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Choosing a mobile phone plan

Compare phone plans and data deals

Page reading time: 4 minutes

There are lots of mobile phone plans and data deals out there. Each offers something different. Find out how to choose one that works for you.

How to get the best phone plan

Think about how you want to use your phone, and how much you can afford each month. This will help you choose the right plan.

Consider how you'll use your phone

Do you need a lot of data to stream music or sport, or for social media? Do you talk regularly to family or friends living overseas?

Most plans include unlimited calls and texts to Australian numbers. So check what a plan charges for:

Research your network coverage

Make sure that any mobile service provider you consider has a strong phone signal in the places you spend the most time. This includes where you live, work and visit frequently.

Geographic black spots will cause your phone to drop out or make it difficult to hear, so it's important to make sure you have coverage.

Check the mobile phone coverage map on the provider's website before buying a mobile service.

Work out how much you can afford each month

Doing a budget helps you sort out your money. Look at your income and expenses. Then work out what you can afford to spend on a phone plan each month.

Consider if you need a new phone

You can choose to keep your current phone and only pay for your usage, or buy a new phone.

If you use your current phone

If you need a new phone

If you want a new phone (handset), you can buy it outright or on a plan.

If your provider offers you mobile phone insurance, check that it's good value for money.

Compare phone plans

Compare phone plans with different providers to get the one that's best for you. 

Comparison websites can be useful, but they are businesses and may make money through promoted links. They may not cover all your options. See what to keep in mind when using comparison websites.

Compare features

Contract length

  • Look at how long you'll have to stay on that plan (usually 12, 24 or 36 months).

Network coverage

  • Check the provider's network coverage and speeds. Don't sign up to a plan if you can't get service where you live and work.

Cost for the phone

  • If you get a new phone on a plan, make sure the advertised cost includes the phone itself.

Minimum total cost

  • This is the minimum amount you'll have to pay over the length of the contract.
  • Make sure this includes the cost of the phone itself.


  • Check there's enough data included for what you want.
  • Find out how much extra data will cost if you go over your monthly limit.

International calls, text and roaming

  • If you make calls overseas, find out how much they will cost (prices can depend on the country).
  • Check if an international data pack or a local SIM would be cheaper than international roaming charges.

What to do before you sign the contract

When you've decided on a phone plan, you'll need to sign a contract.

Know what you're signing up for

Make sure you understand the contract and your responsibilities. If there's anything you're not sure about, ask questions or get advice from family or friends.

If you don't know what you're signing up for, you could end up paying more than you can afford.

Get a Critical Information Summary

You can download a Critical Information Summary (CIS) for each plan on the provider's website. A CIS is a free guide that explains: