Prepaid mobile data deals: Vodafone vs Optus vs Telstra

Alex Kidman 8 February 2016

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Vodafone’s latest offer significantly increases the amount of data you get on its Prepaid Combo plans. How does that compare at the same price points on similar Optus or Telstra plans?

Data is absolutely the key value criteria that telcos are measuring their plan values against, and that’s not surprising given how relatively cheaply you can score a plan with unlimited (or near-unlimited) calling and texting provisions. Data is the last great value frontier, and it’s fairly unlikely that we’ll see unlimited data plans in Australia any time soon.

What we are seeing, however, is the emergence of plans with a lot of data, even in spaces where typically the data provisions have been quite weak. Vodafone is the latest to jump on the heavy data bandwagon, offering a limited time double data deal on its prepaid combo packs. Here is how the current pricing plans for Vodafone’s Prepaid Combo plans now look:

Vodafone Prepaid Combo plan rechargeBase dataBonus dataTotal data
$301.5GB1.5GB3GB
$404GB4GB8GB
$506GB4GB10GB
$608GB4GB12GB

Vodafone's additional data deal for prepaid will run through until 31 May 2016. You don’t get the same data inclusions at the lower $10 and $20 recharge levels, although you can get 100MB or 250MB of additional data at those tiers if you recharge via either text or online.

So how does Vodafone’s prepaid generosity look against competitors Telstra and Optus? It’s an interesting mixed field, because all three telcos have multiple prepaid deals that ostensibly look similar.

Optus has its My Prepaid Monthly Plus and My Prepaid Ultimate plans, both of which have significant data inclusions, although the Ultimate produce works on a 28 rather than 30 day recharge cycle. Telstra offers both Beyond Talk and Freedom Plus packages, and again the contrast there is that Beyond Talk is a 30 day recharge cycle where Freedom Plus credit only lasts 28 days. Additionally, you can use Beyond Talk credit to buy data top ups, where Freedom Plus wants additional cash for the same thing.

Here are how the current offers compare.

Prepaid Plan Recharge Tiers$30$40$50$60
Vodafone Prepaid Combo3GB8GB10GB12GB
Optus My Prepaid Ultimate3GB8GB9GB8GB
Telstra Beyond Talk200MB300MB400MBN/A
Telstra Freedom Plus2.6GB6GB8GBN/A

It’s interesting to note that Optus’ $60 recharge, which is listed in its Ultimate Critical Information Summary, offers less data than the current $50 recharge tier.

Equally, while Telstra’s deals appear lower but competitive, that’s including its current night time data promotion, which doubles -- data but only for use between 8pm and 8am daily. Telstra’s Beyond Talk packages can also use prepaid credit to buy additional data bundles, so the comparison isn’t quite as bad as it might seem; at the top tier $50 recharge rate you could buy a 3GB data top up from your existing credit, for example.

Check out our in-depth comparison of mobile plans for options from even more providers.

Image: Shutterstock

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