Media Release

No, you hang up: Aussies reluctant to break up with big three telcos

        • 78% of Australians are with either Telstra, Vodafone or Optus.
        • Those with the big three are more likely to think that they're getting bad value for money.
        • Tips on how to pick the right mobile phone plan.

12 November 2020, Sydney, Australia – Australians stand to save about $100 a year on their mobile phone bill, according to new research by Finder, Australia's most visited comparison site.

New data from Finder's Consumer Sentiment Tracker shows that 78% of Australians with a mobile phone plan are with one of the big three telcos (Telstra, Vodafone or Optus).

That leaves only one in five (22%) that are signed up with a smaller telco.

The research also found that almost one in five customers (18%) with the big three don't think they're getting good value for money, in comparison to just 7% of those that are with a smaller telco.

Angus Kidman, telco expert at Finder, says these Aussies aren't wrong.

"If you've stuck with the same mobile plan for years, you're not getting the best bang for your buck – and this is particularly true if you're with one of the big three providers.

"Just a few years ago, a plan with 20GB would usually cost $50 a month, but the influx of smaller players has changed the game. Now you can get far more data for less money," he said.

Further Finder analysis of prepaid monthly mobile plans with 30GB of data found that you can save $90 per year by switching to a smaller telco.

Kidman isn't surprised that Aussies tend to stick with what they know.

"The big three telcos still have bricks and mortar stores where you can easily try out phones and sign up to a contract. That seems easy, but not comparing will cost you.

"There's also a popular misconception that the cheaper price tag means you'll receive worse coverage, but this is simply not the case.

"It's true that brand new 5G networks aren't usually available through smaller players, but that won't make any difference for the vast majority of Australians.

"All telcos use one of the big three networks, so your service shouldn't suffer. The biggest trade-offs are in extra features, like data-free music streaming, which many smaller telcos tend to lack."

Surprisingly, gen Y is much more likely to be with one of the big three (82%) than baby boomers (70%).

Kidman said that older Australians are those that stand to save the most.

"If you're only using your phone for calls, texts and the odd email, you'll find plans as cheap as $5 a month with a smaller provider."

Finder's Consumer Sentiment Tracker also found that 19% of Australians have switched providers in the last 6 months.

"The pandemic has seen many Aussies tightening the purse strings. If you're looking for a way to easily cut down your bills, your mobile phone plan is a good place to start.

"If you haven't switched since 2015, you're paying 2015 prices. Now is the time to look for a better deal and save," Kidman said.

Best value monthly plans

PlanFeaturesMonthly cost
Circles.Life100GB of data

3GB bill shock protection

Optus network


Spintel40GB of data

Optus network


amaysim50GB of data

28-day expiry

Optus network


$9 for the first recharge if you sign up before 31 December, then $30

What to consider when picking a mobile phone plan

  • How much data do you use? The first thing you should do is look at your current plan and how much data is included. If you're constantly going over, it's time to upgrade your limit, but if you rarely reach your limit, you could consider downgrading and paying less.
  • Do you make regular international calls? Most plans offer unlimited domestic calls and messages, but if you're frequently making calls to overseas friends, family or work, consider a plan that includes unlimited international minutes.
  • Are you after any added features? Some plans offer additional plan features to entice new customers. For example, Telstra offers data-free streaming through Apple Music, and Circles.Life offers bill shock protection.


For further information


The information in this release is accurate as of the date published, but rates, fees and other product features may have changed. Please see updated product information on's review pages for the current correct values.

About Finder

Every month 2.6 million unique visitors turn to Finder to save money and time, and to make important life choices. We compare virtually everything from credit cards, phone plans, health insurance, travel deals and much more.

Our free service is 100% independently-owned by three Australians: Fred Schebesta, Frank Restuccia and Jeremy Cabral. Since launching in 2006, Finder has helped Aussies find what they need from 1,800+ brands across 100+ categories.

We continue to expand and launch around the globe, and now have offices in Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Poland and the Philippines. For further information visit

12.6 million average unique monthly audience (June- September 2019), Nielsen Digital Panel

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