Flexibility is impotant
Are you having a problem with figuring out how much data per month you would need with your mobile phone? This would especially be the case if it is your first time to buy a mobile phone plan in Australia.
If you go for a fixed-term contract (usually for 6 months, 12 months or 24 months), you cannot change your plan in the middle of your contract term. If you do, you will be penalised and it will cost you.
With a fixed-term contract, if your data usage exceeds the monthly limit, you will be charged extra at higher rate. You will be usually charged by every mega-byte you additionally spend. Most of the phone service providers sell an additional giga-byte pack (bolt-on or add-on, called differently depending on the providers) for around $10 per giga-byte.
If your data usage exceeds every month, your total cost will become much higher than what you could have paid for a bigger data plan. And you may not be able to change your plan easily in the middle of your fixed-term contract. This is the common pitfall that you want to avoid. The safest and best practice in choosing your right phone plan would be to avoid signing up any fixed-long-term contract and have a SIM-only contract-free plan.
A SIM-only plan is, as the name tells, a phone plan without a handset. You need to bring your own handset. With a contract-free SIM-only plan, you do not need to sign up a contract. You can cancel your plan whenever you like and change your plan every month if you are on a month-to-month plan.
A majority of people choose their first mobile phone service provider in Australia because of the following reasons:
- No idea what to look for.
- Just following your friends.
- Recommended by someone who knows better than you.
- Don't want to bother to research.
- Believing there should not be big price differences between the mobile phone service providers.
These are more of the cases among the older generations. You could miss an opportunity to save hundreds of dollars every year if you end up signing up an expensive contract.
Having a 12 month or 24 month contract to get your phone connected is becoming a thing of the past. More and more consumers have lately been aware that there are so many cheaper options available in the market to satisfy their particular needs without sacrificing the quality of service.
It is no longer the case that long-term contract plans offer cheaper rates than month-to-month contract-free plans. Many of the MVNOs in Australia offer very cheap SIM-only plans with no lock-in contract.
If you are getting your first mobile phone connection in Australia, look for a plan that suits your needs the best among the plans that MVNOs offer. What is an MVNO? MVNO stands for Mobile Virtual Network Operator. In Australia, all the mobile phone/wireless internet data service providers except Telstra, Optus and Vodafone are MVNOs. Our other article explains about MVNOs in details.
If you are currently with Telstra, Optus and Vodafone, switching to an MVNO could save a lot of money. Check out what plans Australian MVNOs offer and find out how much cheaper their plans are compared to your current plan with similar inclusions.
If you already have your phone number in Australia, you can port your current number to your new service provider regardless you are on prepaid of postpaid plan. 'To port' means 'to transfer'.
If you request a porting to your new service provider, they will transfer your number from your current service provider for you. You do not need to have hassles to talk to your current provider to cancel the service. When you request a porting to your new provider, your current account will be automatically cancelled.
MVNO as your option
An MVNO is for you if:
- you want to save a lot of money,
- you do not want any contract, and
- you have your own handset and just want a SIM to get you connected to the Australian network.
Why pay more for less data? Pay less to get more by choosing the right MVNO plan. How? See this article:
Australia's Best Mobile Phone SIM Plans - MVNO