Optus has upped its mobile plan pricing and will soon lose free Optus Sport

A man looks at his phone in anguish
(Image credit: Shuttersock)

Although Optus recently told some of its mobile customers they'd see a price hike, it seems the telco's pricing has changed across the board for SIM-only plans, with all future sign-ups also copping a bigger hit to their wallet.

To be fair, the extra cost is just AU$4 per month across all of its plan options, and the restructure does increase the data limit for each, but for football fans, you'll be disappointed to learn that Optus Sport will no longer be a free inclusion (from August 1), instead costing AU$6.99 per month as an add-on.

To see how the value stacks up, we've created a table below to directly compare the old vs new Optus pricing.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Optus plan changes as of July 18, 2022
Plan sizesOld plansNew plans
Small20GB – AU$45p/m30GB – AU$49p/m
Medium80GB – AU$55p/m100GB – AU$59p/m
Large200GB – AU$65p/m220GB – AU$69p/m
Extra Large240GB – AU$85p/m360GB – AU$89p/m

Are the new Optus plans worth it?

Optus isn't the only telco to raise its plan pricing recently – Telstra also upped its mobile plan costs (by a similar AU$4 amount) this month, although the extra data was much more impressive than Optus' changes, and the addition of 5G coverage for the Basic plan was very welcome.

While Optus long-held its position as a more affordable alternative that still packed in a heap of value, that distinction is growing more blurred, and it's becoming easier to recommend the Big T or even Vodafone in its stead.

In terms of the cheapest plan from the big three telcos, Vodafone's offering up 40GB for AU$40p/m (bumped up to 80GB for students), while Telstra has 40GB for AU$58p/m, and brings with it the improved coverage and stronger 5G presence that it's known for. Optus, on the other hand, now offers 30GB for AU$49p/m and has little else to sell it.

It's a similar story for big data users – Telstra now offers 180GB for just AU$68p/m, (which is rather generous for the Big T), and Vodafone has an unlimited data cap plan for AU$65p/m. Optus, by comparison, now offers 220GB for AU$69p/m, but doesn't have the same coverage appeal as Telstra, nor data impact as Vodafone.

One of the big draws for Optus was its Optus Sport inclusion, and while it is still discounted for members (AU$6.99 rather than AU$24.99 per month), now that it's an additional cost, Optus' plans are much closer to Telstra's pricing when you factor it in.

But... why?

We've reached out to Optus for comment and will update this article when we receive a reply, but for now, we'll repeat what the telco told us previously:

“Our ongoing investment in expanding and upgrading services, the growing data demands on our network, and increasing costs of goods and services, means we’ve made the difficult decision to increase the price on selected mobile plans,” an Optus spokesperson said in a statement.

“We do recognise there have been a lot of hits on customers’ hip pockets – mortgage increases, transport, petrol – and that many are struggling financially,” they said. “We have specially trained teams who can assist customers experiencing hardship and design a plan that will help them through hard times and get back on their feet.”

Harry Domanski
Harry is an Australian Journalist for TechRadar with an ear to the ground for future tech, and the other in front of a vintage amplifier. He likes stories told in charming ways, and content consumed through massive screens. He also likes to get his hands dirty with the ethics of the tech.