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Smartphones have advanced mobile operating systems that combine some of the features of a personal computer with a digital camera and video camera, Wi-Fi connectivity, GPS navigation, the ability to run apps and games, plus much more.
You might have the option of adding additional features to your mobile plan depending on the provider. Some will allow you to pay extra for features such as music streaming for an additional cost.
Your phone's operating system is the software that manages its basic functions and features. For many smartphones this includes Bluetooth connection, GPS navigation, and the ability to connect to Wi-Fi and mobile networks. The operating system also allows you to access and interact with applications on the device.
When deciding on a plan, you can usually choose from prepaid or postpaid. Prepaid plans allow you to purchase credit upfront, while postpaid plans bill you for your previous month's usage.
You use data to access the Internet, download emails, stream music and videos, run some games and applications, and get directions. It's important to strike the right balance with your data allowance or you may end up paying more than you need to each month for unused data or excess data rates.
New songs from your favourite bands, binge-worthy TV shows, and cult movies. With a suitable data allowance, you may be able to enjoy a world of entertainment without clogging up your hard drive, thanks to apps that allow you to stream music and video from your smartphone. Keep in mind that some apps may require a separate subscription.
In Australia there are two main types of mobile phone plans available. These are phone and plan bundles, where you get a device such as a smartphone with a plan, and the other is a SIM-only plan. Learn more about these two options below:
Unfortunately, there is no such thing as the ‘best mobile phone plan’, and even ‘cheapest mobile phone plan’ is open to interpretation as you still want to find a plan that suits your needs. Finding a suitable plan for you depends on a range of factors, including your budget, lifestyle, and what kind of features you’re looking for in a phone plan.
When it comes to finding a good deal on your mobile phone plan, there’s a range of features to consider. Here’s a few of the main features worth considering:
5G refers to ‘fifth generation’ wireless technology. Building on 4G, 5G technology is expected to result in faster downloads, seamless streaming, real-time gaming, and greater device connectivity.1 Only a select number of mobile phone retailers in Australia offer 5G phone plans, though this is expected to become more common over time.
SIM plans typically come in two forms: prepaid and postpaid.
How much data you require will depend on how you plan to use your mobile device. For example, if you mainly use your phone for texting and making phone calls, then a lower data plan may suit your requirements. However, if you plan to stream videos on platforms like YouTube and Netflix, as well as music and podcasts on Spotify, then a plan with higher data limits might be more suitable for you. Additionally, if you use your phone for work, including using emails and teleconferencing via Microsoft Teams and Zoom, then likewise a higher data plan might be more appropriate.
Yes, you can request for your new provider to use your existing mobile phone number. This is referred to as number porting. That said, only an active number can be ported from one provider to another, so it’s important to request that your number be ported before cancelling your existing contract.
Whether there are charges for cancelling your mobile phone plan depends on your provider and the type of plan. If you’ve signed up for a set contract period (usually 12 or 24 months), providers may charge you an Early Termination Fee for breaking the contract. In some circumstances, such as re-contracting to a new plan with the same provider, these charges may be waived.
If your plan includes repayments for a mobile phone handset, you’ll need to repay the remaining cost of your handset, which is generally a separate charge to the Early Termination Fee. To find out more, review your plan’s Critical Information Summary, which can be found on your provider’s website.
Mobile coverage can be affected by a number of factors, including technology, radio frequency, and geography. Some frequencies provide better regional coverage, while others are designed to penetrate through obstacles, such as tall buildings.3
Before you sign up with a provider, you should consider whether your usage will mainly be in regional or metropolitan areas and review their network details accordingly.
If you’re experiencing coverage problems with your existing service, you should contact your provider. There are steps they will need to take to determine the issue, including assessing whether there’s a fault with your handset, before determining how and if the matter can be resolved.
A SIM only plan provides you with a SIM card with a set amount of mobile data, talk time and text. Some providers may offer other inclusions, such as free access to different apps and services depending on their agreements. The SIM can then be used in your own ‘BYO’ mobile handset, provided it’s unlocked for use on any network.
SIM only plans are often cheaper than phone plans with a mobile handset, as your monthly charge doesn’t include the cost of a new handset. Depending on your individual provider, there may be the option of signing up for a month-to-month (casual), 12-month or 24-month plan.
*iSelect's partnered with CIMET Sales Pty Ltd (ABN 72 620 395 726) to help you compare mobile SIM plan providers and mobile SIM only plans. Not all mobile SIM plan providers or mobile SIM plans in the market are compared. The availability of plans may change from time to time. Not all plans available from CIMET providers are compared. Due to commercial arrangements, area or availability, not all plans compared will be available to all customers. Click here to view CIMET's range of providers. iSelect and CIMET earn a commission for every mobile SIM plan sold through the website.