Optus joins Telstra in upping its mobile plan prices

Woman using mobile phone looking frustrated
(Image credit: Jamie Grill / Getty Images)

Optus will soon increase its mobile plan prices for select customers by AU$4 a month. The move follows Telstra’s decision to up its mobile plan prices across the board at the beginning of July.

While Optus wouldn’t specify which customers the price rise would affect, it appears the change is only coming to customers on older plans – specifically those who signed up before the May 2021 price increase.

This means that if you joined Optus before May 2021, you’ll now be paying a similar monthly price to Optus’ current mobile plan range, and you’ll get extra data too. If you joined Optus after May 2021, you shouldn’t see a change in your monthly bill.

The telco says it has contacted impacted customers directly, with the price rise kicking in on August 8, 2022.

Optus’ price increase differs from Telstra, however, as it only affects a portion of its users by bringing them in line with what’s currently available to new customers. On the other hand, Telstra’s price hike impacts all customers by increasing the cost up to AU$4 extra a month.

If you’re looking for a cheaper mobile plan, we have a dedicated guide to the best SIM-only plans in Australia to help you search for a better plan.

Why is Optus increasing prices?

Optus says numerous factors have led to the price rise, and recognised it may be a hit to users who are struggling financially.

“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.”

What about Vodafone?

With both Telstra and Optus upping their plan prices within the last few weeks, Vodafone customers may be wondering if their monthly bill will soon be increasing too.

We reached out to Vodafone to see if its pricing would follow a similar change, but a spokesperson for TPG Telecom said “we do not discuss future potential pricing” (Vodafone Australia is a subsidiary of TPG Telecom).

“As customers adjust to the increasing costs of living due to inflationary pressures and rising interest rates, we are the only player concentrated on being a simple, great value provider of telecommunications services,” said the spokesperson.

“Given our cost base is far lower than our major competitors, we continue to take a leadership position in providing value to Australian customers.”

While Vodafone doesn’t seem to have any plans to increase its pricing (that it’s willing to talk about, at least), we’ll have to wait and see if they eventually follow suit in the future.

Jasmine Gearie
Ecommerce Editor

Jasmine Gearie was previously an Ecommerce Editor at TechRadar Australia, with a primary focus on helping readers find the best mobile and NBN plans. During her time with TechRadar, she also reported on important telco news in Australia, and helped track down tech deals to help readers save money.