual month—and beyond to long-expiry options for 90 days, half a year or a full 12 months. Generally, once prepaid data is exhausted, you have to recharge again, so take into account how much data you need before buying.

With SIM-only mobile plans, you’re more likely to find telcos that offer data rollover for carrying over unused data or capped plan speeds if you exhaust your max-speed allocation. Coverage is an important consideration, too. Telstra has the largest mobile network followed by Optus and Vodafone. But if you live in a populous part of Australia, the chances are good you can pick between all three.

That trio may be the respective network owners but there are dozens of telcos that use their networks to offer more competitively priced plans. Basically, you may be able to get the coverage perks of the network you want without having to pay a premium for it.

Basically every mobile plan these days comes with unlimited national talk and text but if international calls and messaging are important to you, keep an eye out for those. It’s a similar story for international roaming if you like to travel and want the option to use mobile data abroad. There are a range of other perks to help separate closely competing plans, with eSIM being one of the better ones that use a digital SIM rather than needing to wait for a physical SIM card to arrive.

icon-expertise

Our methodology

We track more SIM-only plans in our database than prepaid ones, which is why we lean more heavily on the former in terms of our categories. Generally, SIM-only plans tend to have more perks and simplified payment structures for determining first-year value thanks to monthly billing cycles.

Our categories are built to cover the most popular use cases in Australia. Everyday mobile plans are for those with typical data needs, backed by ACCC data averages and with plenty of extra gigabytes to spare. Cheap mobile plans are great for people who are constantly WiFi-connected or otherwise don’t use a lot of mobile data each month.

We also want to acknowledge the popularity of big-data plans given the prevalence of video streaming services and potentially data-intensive social media platforms. Because it’s popular for people to upgrade their mobile phones every two to three years, we wanted to include a category for them, too, using the cheapest flagship iPhone model for comparisons (given its popularity).

Prepaid plans may not be as prevalent as SIM-only options in our database, but we acknowledge their importance with a dedicated category. The same is true of 5G plans, which are becoming more popular as the mobile network owners continue to expand their respective 5G networks. Speaking of network owners, our final categories are there to acknowledge the popularity of the big three—Telstra, Optus and Vodafone—while simultaneously highlighting there are more telcos operating on those Australian mobile networks.

As for specific plan winners, we typically use data minimums and monthly price caps to create a shortlist of contenders. At the start of each month, we check for new potential category winners, even if there’s a long-running promotional period that may make a telco’s plan seem like an ongoing shoo-in. Contenders are separated from victors by evaluating first-year value and dollar-to-data pricing, plus we also rely on an in-depth schema for the prepaid and SIM-only providers we track.

Frequently asked questions about mobile phone plans

There are dozens of mobile providers in Australia, all of which operate on either the Telstra, Optus or Vodafone mobile networks. We track more than 30 of the most popular Australian telcos to offer a better selection of options when comparing mobile plans.
It’s tricky to pin down the best mobile service provider in Australia without considering your specific needs and the coverage requirements of where you live. Mobile plans on the Telstra network have the best coverage. Optus network plans are generally a great mix of price, data and inclusions. And Vodafone network plans are among the comparatively cheapest. There are dozens of mobile providers on those three networks, though, so you can save money by avoiding the big three.
The cheapest way to get a mobile phone plan is to go with a prepaid plan. Long-expiry prepaid plans are a cheap way to lock in a competitive price for a year with a chunk of annual data that you can spread out over 12 months.
For the cheapest monthly mobile plan costs, it’s best to hang onto your iPhone or other smartphone for as long as possible. That way, you can switch between prepaid or SIM-only plans without having to worry about a handset repayment fee each month. That said, using interest-free payments is a practical way to pay off a new handset over 12, 24 or 36 months if you’d rather not pay the full cost of a mobile phone upfront.
Nathan Lawrence
Written by
Nathan Lawrence
Nathan Lawrence has been banging out passionate tech and gaming words for more than 11 years. These days, you can find his work on outlets like IGN, STACK, Fandom, Red Bull and AusGamers. Nathan adores PC gaming and the proof of his first-person-shooter prowess is at the top of a Battlefield V scoreboard.

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