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Mate mobile review: Affordable Telstra network plans

You can be good, better, great, best, or soul mates with a correspondingly named Mate plan.

Anula Wiwatowska
Nov 06, 2023
Icon Time To Read3 min read
Quick verdict
Mate’s SIM Only mobile plans offer competitive pricing on the Telstra 4G and 3G mobile network, but not a whole lot in the way of meaningful perks. A 100GB data bank as well as international talk and text are a nice touch, but the other features come with disclaimers.
pro
Pros
pro Great value on the Telstra network
pro International talk and text
con
Cons
con Light on perks
con No unmetered Tidal streaming

Mate Mobile: Plans and prices

The price is right, mate.

Mate is offers both NBN and mobile plans, so if you want to know about how it fares as an NBN provider, check out our Mate NBN review here. For all things Mate mobile, though, you’re in the right spot. Instead of offering mobile plans across SIM-only, prepaid and postpaid plans, Mate simplifies things by sticking exclusively to SIM-only plan, all of which include unlimited calls, SMS and MMS to Australian numbers.

The simplicity stops there though.

Mate Mobile operates on the Telstra wholesale network, and like all Telstra-powered providers the plans are messy. Every plan gets 3G and 4G access, while some more expensive options also get 5G.

Regardless of the network generation, all plans (bar one) have download speeds capped at 100Mbps. The only exception to this is most expensive 5G plan, which has a download speed cap of 250Mbps.

Here is a quick summary of how Mate's plans and their speed caps look:

Plan
Monthly Price
Data
Speed cap
5G
Good Mates$2512GB100MbpsNo
Better Mates$3025GB100MbpsNo
Great Mates$3532GB100MbpsYes
Best Mates$4050GB100MbpsYes
Brilliant Mates$4565GB100MbpsYes
Soul Mates$55150GB250MbpsYes

Starting at the Good Mates plan, Mate's cheapest plan is about on par with other telcos on the Telstra network.

While $25 for 12GB of data is decent for a Telstra MVNO, there are cheaper providers, some of which offer more data. Check out how the Good Mates plan fares in comparison to SIM Only plans with at least 12GB of data below.

Things start to improve as you up the budget. The monthly data allowance goes up, but so too does the value in comparison to other providers. Mate’s Better Mates plan, for instance, costs $30 a month for 25GB of data. Once again this is comparable to other Telstra MVNOs, but less than what you'd get with an Optus or Vodafone provider.

While Optus MVNOs like Spintel, Circles.Life and Moose Mobile beat Mate on price, the Better Mates plan is still a solid option for those looking for Telstra coverage. There are also some bundling incentives if you're in the market for an NBN plan, but more on that later.

Below are the cheapest mobile plans in our database with at least 25GB per month included data.

From Great Mates and upward you'll get 5G included in your plan, however all these plans have speed caps of either 100Mbps or 250Mbps. Realistically, the 5G tags are mostly just marketing.

4G connections will hit the 100Mbps download in most metro areas, so if you are looking at a 5G plan thinking it will get you faster speeds that probably won't be the case. The data-to-dollar value is much better when you get in to these more expensive plans however, so if you're a larger data user then they are worth considering.

Here are all the Mate Mobile's 5G enabled plans:

For reference, here are the most popular 5G mobile plans in our database this week, with at least 30GB data.

Mate Mobile: Features and perks

Only a couple of notable features here.

The main reason to buy a Mate plan is because of competitively priced SIM-only access to the Telstra mobile network. As for other perks, the persistent one is $10 off your Mate NBN bill if you happen to be signed up to one of the provider’s plans. For reference, check out Mate’s four fixed-line NBN plans below.

All Mate Mobile plans come with a 500GB or 1000GB data bank, which is great for squirreling away GB for later months. Plus all Mate plans except for the cheapest one come with unlimited international talk and text to 15 selected countries. Here’s the full list of the 15 countries you can talk to and text with on a Mate SIM-only plan:

  • Canada
  • China
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hong Kong
  • India
  • Ireland
  • Malaysia
  • New Zealand
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Thailand
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Vietnam

Mate Mobile: Customer support and satisfaction

Average support but great customer satisfaction.

If things go wrong or you have questions, support is effectively relegated to online-only help for Mate mobile. There isn’t a customer forum or blog to use, but you can seek help via self-serve online support (via AI chat), an online chat service, email support, or you’ll find responsive assistance on X (Twitter) or Facebook.

Customer satisfaction for Mate is incredibly high according to user scores on Product Review (4.3/5) and but it is low on Trustpilot (1.8/5) where the mobile and NBN customers are combined. While it is a mix of reviews in relation to Mate NBN and mobile products, this level of customer satisfaction is second only to the equal-first customer satisfaction for Moose Mobile and numobile.

Which mobile network does MATE use?

Mate Mobile uses the Telstra wholesale network, which covers more than 98.8% of the Australian population. The wholesale network now includes 3G, 4G, and 5G coverage.

Is MATE as good as Telstra?

When it comes to coverage, Mate Mobile has less overall coverage than Telstra proper does as the provider uses the Telstra Wholesale network. Telstra covers 99.5% of the Australian population, while the wholesale network - Mate included - covers 98.8%. This is less than Telstra obviously, but more than the Optus or Vodafone networks.

Cost wise however, Mate Mobile offers better value than Telstra.

Can I use MATE overseas?

No you can't use your MATE SIM card overseas. Mate Mobile does not have international roaming options, so you simply won't be able to use your SIM outside of Australia.

Anula Wiwatowska
Written by
Anula Wiwatowska
Anula is the Content and Social Media Editor within the Reviews.org extended universe. Working in the tech space since 2020, she covers phone and internet plans, gadgets, smart devices, and the intersection of technology and culture. Anula was a finalist for Best Feature Writer at the 2022 Consensus Awards, and an eight time finalist across categories at the IT Journalism Awards. Her work contributed to WhistleOut's Best Consumer Coverage win in 2023.

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