How to save on your mobile phone plan

If you have a mobile phone plan with Telstra, Optus or Vodafone, chances are you are paying more than you need to for the privilege.

As YourLifeChoices reported in June, the big three telecommunications giants have all announced increases for their mobile phone plans, taking advantage of their market domination.

Exploring and investigating smaller operators in this area can lead to some very big savings, with cheaper alternatives not too hard to find.

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According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), Telstra, Optus and Vodafone customers could save between $5 and $25 per month, and possibly more, by moving to a different provider with comparable data inclusions.

The ACCC also encourages people to check how much data they typically use and to choose a plan that only covers the data they need, when trying to save money on a mobile phone plan.

According to data released as part of the ACCC’s latest Internet Activity Report, the average mobile phone user in Australia consumes less than 15 GB of data per month.

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Plans that include at least 15 GB of data, as well as unlimited national calls and texts, can be found for as little as $25 per month.

According to mobile phone comparison site, there are several different options for people to consider when trying to save money on a mobile phone plan.

You can buy an unlocked phone or smartphone from an electronics outlet or online store and sign up for a SIM-only plan or a prepaid plan.

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SIM-only versus lock-in contract
Whatphone compared a 24-month plan with one of the leading telcos with buying the same phone unlocked using the same company’s SIM-only plan.

Choosing a Samsung Galaxy S5, for example, it was possible to sign a 24-month contract with Optus for $85 a month, meaning that phone would cost $2040 over the life of the contract.

Looking on online sites such as eBay, Whatphone was able to find numerous Samsung Galaxy S5s available in the range of $240 to $280, then purchased a SIM-only plan with the same features on offer for $40 a month.

Over the 24 months the same phone cost just $1310, a saving of $730!

The comparison study said it was possible to save even more money by switching to one of the smaller operators for the SIM-only deal, finding that Ovo Mobile’s SIM-only deal for $34.90 a month for a similar amount of data and features, allowed for even bigger savings over the 24 months.

If you buy an unlocked phone yourself, you do need to check its compatibility with the network you are going to use.

Who are you with for your mobile phone plan? Have you considered switching? Why not share your thoughts in the comments section below?

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Written by Ben