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Boost vs Telstra: Mobile plans compared

Outside of Telstra, Boost Mobile is the only other telco to operate on the full Telstra network. But even with cheaper prices, is Boost best?

Nathan Lawrence
Jul 13, 2023
Icon Time To Read4 min read

The Telstra vs Boost Mobile showdown is like a battle between siblings. In the blue corner, there’s Big T. And in the orange corner, there’s smaller upstart Boost Mobile. If I wanted to be dramatic, I’d say there can be only one, but the reality is there’s plenty of space for both telcos. Plus, Telstra and Boosts have different areas where they excel over the other.

Before we delve into the Telstra vs Boost comparison, have a gander at a daily updating list of popular mobile plans from our comparison engine.

Boost vs Telstra mobile plans: Price and data

Telstra offers its customers SIM Only (Upfront) and Prepaid plans, while Boost Mobile operates exclusively with Prepaid plans. Here’s a look at the cheapest Prepaid plans from Boost and Telstra, both of which expire after 28 days.

For comparison, here’s a daily updating list of Prepaid plans from our database with at least 15GB of data.

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Telstra and Boost Prepaid starter packs
As is the trend with Prepaid telcos, Boost and Telstra also offer Prepaid starter packs. At the time of writing, both cost $12 for seven-day plans. Boost’s Prepaid starter pack comes with more data, though: 5GB vs Telstra’s 2GB. The better value comes from Boost and Telstra Prepaid recharges, which are represented by the bulk of the Prepaid plans on this page.

Next up are two more 28-day Prepaid plans with 30GB from Boost and 40GB from Telstra.

Compare those to the popular Prepaid plans from our comparison engine with at least 30GB of data.

The next 28-day plan from Boost and Telstra comes with 45GB and 70GB, respectively, with the cheaper option coming from Boost.

And here’s a look at popular Prepaid plans from our database with at least 40GB of data.

That’s the last of the Telstra 28-day Prepaid plans but Boost Mobile also has another one with 90GB of data.

Now it’s on to the long-expiry Prepaid plans. Telstra offers two six-month Prepaid plans. The first only includes 350MB of data, but the other comes with 70GB of data (below).

Boost and Telstra also offer 12-month Prepaid plans, which include 160GB and 165GB, respectively.

For comparison, below is a daily updating list of popular long-expiry Prepaid plans from our comparison engine.

Boost also has another 12-month Prepaid plan with 260GB of data.

For price-to-data value, Boost’s Prepaid plans take the cake over Telstra’s.

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Data rollover
Telstra and Boost both offer data rollover for their Prepaid mobile plans albeit not for their long-expiry ones. For Telstra, there’s continuous data rollover with a 200GB bank on seven-day and 28-day Prepaid plans. Boost offers data rollover on its 28-day plans without a bank limit.

Boost vs Telstra mobile plans: Speeds

Your max potential plan speeds are determined by the Prepaid plan you choose from Telstra or Boost. For Telstra, most of its Prepaid plans have a 150Mbps download speed cap on Telstra 4G and 5G. The only exception is the priciest 28-day plan, which includes uncapped download speeds.

For Boost, it’s a mostly similar affair. Most of Boost’s Prepaid plans have a familiar 150Mbps download speed cap. But the 45GB Prepaid plan has a 250Mbps download speed cap while the 90GB plan has uncapped download speeds.

Boost vs Telstra mobile plans: Coverage

Boost is the only Telstra mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) that has bragging rights to accessing the full Telstra network. This means both Telstra and Boost customers use Australia’s largest mobile network, which offers coverage to 99.4% of the population. Use the interactive map below for an indication of Telstra 4G and 5G coverage in Australia.

Boost vs Telstra mobile plans: Handsets

As a Prepaid provider, Boost doesn’t offer any Postpaid plans that bundle a new handset with a mobile plan. If you don’t want a brand-new smartphone, though, you can always buy a refurbished iPhone from Boost. Additionally, Boost lets customers bundle select refurbished mobile phones with 12-month Prepaid plans.

Conversely, Telstra offers SIM Only and Postpaid mobile plans that let customers bundle a new mobile phone with a Telstra Upfront plan. Check out some popular mobile phones that you can pair with a Telstra plan below.

Boost vs Telstra mobile plans: International calls and roaming

All Boost plans have international inclusions for standard calls and text. The Boost 28-day Prepaid plans come with 300 minutes of standard calls to 30 selected countries, plus 300 standard texts to any country in the world. Sign up to a Boost 12-month Prepaid plan for either 1,200 minutes of standard calls and 1,200 standard texts to any country or 3,600 minutes and 3,600 standard texts.

Telstra Prepaid international inclusions change based on the plan. The seven-day starter pack comes with 100 texts to any country. Here’s how the other Telstra Prepaid plans look in terms of international call inclusions alongside 100 texts to any country:

Recharge amount
Prepaid duration
Zone 1 countries
Zone 2 countries
Zone 3 countries
28 days300 minutes60 minutes5 minutes
28 days500 minutes100 minutes10 minutes
28 days1,000 minutes150 minutes15 minutes
28 days1,500 minutes250 minutes20 minutes
6 months3,000 minutes350 minutes50 minutes
12 months6,000 minutes800 minutes100 minutes

Telstra roaming costs are based on whether you’re visiting New Zealand ($5) vs a Zone 2 or Zone 3 country ($10 apiece). New Zealand and Zone 2 countries include 1GB of data as well as unlimited calls and texts per day. The $10 daily cost to Zone 3 countries only covers unlimited calls and SMS. More than 70 countries are supported by Telstra international roaming, and it costs $10 per extra 1GB of top-up data.

Boost offers Small, Medium and Large international roaming add-ons. Small costs $20 for 1GB and has a three-day expiry, plus 15 minutes of calls and 15 texts. The Medium plan costs $30 for 3GB with 30 minutes of calls and 30 texts with a seven-day expiry. Finally, Boost’s Large international roaming add-on has a 14-day expiry with 5GB of data for $40, plus 60 minutes of calls and 60 texts. All three international roaming add-ons are available in 40 countries.

Boost vs Telstra mobile plans: Contracts and extras

Prepaid plans don’t tend to be big on contracts or extras. Telstra and Boost aren’t exceptions to this norm. On the contracts front, don’t expect any for a Telstra or Boost Prepaid plan. As for extras, Boost doesn’t have any. Telstra Prepaid customers can sign up to the Telstra Plus program, which offers a rewards store, plus some ticket-based deals: cheap movies, presales for events and discounted sports matches.

Boost vs Telstra mobile plans: Which is better?

If you want a decent chunk of Prepaid data at a reasonable price, Boost is the better choice, especially because it offers the same coverage as Telstra. However, you might consider Telstra over Boost if you want more extras.

Boost vs Telstra frequently asked questions

Boost is privately owned but it operates on the full Telstra network, including 4G and 5G access.
While Boost Mobile is the only Telstra MVNO with full access to the full Telstra network, Telstra mobile plans are pricier and have more inclusions. Telstra also offers SIM Only plans while Boost is exclusively a Prepaid telco.
Yes, Boost reception is the same as Telstra because both offer services via the full Telstra mobile network, which offers coverage for 99.4% of Australians, including Telstra 4G and Telstra 5G.
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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