Optus' mobile network is continually evolving and now covers 98.5% of the Australian population. Both its 3G and 4G networks have received significant upgrades in the past couple of years, and its fastest speeds keep rolling out to more regions beyond the major cities. All good stuff.
What you might not know is that Optus shares this network with a number of smaller providers: amaysim, Virgin Mobile and iiNet to name a few. And, Optus gives these partners full access to the 4G network, so if you know that you get good Optus coverage, you should have the same experience with any of these tiny telcos.
Obviously, more options is a good thing. But when you take all Optus network providers into account, there are hundreds of plans to consider. So, we’re here to help with our picks for the best value plans backed by Optus 4G network.
Best Optus MVNO plans with at least 1GB of data
If you'd regard yourself as someone who uses their smartphone less frequently, there's plenty of plans to pick from Optus on the Optus network.
Best Optus MVNO plans with at least 5GB of data
Even smartphone lovers with high data needs are catered for by the smaller providers, and you'll almost certainly save some money with the following options. Below are plans with 5GB of data or more.
Best huge data Optus MVNO plans
Many Optus MVNOs have a couple of unique offers where they'll give you a massive pool of data at a reasonable price - we're talking 30GB if not more - but the trade off is you'll be restricted to 3G data speeds.
Based on testing undertaken in 2014, Optus says its 4G network is between two and four times faster than its 3G network. For example, downloading a 10MB song might take 5 seconds on 4G, but 18 on 3G.
Optus' average 3G download speed is 3.8Mbps. This is fast enough to comfortable stream standard definition content through Netflix, but falls short of the 5Mbps recommended for high definition video.
A closer look
As you can see, we've included options across a wide range of prices, and with varied inclusions. Whether you're looking for something affordable, or a plan with a huge amount of included data, our editor's picks should have what you're looking for.
Vaya: the Unlimited S plan is currently the cheapest plan in Australia offering unlimited calls and SMS. The included 1GB data is a good start, but many average users will probably need more. For parents buying the plan for kids, it is probably wise to turn off the automatic data top ups.
Customer service is another key reason to consider Vaya, which is now owned by Amaysim, which in turn is one of the telcos with the best customer service records in Australia, according to the telecommunications ombudsman.
amaysim: we used to recommend Amaysim because of its great data inclusions, but recently this tiny telco gave us another compelling reason to talk about them. Now, all Amaysim plans include unlimited calls to 10c countries: China, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, UK and USA. If you call overseas, Amaysim should be at the top of your list.
It is also probably Australia's leading telco in regards to customer service, Amaysim is a great option for anyone looking for a SIM plan, especially someone who is new to the concept. While it is better known for its higher value (more expensive) plans, the UNLIMITED 3GB is a great choice for average use phone owners.
Yomojo: a relatively new company, Yomojo is actually the telco that used to be called Yatango before it was sold. As it as with the older version, Yomojo offers some great low cost options.
The plan we've listed here is a great sold option for a data-lover on the Optus 4G network. 5GB is more than double the average data use on phones in Australia right now, and is good for hours of music streaming, some video and lots of regular web browsing.
Jeenee Mobile: has long been a favourite among the WhistleOut team. Not only does Jeenee offer great value plans, but as a not-for-profit the company is dedicated to assisting people living with disabilities.
Jeenee's Mammoth plans are qiote a bit different to the other plans on the market. They include a dead dinosaur worth of data, but you can only access iton 3G networks. This is an interesting trade-off and will be perfect for some people, and not ideal for others.
OVO Mobile:is a recent entrant into the Aussie SIM plan space, and is making a splash with what is probably the best value data deal in a dollars to data ratio.
On top of bang buck plans, OVO also offers a unique sport video streaming service. OVO subscribers get data-free access to a growing number of dedicated sports streaming channels, including V8 supercars, Australian Gymnastics, and more to come.
Phone network image via Shutterstock