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The best family mobile phone plans for sharing the love (and data)
Family mobile bundles and data-sharing options for you and yours.
Once upon a time, Australian mobile and broadband providers would bend over backwards for your patronage, offering great TV bundles and discounts for multiple plans under one account. These days, bundles and family plans are far less common but there are a handful of providers still catering to you and yours. Even with providers that don’t offer family plans, there are still ways you save with options like data sharing from Telstra, Optus and Vodafone.
- : ALDI Mobile Family Plans
- : Optus Family Plan
- : Telstra Mobile Data Sharing and Bundles for Families
- : Vodafone Mobile Bundle Discounts
- : Belong Mobile
- : Woolworths Mobile
- : Yomojo
Do telcos offer family plans?
Yes, but every provider’s definition of a family plan is different. There are family plans where you get multiple SIMs with shared inclusions for a single cost (e.g. ALDI Mobile and Optus) then there are “family” plans, which are just your standard data sharing options repackaged as a family offer. So while we're talking bona fide family plans here, we'll also touch on the next best thing offered by alternative providers. And if you're looking for the best phone plans for kids, specifically, you can read more about that here.
Before we take a closer look at your options, here's a breakdown of the top five most popular plans with at least 20GB of data that allow data sharing or data gifting.
Family mobile plans
Currently, only ALDI Mobile and Optus offer unique family plan arrangements where you can bundle multiple devices and phone numbers under a single plan with shared usage and costs.
Best family mobile plan
ALDI Mobile family plans
As one of our most highly recommended Telstra MVNOs (Mobile Virtual Network Operator), ALDI Mobile gets a head-start by offering outstanding prepaid value on the Telstra wholesale network. It also so happens to be one of the only providers offering true family plan discounts.
There are three family plans offered by ALDI Mobile at $45 for 44GB and two users, $80 for 88GB and four users and $110 for 132GB and six users. If you do the math, those deals are very decent.
The $45 Family Plan works out at $22.50 for 22GB per month per user, the $80 Family Plan works out at $20 for 22GB per user and the $110 plan works out at $18.33 for 22GB per user.
Each plan includes a total data pool that each user shares. So if one family member has a stronger appetite for data than the others, it will be deducted from the overall family data pool (rather than an excess charge or top-up fee). For example, on the $80 plan, if two users only use roughly 8GB per month, that leaves 80GB for the other two (40GB each).
The account owner can also set individual usage limits if one member of the family is using more than their fair share of data.
Take a look at the most popular individual phone plans from ALDI Mobile to compare them against the family value plans.
Is coverage your biggest concern?
ALDI Mobile is just one of the many affordable MVNOs using the Telstra network. Check out our guide below for a breakdown of every Telstra MVNO and their offerings.
Next best family mobile plan
Optus Mobile Family Plan
Optus offers a single family plan for four users at $165 per month ($41.25 each). It comes with 320GB of shared data (80GB each, evenly divided), unlimited talk and text to standard Australian numbers and includes access to the McAfee Safe Family app (which usually costs $8.99 per month). The closest comparable plan from Optus is the $49 Optus Choice plan, which offers 30GB per month. Not only is the Family Plan cheaper per user, but each user also gets over double the amount of monthly data than they would on the standalone Optus Choice plan.
Optus also offers a few other perks and options for families. Optus Pause is a feature available through the MyOptus app that lets you pause connectivity to select devices on your network (which sounds like a good option for family movie night) and when it’s time to add another SIM to your litter, you can simply add another mobile SIM for an additional $29 per month. This doesn't get you any extra data, however, so you'll be sharing your total pool between five.
Here’s a quick summary of the most popular individual Optus plans for comparison:
In a sense, yes. The plans listed below from Telstra, Optus and Vodafone all offer some variation of what's commonly called 'endless data'. Endless data plans offer an allotted amount "max speed" data (your included data amount). Once you exceed that amount of data, you can continue to use your smartphone's internet connection but your download speeds crawl to a painfully slow 1.5Mbps on most plans.
However, there's a new provider on the block, felix mobile, which offers endless data with a generous 20Mbps speed cap at just $35 per month. That said, each member of the family would need to have their own individual felix plan, which could become costly very quickly.
Data sharing for families
When there’s a will there’s a way and in the case of providers that don’t offer family mobile plans, the way is through data sharing. Telstra, Vodafone, Woolworths Mobile and Belong might not offer traditional family mobile plans but they do offer data sharing across devices on the same account.
Telstra mobile data sharing for families and bundle plans
Telstra’s current range of Upfront SIM plans all offer data sharing. Essentially, that means you can sign up for a big data plan and multiple cheaper plans to access one combined pool of data. For example, say one family member signs up for the 180GB $68 Upfront plan and two others sign up for the 40GB $58 Upfront plan. That gives you 260GB to share with the family for $184 per month in total. It’s not cheap but Telstra still charges a premium for its market-leading network coverage (which is even more valuable now that Telstra’s 5G rollout has begun).
In addition, Telstra customers on the $68 per month Upfront plan or better can add up to five discounted plans to their account. You can pick between a $47 per month mobile plan with 15GB, or a $10 per month mobile broadband plan with 10GB.
On the face of it, $47 for 15GB might not seem great, but if you want to keep your whole family with Telstra, the maths checks out.
Telstra's cheapest Upfront plan is currently $58 per month and includes 40GB of data. It's also speed capped to 250Mbps. If you were paying for two, you'd be looking at $116 per month with a shared data pool of 80GB.
Alternatively, if you take up the $68 per month plan and the bundle plan, you're looking at $115 per month with a shared data allowance of 195GB. You're also not subject to the speed cap. While this is only a small saving, you get more than twice the data to share. This trend continues even when you max out the number of bundle plans you add.
Customers on bundle plans can also get a new device. Just note that if you cancel or downgrade the $68 per month Upfront plan, you'll stop being eligible for bundles.
Vodafone Mobile data sharing and bundle savings
For Australia’s premium budget telco Vodafone, the data-sharing system is almost the same as Telstra’s with one key difference: Vodafone offers discounts for multiple services on one account.
For example, four $40 SIM plans on the same account results in a total of 160GB to share across each device. But thanks to Vodafone’s Bundle and Save system, each of the four plans would be discounted by 15%, costing $34 per month each ($136 in total). $136 for 160GB is great value.
Vodafone’s Bundle and Save discounts are available on postpaid phone, tablet, and mobile broadband plans. Here’s every Bundle and Save discount through Vodafone:
- 2 plans: 5% off each plan
- 3 plans: 10% off each plan
- 4 plans: 15% off each plan
- 5 or more plans: 20% off each plan
Note that the discount doesn't apply to handset repayments.
Belong Mobile data gifting
Belong doesn't offer data sharing, but has data gifting. If you have spare data, you can gift to it any other customer on Belong, whether they're a friend or family member.
Even better, Belong allows unlimited data banking - and that includes gifted data. So, theoretically, if one person in the family didn't use much data at all, they could either send it to another family member or keep it for a rainy day.
Belong now has access to the Telstra 5G network, but speeds are capped to 100Mbps on all of its mobile plans.
Best data sharing plan on the Telstra network
There's also Woolworths Mobile. Yet another Telstra MVNO, Woolies doesn’t offer family plans or bundles per se but it does offer great value on the Telstra wholesale network and data gifting on all plans of up to 50% of your included data. However, data can only be gifted in 1GB increments and cannot be regifted. Still, anything unused will rollover into your 500GB data bank for future use, which is a bonus.
Woolworths Mobile also offers 10% off your grocery shop (up to $500) once per month. That’s a potential saving of $50 per month depending on the size of your monthly shop.
Woolworths Mobile's overall value makes it a constant front-runner in our recommendations for the best mobile phone plans every month.
Optus MVNO Yomojo offers a discount if you take up multiple prepaid plans from it. Discounts start at 5% with two plans, and go as high as 15% with six plans.
Here's the full breakdown:
- 2 plans: 5% off each plan
- 3 plans: 7.5% off each plan
- 4 plans: 10% off each plan
- 5 plans: 12.5% off each plan
- 6 plans: 15% off each plan
Data is not shared between SIMs.