Optus sells Prepaid, SIM Only and Postpaid mobile plans. Here’s everything you need to know about Optus mobile phone plans in Australia.
Optus Mobile plans and pricing compared
There are three mobile network providers in Australia: Telstra, Optus and Vodafone. Optus sits somewhere in the middle between the competitive pricing of Vodafone and the feature-rich, widespread coverage of Telstra. Here’s everything you need to know about Optus mobile plans in Australia.
Optus mobile quick facts
- The Optus mobile network is available to 98.5% of the Australian population, supporting 5G, 4G and 3G devices.
- Optus mobile plans are available in Prepaid, SIM Only and Postpaid options paired with a handset, which can be paid off over 12, 24 or 36 months (or bought outright).
- Optus SIM Only mobile plans have limitless data, meaning speeds are slowed to 1.5Mbps if you go over the max-speed data allowance.
- Optus SubHub has reduced pricing for Optus Sport, which features a range of soccer leagues.
What are the different types of Optus plans?
Optus offers three main options for mobile users, all of which include unlimited standard national calls and texts. The first is Optus SIM Only plans, which are feature-rich options paid at the end of each monthly billing cycle. Optus also sells Prepaid plans, which help control spending and are paid ahead of their billing cycle. Finally, there are Optus Postpaid mobile plans, which have all of the inclusions of a SIM Only plan with the option to bundle a smartphone.
Optus SIM Only mobile plans and prices
Optus sells a handful of SIM Only mobile plans. Prices start at around $50 and step closer to $100 for the priciest plan. The more you pay, the more data you get. All Optus SIM Only plans include full-speed access to the Optus 5G network in eligible areas (and with compatible 5G devices).
Optus Prepaid mobile plans and prices
There are more Optus Prepaid plans than SIM Only options, separated into Starter Packs and ongoing recharge plans. All Optus Prepaid plans include access to the Optus 5G network though there are speed restrictions. As is the trend, Optus Prepaid Starter Packs are a cheaper SIM card-inclusive option. Optus Prepaid recharges are sold with a mix of durations: seven days, 28 days, 186 days or 365 days. Pay more for extra data or long-expiry Prepaid plans.
Telstra Postpaid mobile plans and prices
The only difference between Optus SIM Only plans and Optus Postpaid plans is the latter includes a mobile phone. Optus Postpaid plan monthly prices vary based on the bundled mobile phone and the handset repayment duration.
What do you get with Optus plans?
Optus mobile plan speeds
Optus SIM Only plans don’t have speed restrictions, meaning they can reach max 4G and 5G speeds under the right conditions. In practical terms, Opensignal reports average speeds of around 55Mbps for the Optus network collectively and around 80Mbps for the Optus 5G network, specifically. Upload speeds are around 8Mbps for Optus 4G and 5G networks. Note that Optus 5G speeds have the potential to hit hundreds of megabits per second. That said, most Optus Prepaid plans are capped at either 150Mbps download speeds with the more expensive 28-day plan offering speeds up to 250Mbps.
Optus mobile plan data
Most mobile providers compete on the logic that the more you pay, the more data you get. Optus is no exception with most of its SIM Only and Prepaid mobile plans offering above the 35GB-per-month Australian median data allowance. The cheapest Optus Prepaid plan comes with less than 10GB of data but pricier SIM Only and Prepaid plans include hundreds of gigabytes of data.
Telstra mobile plan international calls
International call inclusions vary based on the Optus mobile plan you buy, though it’s simpler for SIM Only plans. Excluding the cheapest Optus SIM Only plan, every other option includes unlimited calls and SMS to 35 international locations: Brazil, Brunei, Cambodia, Canada, China, Colombia, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Romania, Singapore, South Korea, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, United Kingdom, United States of America and Vietnam.
Certain Optus Prepaid plans have international call inclusions, ranging from 400 to 1,200 minutes. It’s a smaller selection of dialling destinations, though, with these 20 available for eligible Optus Prepaid plans: Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Sweden, Thailand, United Kingdom, United States of America and Vietnam. Optus Prepaid plans don’t include international SMS.
Optus plan features
Optus mobile plans are known for a mix of competitive pricing and plan inclusions. For starters, don’t expect to pay any upfront fees for Optus SIM Only or Prepaid plans. Optus Prepaid plans typically come with limited-recharge bonus data, which is handy to store as part of up to 200GB data rollover. With eligible Optus SIM Only plans you can also share monthly data. Alternatively, donate data (up to 10GB) via SMS or the My Optus app.
Optus international roaming is a paid add-on with different options depending on whether you have a SIM Only or Prepaid plan. SIM Only users can pay a daily fee for a decent amount of data, plus standard talk and text for more than 100 eligible Zone 1 destinations. Optus Prepaid customers can choose between a one-day or seven-day roaming pack, which includes data as well as a number of texts and talk minutes to Zone 1 destinations.
Here’s a list of the eligible Zone 1 countries: Albania, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Fiji, Finland, France, French Polynesia, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Greenland, Guam, Guernsey, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Isle of Man, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jersey, Kazakhstan, Korea, Republic of Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macau, Macedonia, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Moldova, Montenegro, Myanmar, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Northern Marianas, Norway, Pakistan, Palestine, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Romania, Russian Federation, Western Samoa, San Marino, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor, Tonga, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, Virgin Islands, Vanuatu, Vatican City and Vietnam.
Optus also offers eSIM for its SIM Only and Prepaid customers. As long as you have a compatible mobile phone, eSIM allows you to forego a physical SIM card when you sign up for an Optus mobile plan. Customers also have access to Optus SubHub, which lets users add participating streaming partners and, potentially, discounts for multiple services. Optus Sport is also a paid add-on for customers, which offers access to global football leagues, including Premier League, Super League, LALIGA and others.
Optus mobile phones
Optus offers a range of mobile phones for Prepaid and Postpaid (SIM Only) customers. If you’re after a flagship smartphone, Optus Postpaid plans let you choose from a range of brands, including Apple iPhone, Samsung Galaxy and Google Pixel. Certain mobile phones are available to purchase outright; alternatively, opt for 12-month, 24-month or 36-month interest-free handset repayment terms. You can still swap plans or even switch telcos with an Optus Postpaid plan as long as you pay out what’s left on the handset repayments.
Different smartphone colours and storage sizes are available for eligible products, and Optus also offers free express postage for your mobile phone. Optus also has a 5G smartphone price-match guarantee if you find a cheaper handset price elsewhere.
Optus Prepaid mobile phones are comparatively cheaper handsets that are purchased outright. Prices range from under $100 to under $300, with options that include Optus-branded mobile phones, Nokia, Samsung and Motorola handsets.
Optus coverage map
The Optus mobile network is the second largest in Australia, just behind Telstra. It uses a mix of 5G, 4G and 3G networks for cellular activity and is collectively available to 98.5% of Australians. The Optus 5G network covers 1.4 million Australian homes. Use the interactive map below to see how Optus coverage looks in terms of 5G, 4G and 3G networks. Untick any of those network boxes if you just want to see a particular network or two. Note that Optus is ending 3G services on its network in September 2024.
How to switch to Optus
Switching telcos in Australia is a straightforward process. If you’re not an Optus customer but want to sign up for an Optus SIM Only mobile plan, follow these steps:
- Browse and choose the Optus mobile plan that’s right for you. You can optionally add a mobile phone. Use the ‘Go to Site’ button (if available) to go directly to the Optus website.
- Click on the yellow ‘Select Plan’ button beneath your chosen Optus mobile plan to confirm it, then tick the corresponding radial option based on whether you’re a new or existing Optus customer.
- Select between a physical SIM card or eSIM (if you have a compatible device), then click on the yellow ‘Continue’ button.
- Hit the yellow ‘Checkout’ button on your shopping cart and enter your email address. Follow the prompts and input your details to complete the process. Note that you may have to provide an Australian driver licence, passport or Medicare card.
It’s a more straightforward process for Optus Prepaid. Follow step one above, then hit the yellow ‘Buy SIM’ button to confirm your purchase. Enter your email address, name and contact number, then follow the prompts to complete sign-up.
If you choose a physical SIM card, it should automatically activate within four hours of delivery. Look out for “Optus” next to the coverage bars on your phone. If it hasn’t activated after four hours, call 133 937 for support. Optus Prepaid users are advised to leave the old SIM card in their mobile phone before starting the process. You’ll need a valid form of ID to activate an Optus Prepaid SIM card.
Optus mobile frequently asked questions
Optus mobile features breakdown
Optus mobile plan features
|Data rollover||Prepaid (200GB)|
|Auto prepaid recharge|
|Endless data||SIM Only 1.5Mbps|
|Data sharing||SIM Only|
|$0 setup-fee plans|
|International calls||Unlimited, call minutes|
|Discounted mobile plan|
|Phones available||SIM Only and Prepaid|
|Exclusive content offers||Optus Sport|
Optus mobile networks
|5G network access|
|4G network access|
|3G network access||Until September 2024|
Optus mobile customer service
|Customer forum (or blog)|
|Self-service online (FAQs)|