4G phone plans that will actually save you money

Summary: Has it been a while since you spoken with your telco? Chances are you're missing on faster speeds and some significant savings.

By at WhistleOut |

If you’ve been on a phone contract for the past couple of years, quite a few things have changed and you’re probably not getting the best bang for your buck.

Specifically, fast 4G networks are now live across the populous parts of Australia and can speed up the internet connection to a 4G-compatible phone by up to roughly 5-times the speed of 3G.

Another significant change is the rise in popularity of SIM-only phone services, like Amaysim and TPG. These plans tend to have low monthly fees, generous inclusions and no lock-in contracts. But often, you miss out on 4G speeds if you sign up to a service like this.

Luckily, all of this activity has forced a change from Australia’s big telcos, and you can now sign up to SIM only plans with Optus, Telstra, Vodafone and Virgin Mobile, with the same freedom and flexibility, plus a generous discount off standard plan rates.

Here is a clear example of where you could be saving money. If you had signed up to a $60 Optus plan with a phone two-years ago (or longer), chances are you are still paying your old rate despite the contract expiring.

If you were to switch to a new $45 dollar My Plan Plus SIM-only plan, not only would you save money, but you would also get unlimited standard calls and SMS/MMS in Australia, plus you would probably get even more data than you currently do.

Example savings:

Plan Monthly
minimum spend
Inclusions (4G) Contract term Min. cost over
24-months
$60 My Plan Plus
(Includes phone repayments)
$60 Unlimited standard Calls/SMS
2GB Data
24-months $1440
$45 My Plan Plus SIM Only
(BYO phone only)
$45 Unlimited standard Calls/SMS
2GB data
1-month $1080
SAVINGS $15 per month $360

$35 Optus My Plan Plus
SIM Only
$45 Optus My Plan Plus
SIM Only
$60 Optus My Plan Plus
SIM Only


Compared with Optus, the SIM-only advantage on Vodafone is much easy to compare — all normal plans have a SIM-only counterpart which has the same inclusions but is a flat $20 cheaper per month.

Example savings:

Plan Monthly
minimum spend
Inclusions (4G) Contract term Min. cost over
24-months
$70 Red Plan
(Includes phone repayments)
$70 Unlimited standard Calls/SMS
3GB Data
24-months $1680
$50 SIM Only Red Plan
(BYO phone only)
$50 Unlimited standard Calls/SMS
3GB data
1-month $1200
SAVINGS $20 per month $480

$50 SIM Only
Red Plan
$60 SIM Only
Red Plan
$80 SIM Only
Red Plan


Virgin Mobile also offer a flat discount for SIM-only subscriptions, with its Monthly plan customers coming out $10 ahead each month for a plan with exactly the same inclusions as a normal post-paid plan.

Example savings:

Plan Monthly
minimum spend
Inclusions (4G) Contract term Min. cost over
24-months
$60 Plan
(Includes phone repayments)
$60 $700 Call credit
2.5GB Data*
24-months $1440
$60 Plan BYO
(BYO phone only)
$50 $700 Call credit
2.5GB Data*
1-month $1200
SAVINGS $10 per month $240

* Bonus 1GB data until 29/6/2014.


$40 Plan BYO
$50 Plan BYO
$80 Plan BYO


Telstra's take on no-contract plans is slightly more complex, with a two-tier SIM-only system. If you choose a no-contract, month-to-month Casual plan, you pay the same monthly tariff as you would on a plan with a phone. But if you commit to a 12-month BYO plan, you receive a discount which increases as the cost of the plan increases.

Example savings:

Plan Monthly
minimum spend
Inclusions (4G) Contract term Min. cost over
24-months
$70 Mobile Accelerate Plan
(Includes phone repayments)
$70 $700 Call credit
1.5GB Data
1-month $1680
$55 Mobile Accelerate BYO Plan
(BYO phone only)
$55 $700 Call credit
1.5GB data
12-months $1320
SAVINGS $15 per month $360

$45 Mobile Accelerate
BYO Plan
$55 Mobile Accelerate
BYO Plan
$70 Mobile Accelerate
BYO Plan
$95 Mobile Accelerate
BYO Plan

Switching is so, so simple

From the conversations we've had with people considering a change of plan or telco, the main concern seems to be that the process of switching will be difficult and protracted, when in reality the opposite is true.

  • If you are out of contract there is no penalty for changing
  • Changing plans with your telco will happen almost instantaneously
  • Moving your number to a new telco is surprisingly fast -- within an hour in some cases
  • Your phone service will continue while any changes are taking effect

Want to compare more?

There's many options (both 3G and 4G options) from a range of carriers and MVNOs to grab a SIM and BYO phone.

Compare all SIM Only plans

Compare Unlimited SIM only plans

Compare PrePaid Mobile phone plans



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