Optus MVNOs and providers in Australia

There’s money to be saved if you try your luck with the 13 Optus MVNOs in Australia.

March 16, 2022
5 min read

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When you buy a mobile phone plan in Australia—be it SIM Only, Prepaid or bundled with a handset as part of a Postpaid plan—you’re really buying a service on one of three networks: Telstra, Optus or Vodafone. Telstra MVNOs have access to either the largest or second largest network in Australia (spoilers: they’re both Telstra networks), while Optus MVNOs are sold on the third largest network in Australia.

While Optus and Telstra continue to battle it out with their own respective first-party plans, the Optus MVNO third-party telcos have a chance to entice new sign-ups thanks to more competitive pricing.

Before you begin
Light Bulb
What is an MVNO, exactly?

MVNO is a fancy initialism that spells out as Mobile Virtual Network Operator. Because that’s quite the technical mouthful, we use MVNO for short, but what MVNO really means is a telco that operates on one of the big three networks but doesn’t own that network. Telstra MVNOs operate on the Telstra wholesale network, Optus MVNOs work on the Optus network, while Vodafone MVNO’s sell services on the Vodafone network. The ACCC recently urged mobile users to consider an MVNO over one of the big three telcos to help combat rising costs. You can compare the coverage of each of the three networks to determine the service that works best for you.

List of Optus MVNOs

At the time of writing, there were 13 Optus MVNOs in Australia, which sell services across SIM Only and Prepaid plans:

Providers
Type
Coverage
Prepaid4G
Postpaid4G/5G
Australia Post
Prepaid4G
Catch Connect
Prepaid4G
Postpaid4G
Prepaid4G
Postpaid4G
Subscription4G
Postpaid4G
Postpaid4G
Postpaid4G/5G
Postpaid4G/5G
VayaVaya
Postpaid4G

Note that Amaysim acquired Vaya, then Amaysim was later acquired by Optus. Similarly, Gomo is also an Optus sub-brand. Dodo and iPrimus are both owned by Vocus Group.

Below is a daily updating list of popular plans from Optus MVNO telcos.

Optus MVNO plans under $20

If you're in the market for an Optus MVNO, it's safe to assume you're after a bargain on a Postpaid or Prepaid SIM plan. There are currently 10 Optus MVNOs that are offering plans under $20 per month and we've listed the five most popular deals below. 

Optus MVNO plans under $30

After a little more data while remaining on a budget? These plans from Optus MVNO providers will give you a little more usage while keeping your bill below $30 per month. 

Optus MVNO plans under $50

If you're an even heavier user and want to get the most bang for your buck, there are some seriously decent deals that offer up to 100GB of usage for less than $50 per month. Take a look at the list below to find a deal. 

Optus MVNOs compared

Out of every Optus MVNO that we'ved reviewed, Circles.Life and Gomo are the two highest-rated. Gomo is renowned for fast and friendly support as well as great first-year pricing, while Circles.Life offers a stack of data for its more expensive plans, which actually don’t cost a whole lot. See how we scored every Optus MVNO below. 

Providers
Score
3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5
4 out of 5 stars
4
3 out of 5 stars
3
3 out of 5 stars
3
4 out of 5 stars
4
3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5
4 out of 5 stars
4
3 out of 5 stars
3
3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5
VayaVaya
3 out of 5 stars
3
Photograph of prepaid telstra handset on blue background

Find the best on the best network

If you're not happy with your Optus 4G or 5G coverage, you might be in the market for an affordable MVNO that runs on the Telstra network. Follow the link below to find our top picks. 

The best Optus MVNO providers in Australia

From the breakdown above, it’s clear there are only two contenders for the crown of ‘best Optus MVNO’: Circles.Life and Gomo. When they first launched, both Circles.Life and Gomo made a name for themselves with compelling first-year pricing. Fast-forward to more recent times, and it’s still easy to see why these two Optus MVNOs are popular.

For Prepaid plans, Gomo is still a serious contender because of its ongoing promotional data and pricing. At the time of writing, this meant double the data for the first three 30-day subscription recharges, which helps sweeten the deal on decent regular Prepaid pricing. Gomo Prepaid plans also come allow for up to 200GB of data rollover if you maintain the subscription. You can see a daily updating list of popular Prepaid picks below across all networks (which should include Gomo).

For SIM Only plans, Circles.Life is a constant contender, with the telco seemingly always offering an extended promotion that reduces pricing for six months or the first year alongside bonus data. It’s regularly tricky to keep Circles.Life plans out of the running in our monthly SIM Only picks. While the telco’s cheapest plan is worth a look, it’s the 20GB Monthly Plan and 100GB Monthly Plan that frequently impress, even without promotional pricing, thanks to 3GB of what Circles.Life calls “bill shock” protection.

Below is a daily updating list of popular SIM Only plans across all networks (which should include Circles.Life).

If you don’t care about Prepaid or SIM Only, our pick of the best Optus MVNO in Australia is Circles.Life.

Optus MVNOs vs Optus

So, why would you opt for an Optus MVNO over going with Optus itself? After all, Optus perks include cheap movie tickets while costlier Optus plans come with Optus Sport + Fitness as well as international talk and text.

The big reason to consider an Optus MVNO over Optus itself is plans tend to have better value, combining a mix of great pricing and generous servings of data. Switching telcos is easier than ever, especially because contracts are basically non-existent, meaning you can switch to, from or between Optus and Optus MVNOs (or other networks) basically whenever you like with very little downtime.

Additionally, Optus MVNOs tend to offer fewer support options, most notably a lack of physical stores for in-person assistance, and sometimes those cost savings come at the expense of more meaningful perks.

On the flip side, Optus offers a wide a range of handsets, including newly released options from Apple and Samsung, which can be paid off as part of Postpaid plans. At the time of writing, Southern Phone was the only Optus MVNO offering Postpaid handsets and its range wasn’t as vast as what Optus had to offer.

To put this in context, check out the daily updating list of popular plans on the Optus network, which includes Optus and Optus MVNOs, to get an idea of how people treat the debate. At the time of writing and likely when you’re reading this, Optus was comfortably on top.

Optus MVNOs and 5G

One of the main perks of going with Optus instead of an Optus MVNO is easier access to 5G plans. At the time of writing Optus was including access to the Optus 5G network with all of its SIM Only plans. Granted, those prices start at around $45 per month for 20GB of data.

If you do want to access the Optus 5G network, though, you can also opt to go with Spintel, Aussie Broadband or Southern Phone. 

Spintel's 5G mobile plan offerrs 80GB for $40 per month (for the first six months, then $50 per month thereafter). Aussie Broadband's 5G plans start at $45 per month for 20GB but there are options for 80GB ($55 per month), 200GB ($65 per month) and 240GB ($85 per month) too. Finally there's Southern Phone, which offers four 5G plans at $50, $60, $70 and $90 per month, offering 20GB, 80GB, 200GB and 240GB, respectively. 

Do Optus MVNOs have the same coverage?

If this is your first time swinging with an MVNO, you might be hesitant to take the plunge if you're unsure about the coverage you will recieve. Unlike Telstra MVNOs, all Optus MVNOs have access to the complete Optus 4G Plus network so there is no difference in coverage between an MVNO like amaysim and Optus itself.

However, as described above, only a select handful of MVNOs currently access the faster Optus 5G network; Aussie Broadband, Spintel, Southern Phone, and of course, Optus itself. 

Until the rest of the MVNOs catch up, there will be a coverage disparity between Optus MVNOs between 4G and 5G. But if 4G is more than enough for you, expect to see the same speeds and coverage as with any other provider on the Optus 4G Plus network.

Check the coverage map below to see if you've got ample Optus 4G or 5G coverage. 

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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