Bendigo Bank Telco no longer offers mobile plans in Australia.
As of 1 February 2018, Bendigo Bank Telco is no longer providing new mobile phone services in Australia. Existing customers will continue to receive their current services, but you cannot sign up for a new mobile plan with Bendigo Bank Telco.
As the first and only Australian telco both owned and operated by a bank, Bendigo Bank Telco might seem like an odd duck in the mobile space, but its post-paid SIM-only plans and its phone plans hold their own against the stiff competition in the Aussie market. More than that, Bendigo Bank Telco boasts a locally based customer call centre, something of a rarity in the telecommunications industry these days.
Like many other smaller providers, Bendigo Bank Telco operates on Optus' 4G network, leveraging its 98.5% coverage of the Australian population. SIM-only plans through Bendigo Bank Telco are available on both 12-month and month-to-month contracts, while the small selection of handsets on offer are limited to 24-month contracts only.
Bendigo Bank Telco SIM-only Smart plans
Bendigo Bank Telco brands its 12-month SIM-only plans under the "Smart" label, with five different tiers spanning data caps of 1GB a month up to 15GB a month. All come with unlimited texts to numbers within Australia, while all but the 1GB plan come with unlimited calls to fixed lines and mobiles across the country.
Here's how the basic inclusions pan out:
- Smart 1GB, which includes 1GB of data and 200 mins of calls for $9.50 a month
- Smart 2GB, which includes 2GB of data for $14.50 a month
- Smart 5GB, which includes 5GB of data and $50 of international calls for $24.50 a month
- Smart 10GB, which includes 10GB of data and $300 of international calls for $34.50 a month
- Smart 15GB, which includes 15GB of data and $500 of international calls for $49.50 a month
Since all Smart plans are only available on 12-month contracts, you'll have to pay an early termination fee if you want to cancel your service before the full year is up. Depending on which Smart plan you sign up for, this fee can be anywhere from $20.90 up to $114.40.
It's also worth noting that Bendigo Bank Telco will automatically charge you for any data you use over your monthly cap. Excess data is charged at $10 per 1GB.
Bendigo Bank Telco SIM-only Freedom plans
Freedom plans are Bendigo Bank Telco's no-lock-in, month-to-month SIM-only offerings. Much like the telco's 12-month Smart plans, they come in five variants with data inclusions ranging from 1GB up to 15GB. Except for the 1GB plan, each includes unlimited standard calls and texts within Australia. The 1GB plan only includes unlimited texts and 200 minutes worth of national calls.
Here's how the plans break down:
- Freedom 1GB, which includes 1GB of data and 200 mins of national calls for $14.50 a month
- Freedom 2GB, which includes 2GB of data for $24.50 a month
- Freedom 5GB, which includes 5GB of data and $50 of international calls for $34.50 a month
- Freedom 10GB, which includes 10GB of data and $300 of international calls for $49.50 a month
- Freedom 15GB, which includes 15GB of data and $500 of international calls for $59.50 a month
Because there's no lock-in contracts to worry about, you can cancel any of Bendigo Bank Telco's Freedom plans whenever you want without having to pay an early termination fee. You will have to pony up if you go over your monthly data cap, though, with excess data usage charged at $10 for every 1GB you use over your limit.
Bendigo Bank Telco phone plans
Bendigo Bank Telco's handset options are fairly slim, with just four models currently on offer. They are four of the most popular premium handsets on the market, though, so they're worth taking a closer look at.
The Samsung Galaxy S8, Samsung Galaxy S8+, iPhone 7 32GB and iPhone 7 Plus 32GB are all available paired up with one of Bendigo Bank Telco's Smart plans, albeit over a 24-month term instead of 12 months. Depending on your chosen handset and plan, monthly costs can be anywhere from $54.50 up to $104.50.
Like the standalone SIM-only Smart plans, inclusions range from 1GB of monthly data up to 15GB of monthly data, with every plan other than the 1GB coming with unlimited national calls and texts.
As you're locked in for 24 months with Bendigo Bank Telco's phone plans, cancelling your contract before the full two years is up will incur an early termination fee. This fee is calculated based on your chosen phone, chosen plan and the time remaining in your contract, with the maximum cost ranging from $1,137.20 at the low end to $1,434.40 at the high end.
How does Bendigo Bank Telco compare?
With such a diverse range of plans, Bendigo Bank Telco is able to compete at multiple levels within the Australian mobile market. Its prime competition comes from other smaller providers like amaysim and Vaya, although it also brushes up against bigger names like Vodafone and Virgin Mobile at higher price tiers.
Smart 12-month SIM-only plans
In the 12-month SIM-only space, Bendigo Bank Telco is competing primarily with the likes of Vaya and Virgin Mobile. At the budget end of the spectrum, it fares quite well, offering more data per dollar on its 1GB and 2GB plans than Southern Phone, Exetel and Dodo. Only Vaya presents a compelling alternative, as its Unlimited plan is available on a shorter 6-month contract, tying you down for only half the time.
Stepping up to the higher tier of SIM-only plans, Bendigo Bank Telco is again edged out by Vaya's 6-month offering, but it remains competitive in the face of plans from bigger names like Vodafone and Virgin Mobile:
Freedom month-to-month SIM-only plans
Bendigo Bank Telco doesn't hold its own quite so well in the no-lock-in, month-to-month market. Vaya, amaysim and Moose Mobile all deliver more data for your dollar with their plans, making it difficult for Bendigo Bank Telco to compete at lower price points in particular.
The data deficiency in Bendigo Bank Telco's plans doesn't disappear at higher price tiers, either, and even the bundled international call credit is bested by Moose Mobile's similarly-priced offerings:
The contract phone market is a tough one to stand out in, and Bendigo Bank Telco's limited handset options place the provider in the especially crowded premium phone sector.
Looking at how its 15GB plan stacks up when coupled with a new Samsung Galaxy S8, Bendigo Bank Telco doesn't do too badly for itself, although Virgin Mobile's $80 and $100 plans beat it out in terms of raw value:
Why should you consider Bendigo Bank Telco?
While Bendigo Bank Telco's month-to-month plans aren't its strongest suit, if you're looking for a 12-month SIM-only plan, the Smart range is, fittingly enough, a smart choice. Not only is the dollar-to-data ratio up there with the best plans on the market, the included international call credit makes the Smart plans especially attractive to those with friends and family overseas.
Beyond the plans themselves, Bendigo Bank Telco distinguishes itself with its locally based call centre, ensuring that any problems you have are handled by fellow Aussies. The provider also places a strong focus on community, with a portion of its profits going back into local organisations and initiatives throughout Australia.
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