How to compare the best mobile plans for your kids

Choosing the best mobile plan for your children involves more than just finding the cheapest deal.

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Choosing a mobile phone for your kids can be tricky enough, whether you opt for a brand new handset or hand them your old mobile when you get a new phone yourself. Choosing a mobile plan can be equally complex, because there’s no real one-size-fits-all solution.

Figures suggest that the peak time for a child to get their first handset is during the transition from primary to secondary school, although a surprising number of primary kids are being given phones quite early on. The communication needs of a smaller child will differ quite a lot from those of older teenage children. So before you pick a plan, you should consider the following:

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Pick of the plans: Which plans are best?

As we said, there’s no absolute "best" plan that will suit every parent, but here are our choices for plans based on usage scenarios and likely ages. For the purposes of like-to-like comparison, we've stuck to prepaid plans only, keeping in mind those parents who'd like to avoid any possible bill shock scenarios from kids watching one too many videos on YouTube or Netflix.

Younger kids

Rationale: You want your child to have a mobile so they can call or text you as and when needed, and not much more. The phone can be basic, and so can the phone plan.

Best choices:

Both Catch Connect and OVO's budget-conscious plans come with a decent allotment of mobile data for basic web browsing and are offered on a prepaid basis, ensuring that your children can't rack up exorbitant excess fees by accident. To top it off, both plans come unlimited calls and texts throughout Australia so there's no need to worry about excess call charges.


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Best plans for tweens

Rationale: You still want communications as a basis, but tweens are more likely to be branching out into other smartphone activities, including social media and streaming activities that will use up at least a little data.

Best choices:

OVO's Small prepaid plan combines unlimited standard calls and texts with a sizeable 8GB of data, all for less than $20 per 30 days. Catch Connect's 11GB plan, meanwhile, offers a solid chunk of data to use at any time for just $5 more per 30 days.


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Best plans for older teens

Rationale: In the older teen space data becomes much more of a priority, because they’re going to be using it more for music and video streaming, social media and activities such as Facetime or similar video calling applications. They should by this stage be more responsible with their usage, opening up postpaid possibilities as well as prepaid ones.

Best choices:

amayim's $30 prepaid plan gets you a cool 30GB of data along with unlimited talk and text to mobiles and landlines in 10 countries – great if your teen has friends overseas. Boost's similar $30 plan is equally compelling, getting you the extended coverage of the Telstra mobile network plus data rollover, where any leftover data from one recharge is added onto the data cap for the next recharge so it doesn't go to waste.


Image: Shutterstock

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