Telstra is Australia’s largest mobile provider, with a variety of contract, prepaid or SIM-only plans to suit practically everybody.
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While at one time it was the government communications monopoly, deliberate deregulation in the 1990s opened up the landscape for competitor brands to flourish, especially in the rapidly evolving mobile telephony space.
Still, Telstra has kept pace and often outpaced its competitors with offerings that rest on the carrier's reputation as a high-tech premium network. That has meant that Telstra has often been ahead of the curve in terms of technology, with the first Category 16 network deployments in Australia. However, with the 5G future looming, it's hardly resting on its laurels.
Telstra is of course more than just a mobile phone provider, with a wide range of telecommunications services for consumer broadband, fixed line telephony and business services. As well, it has entertainment offerings such as Telstra TV and its streaming exclusive rights for sports such as AFL, NRL and Australian Netball.
Telstra Mobile prepaid plans
Here's how all of Telstra's current prepaid offers and deals compare:
Prepaid plans can make a lot of sense if you're on a constrained budget, or if you simply want to control the level of your mobile spend. Rather than a postpaid plan, where you're billed at the end of each billing month for your usage, prepaid plans are paid upfront, and you can only use as much as you've paid for. In the current mobile climate that's often a question of data usage more than anything else, although plan inclusions can vary.
Telstra Mobile contract plans
For many Australians, a mobile plan is one that comes with a handset, and Telstra has no shortage of handsets you can pick from. The latest and greatest handsets nearly always land at the carrier as soon as they're available in Australia.
Notably, Telstra has been the carrier of choice for Google and its in-house Pixel phones for the past couple of years, including 2017's Google Pixel 2 and Google Pixel 2 XL. But it's not just an Android house, with Apple's popular iPhone X and iPhone 8 Plus also available.
Get the new iPhone 8 64GB from Telstra for $109/month from Telstra deals
For comparison, here's Telstra's current plan pricing on the top-end 256GB Apple iPhone X:Back to top
And then for the slightly less expensive Telstra Signature 2 handset:
Telstra SIM-only mobile plans
If all you want is access to Telstra's mobile network and you don't require a new or replacement handset, then a Telstra SIM-only plan may be a better fit.
Telstra's postpaid SIM-only plans are sold on rolling month-to-month or 12 month terms, with slightly different pricing and inclusions depending on whether you're happy with an annual contract or not.
How does Telstra Mobile compare?
Telstra's market positioning is one of being a premium provider, with premium services and pricing to match. That means in a straight line comparison, it's often just a touch more expensive than its direct competitors, Vodafone and Optus, in matters such as contract plans.
Telstra's positioning on this is that additional features such as free streaming of AFL, NRL and Netball, plus access to the Telstra Air network, give its plans additional value above its competitors.
Why should you consider Telstra Mobile?
For many Australians, Telstra represents a trusted and known brand in the mobile space with a premium pedigree for service quality. It has the widest overall footprint of any mobile 4G or 3G provider, and while that's not 100% of the Australian landmass, it's still much larger and wider than its competitors if you do travel to the more remote corners of our country.
Telstra charges a premium price, but it backs that up with a lot of extra features.
Telstra prepaid recharge options
- Online at m.telstra.com: If you’ve got your prepaid phone to hand, you can access Telstra’s web portal at any time with no data cost. From there, you can access your credit balance and recharge via credit/debit card, Visa Checkout, PayPal or CreditMe2U services.
- Online from your desktop: The same interface that you can use at Telstra’s mobile portal is also open to you from your computer’s web browser, although because it won’t be able to detect your mobile automatically, you will have to register for a Telstra ID, or link your Facebook ID with your Telstra account to manage and recharge your prepaid service.
- Via Telstra’s 24/7 app: Telstra’s mobile app for Android or iOS provides you with an easy way to check your prepaid balance. If you have other Telstra services you can log in with your Telstra ID, but if you’re using your mobile device directly and you’re not on a Wi-Fi connection, it can detect your SIM and service status, as well as letting you recharge your service. The Telstra 24/7 app is available free of charge for iOS (you can download it here), Android (download here), Windows Phone 8 (download here) or BlackBerry 10 handsets (download here).
- Via Credit Card/PayPal: Telstra supports payments via Visa, Mastercard, Diners Club, American Express or PayPal to recharge mobile services if that’s your payment gateway of choice, but you will have to go through Telstra’s prepaid payment gateway to avail yourself of the service. You can recharge your own mobile service, or the service of any other Telstra prepaid mobile this way.
- Via voucher: You can opt to purchase recharge vouchers at most supermarkets and other mass-market retailers, which you then apply to your mobile service through the Telstra 24/7 App or mobile web portal.
- By phone: If you’d rather use your phone to recharge, you can access recharge services by dialling 125 888 from your handset.
- Via automatic recharge: If you simply don't want to forget to recharge, you can set your account to automatically recharge on expiry through Telstra's 24/7 app or web portal. Bear in mind if you do opt for this feature, it will keep going even if you're not using the service any more until you explicitly tell it not to.
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