Go to Reviews.org US Edition
Telstra mobile plans review
There's a reason Telstra costs more than most; but do you really need to be paying the premium?
Find out how we score mobile providers.
It's not just coverage that makes Telstra the most expensive mobile provider. Telstra is Australia’s original phone service provider, and for many, it is still the best for coverage and speeds. Telstra’s network coverage remains superior to the competition, with extended reach in regional and remote areas of Australia, and it was among the first of the network owners to roll out fast 5G coverage.
You’ll pay extra to be a Telstra customer, and in some cases this price difference is significant. But in return, you get access to Australia’s fastest mobile network, a huge customer support team, as well as plenty of exclusive offers and perks through Telstra Plus rewards. Telstra itself is not for the budget conscious but you can save some money with an MVNO that uses the Telstra network.
To give you an idea of Telstra's value for money, let's take a look at its most popular plan:
At the time of writing, the $58 Basic Upfront SIM Plan is the most popular Telstra plan available. It gives you 40GB to use for $58 per month on the Telstra 4G/5G network. It's no contract and can be paired with a new smartphone on a 24 or 36-month payment plan. It also comes with some neat perks, like two months of Binge, three months of Apple TV Plus and four months Spotify Premium.
Telstra iPhone 14 plans
If you're looking to pick an iPhone 14 up through Telstra, your cheapest option is going to be the Telstra Upfront Mobile Plan Basic. Priced at $58 per month, this plan includes 40GB of data, unlimited local calls and texts and access to both Telstra's 4G and 5G network coverage.
The cost of pairing this plan with the new iPhone 14 is going to vary based on the model you choose. Assuming that the baseline iPhone 14 is the model you're after, you're looking at $38.86 per month in handset fees on a 36 month plan. All told, this works out to a total $96.58 per month over 36 months.
If you'd prefer a 24 month plan, you're looking at $58.29 per month in handset fees and $115.87 overall.
Telstra phone plans
Instead of the typical postpaid model, Telstra's SIM plans uses what it calls an Upfront payment method. Essentially, instead of paying your bill at the end of the month, you'll simply fork out your fee at the start of the month. It's similar to a prepaid plan but comes with the more premium inclusions you'd expect from a postpaid arrangement.
Across the entire Telstra range of phone plans, we’d argue that you needn't choose a plan higher than the Basic Upfront SIM Plan. There are phone plans with more data, of course, and you’ll need to bring your own phone (or grab one through Telstra), but this plan has everything you need at a price that won’t break the bank. If anything, 40GB of data per month is probably a tad excessive, but there are no smaller options available.
Telstra BYO Upfront SIM plans
All of Telstra’s BYO Mobile Phone plans are offered with no lock-in contracts and if you'd like to add a new phone down the track, you don't need to change plans, you just add monthly phone repayments to your bill. Here's a look at the rest of Telstra's BYO mobile plans:
Of course, there are plenty of other plans in market to consider too, several of which operate on the Telstra network. Here are a few popular plans from other providers on the Telstra network:
Popular SIM plans from Telstra MVNOs
If the prices of the plans listed above overshoot your budget, or you’d prefer to avoid signing a contract, Telstra does have Prepaid plans available too. Our pick is the $30 Prepaid Complete plan, as you can see below. Just keep in mind that the credit you buy with this plan expires every 28 days. This means you need to recharge your account 13 times each year, a fact that may come as a surprise.
But to be honest, we probably wouldn’t choose Telstra for a Prepaid plan if value for money was a consideration. There are dozens of smaller mobile carriers offering better, cheaper prepaid plans.
Telstra Prepaid plans
Telstra mobile features and perks
All Telstra's Upfront plans now come with 5G connectivity, a huge perk for those who want faster mobile speeds. Telstra’s Prepaid plans, on the other hand
Telstra Upfront plans can be bundled with a range of cutting-edge and recent smartphones, including the latest iPhone, Google Pixel or Samsung Galaxy. Telstra lets you opt to purchase a handset outright, or you can pay it off over time with 12-month or 24-month handset repayment terms.
One of the better data-related perks for SIM-only plans is there are no excess data charges in Australia. This means if you burn through your max-speed data allowance, speeds are slowed to 1.5Mbps for the duration of your billing cycle.
Woolworths Mobile also runs on the Telstra network and tends to offer great perks, too. Check out their plans below in comparison to Telstra’s offering.
Telstra mobile customer support and satisfaction
The premium price of Telstra plans also helps fund an impressive array of customer support options for when things go awry. Telstra offers self-paced support via forums and self-service online tools. If you want to talk to someone, Telstra is responsive via Twitter and Facebook, plus there’s an online chat service and dedicated phone support.
While there aren’t any excess data charges on SIM Only plans, you can monitor your usage via the Telstra app, plus there’s a range of in-person stores and Telstra Plus perks for earning points and other benefits.
Telstra support is impressive, but overall customer satisfaction isn’t as flash according to user-generated score on sites like Product Review and Trustpilot, even if the Google review fares better. In fairness, those score trends are relatively the same for Optus and Vodafone, too. Moose Mobile, Numobile, Pennytel and Tangerine are the only telcos that average above four out of five on these user-review websites.
What are Telstra Blue Tick phones?
In a country as large as Australia, coverage is a major consideration, especially if you live or work outside of the major metro areas. Telstra’s network is renowned for its coverage reach, but if you are at the edges of this coverage area you may need a specific phone model to get a good signal.
The Telstra Blue Tick is a way for Telstra to signify which handsets are superior for coverage based on its own internal testing. Not every phone is eligible, so this list is important if you feel like you need that boost in signal.
Samsung phones are generally the most popular Blue Tick handsets, mostly because the Apple iPhones don't earn the Blue Tick signification.