The best non-Telstra mobile network providers for Telstra.

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If you want to access the Telstra network, Telstra is not your only option. There are a number of smaller telcos powered by Telstra’s network; some you will be familiar with, some you won’t. These providers tend to offer the same basic service as Telstra, but often at a cheaper price.

So if you’re looking to get the Big T network for less, here are all the Telstra network providers you need to know about.

What do Telstra SIM only plans look like?

Before we look at Telstra’s other network providers, here are Telstra’s current SIM-only plans:

Telstra’s mobile network availability is also worth noting. Telstra’s 3G and 4G networks reach 99.5%. population, while Telstra’s wholesale network is only 98.8 percent. population.

This may not seem like much, but it can affect coverage in some remote, regional and rural areas. Here’s how Telstra’s entire network and wholesale compare:

The best mobile resellers on the Telstra network

ALDI mobile

ALDI Mobile is powered by the Telstra network and has a range of prepaid plans that are sold for 30 days.

The plans are a bit basic, but spending at least $25 a month gets you unlimited talk and text to 15 countries, and 100 minutes to another 35. Most plans right now also get you extra data for your first six top-ups.

All ALDI Mobile prepaid plans also include data rollover.

It depends

You might not know this, but Belong is simply Telstra’s low cost. Telstra operates Belong as its own discount brand, cutting back on its plans. For example, while you’ll pay $58 a month for a Telstra SIM plan with 40GB, you’ll typically only pay $35 a month for the same Belong allowance. However, Belong currently uses double data on this plan, so you get 80GB every month for the first year.

All Belong plans are tax-free. If you go over the limit, you can continue to use the plan with speeds up to 1 Mbps. It’s still fast enough for most basic online activities, including music streaming.

You also get data rollover, and if you have Belong friends, you can also gift data in 1GB increments.

All Belong plans are contract-free.

Boost Mobile.

Boost is special when it comes to Telstra MVNOs; it is the only one with access to the entire Telstra network. In addition to the increased coverage, you get the inclusion of international calls on all plans that expire in 28 days or more and data rollover.

Boost also has year-long recharges for those who want to make a longer commitment.


While Exetel used to offer mobile plans on the Optus network, it has now switched to Telstra. Its plans are prepaid but have a 30-day validity period, so you won’t have to top-up 13 times a year like you would with a 28-day top-up.


MATE is better known as an NBN provider, but the company also offers SIM-only plans powered by Telstra’s network. The plans are decent value, but if you bundle them with the MATE NBN plan, you’ll save $10 a month on your monthly bill.


If you’re a CommBank customer looking for a plan on the Telstra network, More should be at the top of your list.

More is part-owned by CommBank and offers CommBank customers a $30 discount on all of its mobile plans. This discount will be valid for the first year with More, after which your permanent discount will decrease to 10%.

More also has standard Telstra network benefits, including unlimited international calls to 15 countries on most plans and data banking.

not mobile

numobile is a telco with a twist. This Telstra network provider exclusively sells refurbished smartphones. The units on offer tend to be a little older, but that also means you save some money. Refurbished phone sellers like numobile test their phones through several stages to make sure everything works, but they may have some surface damage like light scratches and scuffs.

If you don’t want a new (okay, upgraded) phone, you can still get a SIM-only plan from numobile.


Tangerine’s SIM-only plans are pretty typical of Telstra’s network. The value is in line with the competition as you get the same 500GB data bank as you’ll find on other Telstra-powered providers.

Woolworths mobile

You probably wouldn’t think of Woolies when it comes to phone plans, but anyone who eats fresh food often should consider switching to a SIM-only plan. All Woolworths Mobile customers can get 10% off their Woolies grocery once a month, with a maximum discount of $50. If you have a big enough store, you can cover your entire mobile bill.

So why bother with Telstra?

While most Big T-powered providers offer better rates than Telstra itself, there are still some compelling reasons to sell your soul to Australia’s biggest telco.

First, apart from Boost, Big T keeps its entire network to itself. This means that other MVNOs lose access to some towers and have less coverage in some rural and regional areas.

MVNOs are also generally a bad choice for global roaming. For Telstra, you’ll pay $10 a day when you’re overseas, which gets you 1GB of data and unlimited talk and text (or $5 a day in New Zealand). If you go over, you’ll pay another $10 for a 1GB top-up, which will expire in 31 days. This can still add up quickly, so it’s always worth considering a local SIM card at your destination.

On the other hand, not all Telstra MVNOs offer international roaming. When they do, you won’t get as much data. For example, Boost travel packs start at $20 for 1GB with a three-day validity period. All of them only cover a limited number of calls. Although it’s cheaper per day, you get less data.

Telstra’s MVNO roaming packages (if available) also tend to cover fewer countries compared to Telstra’s roaming.

Finally, Telstra customers also get access to the Telstra Plus benefits program, which gives you a few bonuses. They include:

  • $12.50 movie tickets for event and BCC theaters. Saturdays and public holidays after 5 p.m. a $3 surcharge applies.
  • Advance tickets for certain concerts and events
  • Discounted tickets to certain sporting events

Telstra Plus also means that for every dollar you spend with Telstra, you’ll earn points that you can later redeem for a gadget or a discount on a new phone. The dollar value of the points is small – you shouldn’t sign up to Telstra just because they have a loyalty program, but it’s a welcome addition if you’re going to anyway.

Alex Choros is the managing editor of WhistleOut, an Australian phone and internet comparison site.

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