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TPG Mobile plans review: Less isn’t always more
TPG isn't the fastest broadband provider according to the ACCC anymore, but its mobile offering is lean and mean.
TPG Mobile: Value for money
TPG's offering isn't the most feature-packed or best mobile plan on the market, but there's no denying the fact that it's good value. TPG Mobile has just four prepaid plans on offer (you'll have to bring your own device), but they all come with decent data allowances, from 12GB up to 60GB per month. Prices range from $20 to $40 per month, but since TPG is constantly running promo deals, you could score one of their plans for half price, so it's worth keeping an eye on their website.
The cheapest mobile plan currently on offer from TPG Mobile is the $20 Small Plan. This comes with 12GB of data. That's not bad, but there are still lots of better deals to be had in the $20 or under price range.
For comparison's sake, here are the most popular phone and SIM only plans in that price range:
TPG Mobile network and coverage
As of 2022, TPG Mobile is powered by the Vodafone mobile network.
This wasn't always the case. TPG has long been one of Australia's most popular internet providers, and their mobile branch has been around for quite a while too, having launched back in 2008. However, the telco has gone through many changes over the last decade or so - namely, switching their mobile service from the Optus network to Vodafone's (a natural move, given that TPG merged with Vodafone in 2020).
There are a number of pros and cons to this shared infrastructure. Vodafone’s underdog network has come a long way over the last decade but it's still the smallest of Australia’s three mobile networks.
That won’t be a problem for most Australians but if you live in a rural area with no Vodafone coverage, you will want to see what’s on offer from a Telstra MVNO, which tend to cover more of the population.
If you’re considering signing up for TPG Mobile, we strongly suggest checking if your area has sufficient coverage. The TPG 4G coverage map below shows Vodafone’s mobile network reach in Australia. Remember to toggle 5G on or off (depending on your plan) and zoom in to double-check if your area is covered.
TPG Mobile plans
To its credit, TPG Mobile's range of phone plans is refreshingly simple to wrap your mind around. There are four TPG SIM only plans to choose from, with nearly identical perks and data caps that range from 12GB to 60GB per month.
You can see all four prepaid options for yourself using the widget below.
TPG 5G mobile Plans
Although TPG Mobile does currently offer 5G, it only offers it with certain plans and under the guise of a 5G Network Trial. TPG Mobile isn't the only provider currently framing their foray into 5G like an open beta test, but the fact that they are shouldn't be taken lightly.
Compared to something like Telstra and Optus 5G networks, TPG Mobile's offering seems unlikely to be nearly as comprehensive nor as consistent from a quality of service level.
Getting 5G with TPG Mobile will also cost you more. Assuming you're still interested, you'll have to shell out for the priciest TPG phone plan available as this is the only option that currently includes 5G connectivity.
TPG Mobile: Features and perks
To keep prices low, TPG has had to cut all those goodies out, leaving behind just the bare essentials: Calls, texts and data. There's no unlimited data or lack of excess data charges, and if you exceed your allotted data, you'll have to pay $10 for an extra 2GB block.
The only real feature to speak of is international calls. This addition will run you an extra $5/month but it does include unlimited calls to landline and mobile numbers in 37 countries.
Although the destination list here isn't exhaustive, it is fairly comprehensive. TPG's add-on covers Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Germany, Guam, Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Mexico, Mongolia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Puerto Rico, Romania, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Spain Canary Islands, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, United Kingdom, United States of America and the Vatican.
This excludes just 20 countries - namely, Afghanistan, Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Ghana, Guinea, Iran, Liberia, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Tonga, Uganda, Vanuatu, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
If what you're looking for isn't on the list, check out these popular mobile plans with international calls included as standard:
When it comes to mobile phone and internet bundles, TPG does give you the option of saving some money by pairing up its SIM-only phone plans with either a TPG NBN or home wireless internet plan.
This can be done with anything but TPG Mobile's cheapest ($20/month) plan. If you opt for the 25GB or 45GB plan, you'll end up saving $5 each month on your bill. If you opt for the 60GB plan, you'll save $10 instead.
However, in all three cases, this discount only kicks in after any sign-up promotion (like the current one) expires.
TPG NBN plans review
Top marks for download speeds but account management needs a fresh lick of paint.
TPG Mobile: Customer support and satisfaction
Most Aussie telcos aren't known for fantastic customer service, and unfortunately, TPG Mobile is no different. According to the user-generated reviews site Product Reviews, TPG Mobile has a measly score of 1.7 out of 5. While that doesn't sound great, it is still better than Optus and Telstra's shocking 1.4-star rating.
If you do need help, there are a few channels you can turn to. The TPG website is home to a support hub, which should answer most of the questions you have, and for those that it can't answer, you may find help in the TPG Community, which is the telco's online forum. Alternatively, you can get assistance through the app (more info on that below) or by calling one of the following numbers:
- Accounts & Billing: 1300 993 019
- Technical Support: 1300 997 273
- Plan Change: 1300 995 152
TPG Mobile: Is there an app?
Yes, there is. TPG’s app is available on iOS and Android and allows you to monitor and manage both your broadband and mobile services. You can monitor your usage, view your bills and get in touch with TPG’s customer support team. And that’s about it. You can’t do a lot of things most modern service management apps offer, such as live chat or paying your bill.
Both apps have copped a belting when it comes to customer reviews. The TPG Mobile app currently has a 1.3 out of 5-star rating on the Apple App Store and a 1.4 out of 5-star rating on the Google Play store. This is a fair representation of our own experience with the app and online account management system.
TPG Mobile alternatives
If you're not quite sold on what TPG Mobile has to offer, but like the idea of something similar then it might be worth checking out another Vodafone MVNO like Felix, iiNet or Lebara. You might end up finding a plan with the same coverage, a similar sum of included data and a price tag that's just as budget-friendly.
Check out the widget below for a timely round-up of TPG Mobile alternatives that offer at least 50GB of monthly data (ranked by overall value).
How we review mobile providers
It's not always easy to evaluate mobile carriers in a meaningful way that's useful to everyday consumers. To make things simpler, we’ve come up with a robust checklist of pros and cons that we use to evaluate each of the suppliers. We focus on:
- Overall value for money
- Product features and plan perks
- Coverage maps
- Whether or not they offer 5G connectivity
- Customer support channels
- Publicly available customer reviews
How to check your TPG Mobile balance?
There are two ways you can view your prepaid mobile balance. Firstly, you can check via TPG’s online My Account management system. All you need is your service number and the password you nominated upon sign-up.
Secondly, there’s the aforementioned smartphone app. Again, you will need your service number and password to log in.
Once you’ve logged in to either service, navigate to the ‘View All Mobile Service Accounts’ page, then select ‘View Mobile Usage’. That’s where you can check your balance and recharge your mobile service.
If this all proves difficult, you can always TPG customer service for a helping (?) hand on 13 14 23.
Who owns TPG?
TPG Mobile is owned by TPG Telecom, which is publicly listed on the Australian Stock Exchange.
While it's fair to say that the former is an Australian company, the opaque realities of stock markets mean that calling it an Australian-owned company might be a bit misleading.