Cheap plans on the Telstra network: stay connected for less

A cropped close up of young people holding mobile phones.
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Telstra has the largest mobile network in Australia, and it’s also the telco with the widest-reaching 5G network. Its coverage comes at a high cost though, with prices starting at AU$62 a month. We think that’s incredibly expensive, but this has been the case since Telstra increased the price of its mobile plans by as much as AU$6p/m on July 4, 2023.

Luckily, there’s a way you can get Telstra’s coverage for a cheaper price, and that’s by signing up to a Telstra mobile virtual network operator (MVNO). An MVNO is a mobile provider that doesn’t own the infrastructure it uses to provide mobile services to its customers. Instead, it leases the network of one of the major players and resells it to you – at a much cheaper price. Here, we’ll delve into the other Telstra network providers that can get you the same (or very similar) Telstra mobile coverage for less.

Best SIM-only plan on the Telstra network

Mate22GB dataNo lock-in contractAU$1 for first month (then AU$25p/m)

Mate | 22GB data | No lock-in contract | AU$1 for first month (then AU$25p/m)

Mate is our recommendation for the best SIM-only plan on the Telstra network. Thanks to an excellent introductory offer, you’ll get your first month on this plan for just AU$1, before it increases to AU$25 a month ongoing. You’ll get 22GB a month, and any unused data will automatically roll over into the next month (up to 500GB). Use the promo code MATE1.

Total minimum cost is AU$1 | Total cost for first year: AU$276 | Yearly cost after discount: AU$300

Best high data SIM-only plan on the Telstra network

Mate240GB dataNo lock-in contractAU$1 for first month (then AU$45p/m)

Mate | 240GB data | No lock-in contract | AU$1 for first month (then AU$45p/m)

Mate is also our choice for a high data SIM-only plan using the Telstra network. This plan usually comes with 120GB a month, but you can currently get double data for your first six months. You’ll also pay just AU$1 for your first month on this plan, before the price reverts back to the standard AU$45 a month.

Total minimum cost is AU$1 | Total cost for first year: AU$496 | Yearly cost after discount: AU$540

Telstra’s mobile network

  • Basic plan: 50GB for AU$62p/m
  • Essential plan: 180GB for AU$72p/m
  • Premium plan: 300GB for AU$95p/m

Telstra’s mobile plans are the most expensive in Australia, and as we’ve mentioned, its prices increased by up to AU$6p/m from July 4, 2023. Still, Telstra can be an appealing choice for many, and for some living in regional and rural areas of Australia, it may be the only choice that’ll provide them the coverage they need.

Other Telstra network providers

There’s at least 10 other providers which also offer full (or partial) access to Telstra’s mobile network, and most of them do so for a much cheaper price than Telstra. Here’s a breakdown of your alternatives for Telstra network mobile plans:

Boost Mobile

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  • Uses full Telstra network

Boost Mobile is the only provider to offer full Telstra network coverage, and it’s a much cheaper alternative than going with Telstra directly. This provider, however, only offers prepaid mobile plans – some coming with a 28-day expiry while others have a 12-month expiry.

Most of Boost Mobile’s plans include full access to Telstra’s 5G network, but depending on your plan, you might have to contend with a download speed cap. The cheaper options tend to cap download speeds at 150Mbps, while a mid-range plan has capped download speeds at 250Mbps. On the most expensive plan, there’s no cap at all.

All of Boost Mobile’s 28-day expiry plans come with data rollover, provided you recharge before the expiry date. Boost Mobile’s plans include the basics of unlimited calls and texts to standard numbers in Australia, while some add inclusions such as unlimited calls to select countries, or included international minutes.

See more: Boost Mobile’s plans


  • Uses parts of the Telstra network

Belong is owned by Telstra, but it’s a much cheaper alternative. Belong markets itself as Australia’s first carbon neutral telco, and it received certification by Climate Active in 2019. If you’re looking for a sustainable mobile provider, Belong is a good choice.

Each of Belong’s plans come with unlimited calls and texts to standard numbers in Australia, as well as 5G network access. Your download speeds are capped at 100Mbps on most plans, but the most expensive option caps speeds at 250Mbps.

We like that Belong’s mobile plans all come with unlimited data banking, which sets it apart from most other Telstra MVNOs that typically offer data banking up to 500GB.

See more: Belong’s plans

Woolworths Mobile

  • Uses parts of the Telstra network

Unlike most other mobile providers on the Telstra network, Woolworths Mobile gives you the option of getting a new phone with your plan, though it currently only offers the Samsung Galaxy S23.

If you don’t need a new phone, Woolworths Mobile offers SIM-only plans and prepaid plans, too. All plans come with unlimited calls and texts, and you can bank any of your unused data up to a maximum of 500GB. 5G access isn’t included as standard with Woolworths Mobile, but a free 5G trial is currently available on select plans.

An excellent perk of Woolworths Mobile is that it includes 10% off a grocery shop in store every month. That means if you were to get the cheapest plan at AU$25 a month, and you spend AU$250 on groceries in a month, the plan would essentially be free.


  • Uses parts of the Telstra network

Numobile takes a fresh approach to mobile plans – along with SIM-only plans, it also offers refurbished mobiles on a plan, as well as subscriptions to brand-new devices such as the iPhone 14. Currently, only iPhones are available from Numobile.  

Numobile’s subscription plans are essentially akin to renting the phone, and the lease period can last for 24 or 36 months. They’re SIM-free, so you’ve got the option of leasing the phone and getting your SIM plan from Numobile, or going with another telco entirely. After your subscription period has finished, you can choose to upgrade to a newer device.

If your main motivation to join Numbile is to save money, we recommend comparing the cost of Numobile’s subscription plans to those of other telcos such as Optus and Vodafone before signing up. While Numobile is almost always going to be cheaper than Telstra, you can sometimes find cheaper deals with Vodafone if it’s discounted its handsets.

See more: Numobile’s plans


  • Uses parts of the Telstra network

You might know Superloop for its NBN plans, but the provider also offers mobile plans on the Telstra network. All of Superloop’s mobile plans are prepaid and renew every 30 days, which we consider much better than a 28-day cycle offered by some telcos.

You’ve got the option of bundling your internet with Superloop’s mobile plans, which will give you a AU$5 discount if you bundle your broadband with one mobile service. Before bundling your mobile and internet with any provider, we strongly recommend comparing the best NBN plans with the best SIM-only plans, to ensure you’re getting a genuinely good deal.

Like most other Telstra MVNOs, Superloop offers unlimited national calls and texts to standard numbers, and unused data banking up to 500GB.

See more: Superloop’s plans


  • Uses parts of the Telstra network

Exetel is owned by Superloop, and their mobile plans are fairly similar. Like Superloop, all of Exetel’s mobile plans are prepaid and come with a 30-day expiry, with the option of auto-recharges available. 

We rate Exetel as one of the best NBN providers on the market, and it gives you the option of bundling your mobile and internet plans together. Before doing so, though, we recommend comparing plans to ensure you’re getting the best deal possible.

We’ve spotted Exetel offering double data deals on select mobile plans, so keep an eye out for these offers if you want to get more value for money out of an Exetel mobile plan.

See more: Exetel’s plans

Aldi Mobile

  • Uses parts of the Telstra network

Aldi Mobile offers prepaid plans that come with a 30-day expiry. Its mobile plans come with unlimited data rollover, and in order to keep any of your unused data, you just need to recharge within 24 hours of expiry and choose a plan of equal or higher value. 

Aldi Mobile is unique in that it also offers family mobile plans. These plans offer shared data, and can include up to six different services on the same plan. So, if you’ve got a phone you’re happy with and you’re looking to save some money, it could be a great option using the Telstra network.

See more: Aldi Mobile’s plans


  • Uses parts of the Telstra network

Mate offers mobile plans with parts of Telstra’s 4G and 5G network coverage, and thanks to its current offer, you can trial any plan for just AU$1. That makes it a really appealing option if you’re looking to test out a cheaper plan on the Telstra network for the first time.

As with most other Telstra MVNOs, Mate has all your basics covered including unlimited talk and text to standard numbers in Australia, and data banking up to 500GB. Mate also offers NBN plans, and bundling your mobile and internet together will knock AU$10 off your monthly bill. As always, compare your options before bundling together services.

Aside from its excellent introductory offer, we love that Mate is Australian owned and offers an Australian-based support team. It’s also got a largely positive rating on Product Review, which is quite an impressive feat.

See more: Mate’s plans


  • Uses parts of the Telstra network

More is an Australian-owned telco that’s part-owned by Commonwealth Bank. In fact, CommBank customers can get access to exclusive offers from More, such as discounted mobile and NBN plans.

It’s worth noting that most of More’s mobile plans cap your 4G download speeds at 100Mbps, while its most expensive plan caps speeds at 250Mbps for both 4G and 5G usage. Some of the telco’s mobile plans include a free 5G network trial.

You can bank up to 500GB of unused data on More’s mobile plans, and get the usual unlimited calls and texts to standard numbers in Australia. Some plans also include calls to selected countries.

See more: More’s plans


  • Uses parts of the Telstra network

Tangerine is an Australian-owned telco offering much the same proposition as other providers on the Telstra network: unlimited standard calls and texts within Australia, data banking up to 500GB and a 5G network trial included with select plans.

Tangerine also caps the download speed on its 4G mobile plans at 100Mbps, while its most premium plan, which includes 5G network coverage, has downloads capped at 250Mbps.

See more: Tangerine’s plans

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.