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Mate mobile review

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

4 out of 5 stars
  • pro
    Great value on the Telstra network
  • pro
    International talk and text
  • con
    Light on perks
Nathan Lawrence
January 09, 2021
3 min read

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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 Great value on the Telstra network
pro International talk and text
con Light on perks
con No unmetered Tidal streaming

Mate mobile value for money

The price is right, mate.

Mate is another one of those dual provider/telco dealios, 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.

Mate operates on the Telstra 4G and 3G mobile wholesale network (no 5G at this stage, unfortunately), which services an impressive 98.8% of the Australian population, Mate is off to a great start. Prices are great for a Telstra network MVNO, which start at $20 a month for 5GB of data and stretch all the way up to $40 a month for 40GB.

You can see Mate’s cheapest Good Mates plan below.

While $20 for 5GB 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 5GB 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 $25 a month for 18GB of data.

While Optus MVNOs like Spintel, Circles.Life and Moose Mobile beat Mate on price, the Better Mates plan is the cheapest (tied with Woolworths Mobile’s $25 SIM Only plan) to offer at least 18GB of data.

For $30 a month, you can get 28GB of data with the Great Mates plan.

There are cheaper plans from other telcos for at least that amount of data, but if you eliminate the ones with limited-time promo pricing, Mate is a great contender in the comparison.

It’s a similar story when you step up to the Best Mates plan, which costs $35 a month for 34GB of data.

Remove the plans with promotional pricing from the list below, and Mate is competitively priced for a Telstra MVNO.

Step up your budget to $40 and you score 40GB with Mate’s top Soul Mates plan.

Again, if you remove the limited-time promotional pricing, the Soul Mates plan is competitively priced for at least 40GB of data, more so given some of its perks (more on Mate mobile perks below).

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 4G and 3G 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 plans come with a 100GB data bank, which is great for squirreling away megabytes or gigabytes for later months, and 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

The only other perk of note is only relevant to Mate’s two more expensive SIM Only plans. They come with a Tidal Premium music-streaming subscription (valued at $11.99 per month), which lasts for at least 12 months unless you cancel or downgrade your Mate mobile plan ahead of that time.

On the surface, this is a great perk for high-fidelity music lovers, but considering the actual use of Tidal on either of these plans isn’t unmetered, you’re looking at chewing through around 635MB of data for every hour of HiFi lossless streaming (CD quality). While you can use your Tidal Premium subscription on home devices, which are hopefully connected to bigger or unlimited data caps, the lack of unmetered streaming holds this particular perk back from being a killer inclusion.

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 Twitter or Facebook.

Customer satisfaction for Mate is incredibly high according to user scores on Product Review (4.4/5) and Trustpilot (4.3/5). 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.

How to sign up for Mate mobile

Simply click on the ‘Go’ button next to one of the five Mate SIM Only plans below to be taken straight through to the Mate website. Click on ‘choose this plan’ to confirm the plan you’d like to have, then follow the prompts and fill out your details. A Mate SIM card will be dispatched to your address, which takes two to 10 business days to arrive. Activating your SIM is a lot faster, anywhere between 10 minutes and 24 hours, and you can bring your old number with you.

Mate mobile plans

Here’s a look at Mate’s five SIM Only mobile plans.

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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