Telstra network coverage: Telstra vs ALDI vs Boost and more

Telstra network
Telstra
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
  • pro
    World-class network with 5G rolling out
  • pro
    Extensive customer support
Telstra network
Boost Mobile
3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5
  • pro
    Uses full Telstra 4G network
  • con
    No international roaming
Telstra Wholesale
Aldi Mobile
5 out of 5 stars
5
  • pro
    5-star value for money
  • con
    No international roaming
Telstra Wholesale
Woolsworth Mobile
5 out of 5 stars
5
  • pro
    Great for Galaxy handsets
  • con
    No iPhone plans
Telstra Wholesale
Belong
4 out of 5 stars
4
  • pro
    Unlimited data banking
  • con
    No prepaid plans
Brodie Fogg
Editorial Lead
Read More
October 06, 2022
3 min read

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As the leading provider in Australia for mobile network coverage, there’s no wonder a huge portion of Australians are interested in finding the cheapest way to access Telstra's premium network. Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) like Boost, Belong, ALDI Mobile, Woolworths and more use Telstra’s network, but not every provider can access the complete network. There’s a considerable difference between Telstra’s network and what the company calls the Telstra Wholesale Network, the network reserved for most MVNOs.

Here’s everything you need to know about the coverage you can expect from providers using the Telstra and Telstra Wholesale network so you can decide whether you can afford to save some dough with an MVNO.

Telstra network vs Telstra Wholesale network

The complete Telstra 3G and 4G network reaches 99.5% of the Australian population, whereas the Telstra Wholesale 4G network only reaches 97.9% of Australians (98.8% of Australians for combined 3 and 4G). That might not look like much, but it’s a considerable difference when we’re talking about 25 million Australians.

The Telstra Wholesale network is still larger than the Optus 3G and 4G network, which covers 98.5% of the Australian population, so even Telstra MVNOs still offer wider coverage than Optus.

Here's how the Telstra network compares to the Telstra wholesale network.

Telstra Network: Telstra vs Boost

There are only two mobile providers with access to the complete Telstra network: Telstra itself, and prepaid alternative Boost Mobile. If you need the full extent of Telstra’s network but want to save some money, Boost’s plans offer a more wallet-friendly alternative if you can handle being on prepaid. Boost Mobile doesn't have access to 5G on ever plan, however. 

Here's a Telstra coverage map that shows 3G, 4G, and 5G. 

Telstra vs Boost coverage

There is no difference between Telstra's coverage and Boost's coverage. Just note that Boost doesn't have 5G connectivity on every plan. 

Telstra vs Boost plans

Boost has long been the budget prepaid alternative to Telstra. It still is, but Telstra’s prepaid plans offer more value than ever. You can still spend more at Telstra if you so choose, but gone are the days where you’d pay $30 for 3GB per month.

The other thing that Telstra offers that Boost doesn’t is month-to-month SIM plans and phone plans. If you want to grab the latest iPhone or Samsung, you won’t get it through Boost.

Here’s a glance at the most popular plans from Boost and Telstra.

Telstra Wholesale network: Telstra vs ALDI vs Woolworths vs Belong and more

Besides Telstra and Boost, every other Telstra MVNO uses the Wholesale Network. That list of providers includes ALDI mobile, Belong, Exetel, Lycamobile, MATE, numobile, Pennytel, Tangerine Telecom, and Woolworths Mobile.

Mobile providers like ALDI don't have their own mobile towers, instead using Telstra's network. 

Telstra vs ALDI vs Woolworths vs Belong coverage

The Telstra Wholesale network still reaches 98.8% of the Australian population. Scroll back up to our interactive map to see how the full Telstra network compares to the Wholesale network.

Plans: Telstra vs ALDI vs Woolworths vs Belong and more

If you’re covered by the Telstra Wholesale network, there are way more plan and provider options available to you. Some of the most popular Telstra MVNOs, like ALDI mobile and Woolworths Mobile, operate on the Wholesale network, each with a unique offer.

Woolworths Mobile, for example, is one of the few MVNOs that offer phones on a plan and more often than not, it’s your best choice for the latest Samsung Galaxy handsets thanks to some tempting early bird discounts. 

ALDI mobile is another supermarket MVNO and, honestly, one of the best prepaid providers out there. In our ongoing analysis of Australian mobile providers, ALDI mobile scored top marks for value, which isn’t common for a provider using the Telstra network (Wholesale or not). It won’t suit frequent travellers, as there are no roaming deals to be found, but that’s common of MVNOs and prepaid-only providers.

Belong, on the other hand, is more of a barebones SIM-only provider. It is however owned by Telstra, and tends to have larger plans than other MVNOs. 

Here’s a comprehensive list of the most popular plans from every Telstra MVNO.

Graphic of a man comparing Telstra, Optus and Vodafone coverage

Telstra vs Optus vs Vodafone coverage

If Telstra or a Telstra MVNO don't seem right for you, we've also compared Big T's coverage to Optus and Vodafone.

Which Telstra MVNOs have 5G?

More and more Telstra MVNOs are starting to offer 5G, but this tends to only be on their most expensive plan. This includes Boost, MATE, Woolworths Mobile, ALDI Mobile,  Exetel, and more. 5G on Telstra MVNOs is capped to 250Mbps.

Belong has 5G on all of its mobile plans, but the speeds are capped to 100Mbps.

FAQs

Does Telstra own Boost?

Telstra does not own Boost. Telstra owns Belong, however.

Does ALDI Mobile have its own towers?

ALDI doesn't have its own towers. It uses Telstra's mobile network, and as such, its towers.

Brodie Fogg
Written by
Brodie Fogg
Brodie Fogg is the Australian editorial lead at Reviews.org. He has covered consumer tech, telecommunications, video games, streaming and entertainment for over five years at websites like WhistleOut and Finder and can be found sharing streaming recommendations at 7NEWS every month.

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