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Special offers are becoming more and more popular. I usually cover special offers via our fortnightly newsletter however I thought you might prefer to see them on our home page. You can now keep track of them and tell others about them. There are a few special offers around at the moment, most of which are expiring at the end of June 2013.
Boost Mobile 50% Off Starter Kits
BoostMobile is offering 50% off the $40 UNLTD Starter Kit. Pick it up now in standard and microsim format for only $20 at the Boost website.
Yatango Mobile Free 30 Day Trail
Yatango is offering 1000 minutes of calls, 1000 TXT and 3GB of data as part of a free trial offer they have running at the moment. At the end of the trial, they will help you build your plan to meet your spending needs. Get started with Yatango now.
Vaya Mobile 20% Off Power Plan Monthly Charges
Vaya Mobile is offering 20% off its Power Plan monthly charges at the moment. Big savings on 4G plans. Savings apply to all monthly bills going forward.
Dodo Half Price Magic Sim Starter Pack
Dodo is offering their Prepaid Mobile Pay As You Go starter pack for just $2. Upon your first recharge, receive an additional $5 in credit. You can purchase this offer online.
Lebara, Lyca Mobile & GT Mobile Free Sim Card
Get started with Lebara Mobile, Lyca Mobile and GT Mobile with a free sim card, delivered to you free as well. You can order the card online and with Lebara Mobile when you recharge you receive $5 of free credit ($2.50 on your first and second recharges).
This certainly isn’t my first Optus prepaid mobile plan review, however I thought given several of their plans have changed over the past few months, it was worth giving an update on where the plans sit in comparison with the market.
Optus Dollar Days offer was very unique when launched and paved the way for unlimited. It has over 2011 become a $2 offer, with unlimited fixed, mobile and internet access. It is still competitive, however I figure given the questions I receive from many people says they fail to understand its value. It is easier to understand $40 per month for unlimited calls, than it is $2 for each day you use your phone.
The Long Expiry Plan is useful but it has a maximum of 186 days, it doesn’t quite compete with the likes of Savvytel and Red Bull Mobile, although the credit value offered is better than what Savvytel has.
Connect 4 Less offers very competitive rates. Domestic calls are 10c/min with a 23c/ flagfall, internationally you can see the rates above. I have already undertaken some comparisons on this page. They are pretty good, but bare in mind that they do change from time to time.
Optus have also launched Optus Prepaid Social, which comes with unlimited talk and TXT to Optus users, unlimited TXT to anyone in Australia and unlimited social media access. Each recharge amount comes with an equal amount of call credit, an allowance of call minutes to anyone plus data. Eg $30 gives you $30 in calls credit, 250 talk minutes and 500MB data, $40 gives you $40 calls credit, 350 talk minutes and 1GB data. Credit lasts for 28 days and normal Optus call charges apply.
Overall, I think Optus has a good range, competitive value in the plans and good value when it comes to data. The one thing they need to consider is data increments of less than 1MB, otherwise the unlimited social media offer is a very good one.
TPG has been a star performer in the no contract mobile plan race for a while now. I can’t speak for their service levels but I can speak for the plans and the rates and the data that is on offer. They are certainly very competitive and very attractive at the same time. At the bottom end we have the $1 Pay As You Go plan which gives you very affordable calls at just 9.9c per min with calls actually billed per second, meaning that you will only pay for what you use (not the full minute). There is no credit with this plan you only pay for what you use and at $1 per month it could be a great alternative to a prepaid plan if you hardly use your phone. TPG then offers you their Super Value Mobile Plans. If you aren’t already using TPG for your internet or other services then the plans on offer begin with the Starter at $9.99 per month, which offers a total of $180 in calls to anyone plus $2000 of calls to other TPG mobiles, plus 250MB of data (excess comes in at 25c/MB in 10KB increments). In terms of data, these plans offer you unlimited Social Media access including Twitter and Facebook. Call rates for all of these plans is 90c/min with a 35c flagfall and Txt are 25.3c. Out of your $180 in credit you will get approx 72, 2 min calls.
The next plan up from the Starter in this range is the Medium at $17.99 per month offering $550 in calls to anyone, 1.5GB of data and unlimited calls to TPG. The Heavy plan gives you $1000 calls to anyone, 3GB of data, unlimited Txt to anyone and unlimited calls to TPG numbers. With that much credit you can make over 450, 2 min calls. The final plan in this range is TPG’s Infinity and Beyond, which is also their answer to Unlimited plans and for $45 per month offers $3000 worth of calls to anyone, $100 in international calls, unlimited SMS/MMS and the standard social media offer.
These are truly great value plans. The best way to compare these plans is with someone like LiveConnected and Amaysim’s Unlimited offer. LiveConnected’s XXL gives you 1395 calls (2 min calls) to anyone, unlimited SMS/MMS, $90 for international and 4GB data. Note that Live Connected offers only online (email) support. The Amaysim Unlimited offer, gives you unlimited local calls (plus 1300/1800 numbers) and 4GB of data.
Telstra is looking to concentrate on its 4G devices and so is discounting its 3G modems across most retailers that stocks them as well as directly from the Telstra website and retail stores. For $39.50 you can pickup a 3G Elite Wifi Modem with 5G data and 30 days to use it. So I did. The Wifi modem itself is almost as big as a mini mobile phone and will provide connection with up to 5 devices at the same time, ie they can all share the data on the device. Inside the box you have the device, lots of instructions and the sim card (actually already installed for you). First step is to activate the sim card. This can be completed online or via the phone. I ended up having to partly complete the process online and then due to some error I spoke to Telstra via Online Chat and had the sim activated.
I wish Telstra would send you an email or sms advising you that this step has now been completed. What they tell you is that it will take between 5 mins and 24 hours. So if you are in a hurry it can be a little frustrating. There is obviously something preventing them from communicating connection because surely I am not the first to find it frustrating. What is actually frustrating is the ongoing testing to see if it is working or not.
The second part is logging into your wifi network. What you are purchasing here is a network of your own. Controlled by the password that Telstra provide you with. Inside the packaging you receive a glossy card with several key details. First is the name of the Wifi Network eg TEHS_BCA9XX, the second is the Wireless Security Key (WPA). Read the rest of the review here.
LycaMobile have completed what is a major revamp of their prepaid mobile range. What was once a combination of PAYG plans and unlimited offers, LycaMobile now offer a range of cap style plans with an included allowance for calls, TXT and data. PAYG access still remains where you add credit to your account but don’t allocate it to any prepaid offer.
One important change to the range is the introduction of a $10 plan. Whilst many prepaid providers allow you to recharge for $10, most rarely give you a full months worth of access, and certainly no cap value to enjoy. LycaMobile have changed all of that with the MiniTalk 100. This new prepaid mobile plan offers 100 minutes of talk time for $10. That is 50 two minute calls and goes head to head with Aldi Mobiles PAYG $15 plan. Your 24c, 2 minute call with Aldi will buy you 62 calls and last for 365 days. Lyca Mobile gives you 50 calls for 30 days.
If you want more than just call value, you can go with the MiniTalk & TXT, which offers 100 call minutes and 50 TXT for your $15. The MiniTalk 100 and MiniTalk & TXT all come with a 30 day credit expiry. If it is data that you would like combined with your call allowance, try the MiniTalk & Data which for $15 and 30 days access offers 100 minutes and 50MB.
The Saver Plans include 4 varieties, the S with 150 minutes, 50 TXT and 100MB, this will cost you $25 for 30 days access. $30 buys you 250 call minutes, 50 TXT and 150MB. For $25, there are plenty of prepaid offers out there which give you much better value than this. Same goes for the next two recharge levels. $60 buys you 500 minutes, 200TXT and 300MB and finally you take a major leap to $90 with 1000 minutes, 300 TXT and 500MB. The $60 and $90 recharge levels are way over priced for my liking particularly with only 30 days to use the credit. There are many unlimited offers with much more value.
On the international side of things, the Saver plans come with great discounts on call rates to about 50 countries. These are discounted against the standard rates offered for these destinations by LycaMobile.
I received an interesting email from a confused and frustrated customer today. He has been on a contract plan an un-named mobile provider for some time it seems however he has been receiving rather poor service in terms of his billing and excess data usage charges. Being a pensioner he is quite concerned about where is savings are going. It is obviously difficult to determine exactly who is right or wrong in this case but what is obvious is that this customer would be far better off using a prepaid service rather than a contract plan.
This is what he write to me today, word for word…
“i always look at my usage stats n on the day i was told i used my internet credit up my metre said i was up to 530mb. again i was charged for the extra 100mb. i have always kept to my limit. but i cant afford to be paying 100 dollars when my stat tells me one thing n the xxxx server says ive used 3gb. i have asked the bank to honer this debt then terminate any futher automatic deductions. i am only receiving a centrelink payment and i cant afford to b paying out that much for this. if u can help me i would appreciate it. but my priority is to protect my assets, and i gave xxxx permission to take it out of my account. to be honest its more a question of a lack of trust.”
I did offer to give him a hand should he wish to switch to prepaid. No doubt he will be back looking for a new plan in the not too distant future.
You can easily compare the best in prepaid mobile plans here.
Vaya Mobile has been around for some time now. What is really appealing about them is that their plan look like the very popular (and now closed to new business) Live Connected plans Powered by Optus they have a strong network behind them and also offer call centre phone support which is a plus (Call Centre in Brisbane). You can see for yourself that the value is great. S plan gives you 69, 2 min calls, M offers 232, 2 min calls, L offers 325, 2 min calls and XL has 395, 2 min calls. Another important feature is that call rates are charged per 30 sec, not per minute and excess data charges are just 26.4c/MB (data increments are per KB, just like Live Connected).
Vaya Mobile recently launched a special offer 29Unlimited Plan. This new plan gives you unlimited local calls and TXT/MMS plus $100 of international value. Data is a huge 4GB. Couple of things to look out for. If you disconnect from the service a $30 disconnect fee applies. Most month to month plans will only charge you your outstanding balance, Vaya makes it a little painful to leave. Also note if you are late paying or your payment method is not accepted, $10 Late Payment fee applies and a $10 Dishonour fee applies. I recently signed up two friends and both have been really happy with the billing and the value they are now receiving.
I had written about Aldi Mobile potentially coming to Australia over 12 months ago, not because the secret had been shared with me, but because they had released/launched a similar service in Germany. What ISPOne has done is really smart. It has increased its retail client base (1000x) overnight by launching with Kogan Mobile and Aldi Mobile. Controversies aside, between them the two new prepaid mobile offers have accumulated well over 120,000 customers. Many would have come from Vodafone, but they would also have come from the likes of Optus, Virgin, Telstra and even Boost Mobile (who did the switch to Telstra earlier this year).
Aldi Mobile is very competitive. I had a customer via Facebook explain to me today why they picked it:
Duane: Just ported from New boost to Aldi….total time 9 minutes…very happy
Prepaid Mobile & Broadband Plans: Why the move?
Duane: As it is my back up phone and really only need to receive calls (therefore aldi $5 for 365 days)
Prepaid Mobile & Broadband Plans: Great idea
Telstra network (3G) and call rates of 12c/min with no flagfall, it is pretty good deal. Whilst it isn’t the cheapest and there are other plans which will give you 365 day expiry, it is a great alternative.
The rates are 12c/min, no flagfall, 12c TXT and 5c/MB data. Credit lasts for 365 days. I have covered what is great about it, now what is not. The recharge options are $15 and $30. There is no benefit in going $30 other than you will not need to recharge for a longer period of time. They could have maybe offered some call credit for a larger recharge value. $30 will buy you just 125 calls, that is 4 calls day and no data. Use the data and you will be eating into your call credit. This is the challenge with PAYG plans, they are great if you hardly use your phone but if you are looking to use it regularly or even semi-regularly, the value really isn’t there. Duane’s approach above is correct, it is a great backup plan.
If you really want more data, a Data Bolt-On pack is also available. $15 buys you 2GB for 30 days. Data is still counted with increments of 5c/MB.
Aldi Mobile has more than just the PAYG plan however, they also have an Unlimited offer. $35 with 30 days credit buys you 5GB data and unlimited calls/TXT/MMS and calls to 1300/1800 numbers, plus unlimited Voicemail. This is good value. Kogan offers the same call/TXT value plus 6GB for $29. However, beware that many customers have had issues with Kogan Mobile and service levels are pretty ordinary at the moment. Let’s now compare them to the new Boost Mobile. Boost offers 3GB of Telstra Next G data, plus the same call/TXT value for $40 (30 day expiry).
In terms of data speed:
- Aldi Mobile has a typical download speed of between 550 kilobits per second (Kbps) and 3 megabits per second (Mbps) and a typical upload speed of 300kbps-1Mbps (peak network download speed of 7.2Mbps)
- Typical Telstra ‘Next G’ download speeds range from a faster 1.1Mbps to 20Mbps and cover 99 per cent of the Australian population, more than Aldi Mobile.
So if you want data speed, Boost Mobile is most likely to be a much better performer.