How to: Pick a cheap phone car­rier

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Gadgets -

MO­BILE phone com­pa­nies are sud­denly grow­ing in num­ber, with many of­fer­ing cheap deals on es­tab­lished net­works. The new com­pa­nies are dubbed MVNOs, or mo­bile vir­tual net­work op­er­a­tors, and they work by re­selling ac­cess to ex­ist­ing mo­bile phone net­works from Tel­stra and Op­tus. Aldi Mo­bile be­came the lat­est com­pany of this kind to­day, launch­ing monthly pack­ages from $15, but it’s not the only firm of­fer­ing deals. Here is a guide to two of the most re­cent ad­di­tions.

Aldi Mo­bile

The Ger­man su­per­mar­ket chain launched its mo­bile phone ser­vice in Aus­tralia this morn­ing, re­selling ac­cess to Tel­stra’s net­work un­der the brand Aldi Mo­bile. Its su­per­mar­kets will also sell mo­bile phones out­right that can be used on its new net­work. Call rates on Aldi Mo­bile start at $15 for a payas-you-go deal that in­cludes na­tional calls and voice­mail ac­cess at 12c per minute, stan­dard text mes­sages at 12c each, and data at 5c per megabyte. A monthly plan, cov­er­ing th­ese ser­vices and 5GB of down­loads, is avail­able for $35. Down­loads are not avail­able at Tel­stra’s NextG or 4G speeds on this plan, how­ever, with typ­i­cal speeds es­ti­mated be­tween 550Kbps and 3Mbps.

Ko­gan Mo­bile

On­line seller Ko­gan be­gan its phone ser­vice late last year and of­fers a se­lec­tion of four un­lim­ited plans us­ing Tel­stra’s net­work. The cheap­est of­fers 30 days of un­lim­ited calls, text and pic­ture mes­sages and 6GB data for $29, while $79 and $299 de­liv­ers 90 and 365-day ac­cess. A pure data plan of­fer­ing 2GB down­loads for $9.99 per month is also avail­able.

JDN

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