Media Release

Smartphones: The necessity that costs us $9 billion per year

  • Only 26% of Aussies are on a bundle, down from 36% in 2017
  • Aussies pay on average $44 per month for their phone plan
  • Signs you could be paying too much

21 May 2018, Sydney, Australia – While Aussies are spending less on their monthly mobile plans, it appears we’re still coughing up big bucks for the pleasure of staying connected – $770 million a month, in fact, according to finder.com.au, the site that compares virtually everything.

The survey of 2,085 people reveals that Aussie adults pay on average $44 per month for their mobile phone plan, down from $48 a year ago. This represents $770 million a month on mobile phone plan payments or $9 billion a year.

One quarter (26%) of smartphone users are on a phone and plan bundle contract, sliding from 36% on bundles in 2017.

Alex Kidman, Tech Expert at finder.com.au, says going BYO phone is the most compelling it’s ever been.

“These days we’re hanging onto the same phone for much longer. While there will always be those who refresh regularly, or who have to have the latest and greatest phone, many of us are happy hanging onto an older model.”

“Back in the day, new handsets were quite pricey, and unless you had a bit of cash, bundles were the only way to get the newest phone.”

The research shows 74% BYO phone, with 40% on a postpaid SIM-only plan and 34% on prepaid. This is compared to 64% who were on SIM-only plans in 2017, with a split of 30% on postpaid and 34% on prepaid.

“While flagship phones are still over $1,000, there’s an ever-expanding range of affordable handsets that can be purchased upfront,” Mr Kidman says.

“Competition is fierce among telcos and mobile plan pricing is changing so quickly that being tied down for 24 months isn’t your best bet if you want to save.”

“Plan hopping takes a little more time, but if you want to limit your mobile spending, it does work.”

“If you’ve finished repaying your handset but you’re happy to hold onto to that phone, it’s definitely time to switch plans at the very least. The deal you were on two years ago will be much cheaper today.”

The average prepaid subscription is $31 per month – less than half that of a bundle contract which is at $65.

Generation Y spends the most on phone plans, forking out $52, compared to $36 for Baby Boomers.

Signs you could be paying too much

    1. You’re out of contract
      Signed up to a 24-month contract three years ago? If you’ve left your contract roll over, you are almost certainly paying too much. You can still hold on to the same phone, but it’s time to change plans.
    2. You don’t have unlimited calls and texts
      Unlimited calls and texts are included in almost every plan these days, and data is the main battleground.
    3. You’re not reaching your data limit
      If you have an 8GB limit but you only have spend 2GB, you could save by switching to a plan with a lower data limit. Check your last few bills and see how much you’re using.
    4. You’re too loyal
      If you’ve been with the same telco for 10 or 20 years, it’s time to compare your options. Bear in mind that smaller providers still use one of the big three networks.
      Virtual providers like Boost, Woolworths, Telechoice and Southern Phone all use the Telstra network and offer the same coverage but for much cheaper plans. Similarly amaysim, Vaya, Dodo, OVO and Virgin Mobile run on the Optus network, and Kogan Mobile is on Vodafone.

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For further information

Disclaimer

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 finder.com.au's review pages for the current correct values.

About us

More than 3 million Australians turn to finder.com.au every month to save money, time and 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 two Australians: Fred Schebesta and Frank Restuccia. Since launching in 2006, we’ve helped our users make more than 17 million decisions.

We continue to expand and launch around the globe, and now operate in the United States and United Kingdom. For further information visit www.finder.com.au.

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