MVNOs explained: which network is behind your carrier?

15 May 2017

Smaller mobile service providers, or Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs), are cropping up all over the place. While there are only three wholesale phone networks in Australia, there are now dozens of smaller suppliers.

So, how does this work?

As we mentioned, there are only three phone networks in Australia: those owned by Telstra, Optus and Vodafone. Regardless of which provider you choose, you'll always end up using one of these cellular networks.

Essentially, the MVNOs buy network service at wholesale prices, then resell this service on to us. Because they have lower overheads, smaller advertising budgets, and don't always stock handsets, the MVNOs can offer the same products as the big brand telcos but at much cheaper rates.

If you own your own phone and want to save a bunch of money, you should check these guys out. But before you make any decisions on price alone, you’ll have to make sure that your phone will work with the MVNO of your choice.

To make this easier, we’ve put together a list of suppliers based on which network they operate on. This is not an exhaustive list, but it does reveal the networks behind the top Aussie MVNOs.

Telstra network MVNOs


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