Best-Value Mobile Plans - High Usage: Best of the Best 2020
Lift your head on any bus or train - and even sometimes on the footpath - and you'll quickly notice how most of the eyes around you are glued to a mobile device, as people send or receive a text on WhatsApp, read the news, live-stream social media or attempt a high score on Candy Crush.
This all burns through data, so the amount of data your mobile plan includes can often be more important than the number of calls it allows. And starting out with the right amount of data is much cheaper than topping it up on the go.
For the Best of the Best Awards 2020 we decided an emphasis should be placed on the high-usage category because it's clear Australians are embracing a highly mobile lifestyle and the telecommunication infrastructure is there to support it. The Speedtest Global Index rates Australia's mobile data speeds as fifth in the world with an average download speed of 65Mbps - much faster than the nation's fixed broadband network at 49.1Mbps.
The Deloitte Mobile Consumer Survey 2018, which interviewed more than 2000 adults, also finds 42% of smartphone users are now on data plans of 5GB or more. And the shift to unlimited data plans is well under way.
Winners in the high-usage category were ranked by the price of a no-contract monthly or prepaid 30-day plan that included at least 15GB of
data, unlimited local calls and unlimited SMS. Service quality wasn't considered.
Leading the pack is the Vaya Unlimited M plan. For $24 a month you get 18GB, more than any other plan, while a 10GB top-up will set you back $10. WhistleOut communications manager Kenny McGilvary points out that Vaya was acquired by amaysim in 2016, which benefits its customer service mindset.
"While Vaya used to be best for smartphone owners with low to moderate data use, most carriers are fiercely competing for business by offering more data at lower prices, which has brought Vaya further into the high usage conversation," says McGilvary.
A close second is SpinTel's $25.95 mobile plan - it's slightly more expensive than Vaya's offering and has less data
(15GB) a month.
Third place goes to the Jeenee Mobile $29.90 Pennywise SIM. It also includes 15GB a month, but has a $12.37 set-up cost. It's $24.90 a month for the first six months with a current promotion, then $29.90 a month thereafter.
As with all the mobile plan categories this year, we've given special mention to prepaid services. The Aldi Mobile $25 L Value Pack costs $25 a month with a $5 set-up charge and includes 18GB of data and unlimited calls and SMS. It would have come second in the high-usage category if it had been a post-paid plan.