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A guide to choosing the right phone plan

Mobiles have become an essential part of our lives, with our device doubling as a calendar, bank card, email, notepad, camera, newspaper, personal trainer… you name it. So, when it comes to selecting the right plan to power your phone, the pressure is on.

From data to coverage, there’s a lot to consider – but the iiNet team are here to help. We’ve compiled a list of key things to consider when choosing your next mobile phone plan.

What kind of user are you?

Before starting the hunt for a new phone plan, take time to understand your mobile habits and figure out the minimum amount of data and call allowance you need. Key questions to ask include: where will you be calling – within Australia or international? How much are you willing to spend per month? How much data do you need?

The Basics

1. Type of phone plan

The first question to ask in the great phone-plan search is this: SIM Only or handset included? The difference between the two is that on a handset included plan will include an extra amount for buying or leasing a phone, whereas on a SIM Only plan you BYO mobile and only pay for the monthly cost of data, calls, and text.

The better option for you comes down to, well, you. If you’re happy with your current handset or don’t like to be locked into contracts – opt for a SIM Only Plan. Alternatively, if you are someone who likes to have the latest tech, a handset included plan may be the most cost-effective way to do so.

2. Data

Data is the primary concern for many of us when signing up to a new plan. Unsurprisingly, video streaming uses the most data, followed by social media and music streaming, so if you find yourself using your phone for many of those activities, a plan with 40GB or more would be your best bet.

On the other hand, if you keep data usage to a minimum, choose a plan with a lower monthly gigabyte (GB) limit. You’ll find that an 8GB plan covers most web browsing, and instant messaging – especially if you are connected to WiFi most of the time.

3. Calls and Text

Good news: all iiNet SIM only plans come with unlimited talk and text to standard Australian numbers. Need to contact family or friends overseas? An Extra Large SIM Only plan will give you 100 monthly minutes for international calls (excluding selected countries*).

3. Coverage

iiNet mobile plans operate through Vodafone’s nation-wide network, which now covers over 23 million Australians. You can check if you’re covered here.

NEW Mobile Plans from iiNet.

Our new range of four mobile plans covers everyone from light users to the data-hungry. See them here.

*Excluding calls to Afghanistan, Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Ghana, Guinea, Iran, Liberia, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Tonga, Uganda, Vanuatu, Zambia, and Zimbabwe

43 comments

  1. Heather Cummins says:

    I received my invoice and receipt for my mobile phone plan but I can’t find the list of the numbers I have called,
    can you please help.
    I’m on the small plan
    Thankyou

  2. Jan W. van Egmond says:

    I have a VIVO mobile iinet993da9 wifi Was in touch if you could give my phone a connection to the number that came with a sim card. It could not be done at the time even while the simcard my son put in was from the provider you were using at the time

  3. Shirley Garrett says:

    Already on a $10 Plan, not always used in the month. Is there anything better, just keep
    A mobile in case of emergency. On a Pension
    A WASTED TEN DOLLARS OFTEN?
    THANK yo

  4. Adrian says:

    Since I communicate with only a hundred or so individuals, coverage of x million is irrelevant. Of greater concern to me is what percentage of the country is covered – since map coverage, navigation, and operation in rural areas are a major concern to me.

  5. judy says:

    I just use my phone to chat and sms in Australia, but I occasionally sms to canada. What is the best plan for me?

    • Leo Yarnold says:

      Hi Judy,

      SMS to international numbers isn’t included in the allowance we provide, they’re charged at 50c per message (max 160 characters). If you don’t make many calls, then we’d recommend starting on our lowest plan. You can see more, including the coverage checker, here:

      https://www.iinet.net.au/sim-only-plans

      -Leo

  6. Mally says:

    when will you provide esims or dual sims for wearable devices?

    • Leo Yarnold says:

      Hi Molly,

      We aren’t aware of any plans for this. Should this change, its certainly something that we’ll publicize.

      -Leo

  7. peter says:

    I am with Shirley Garrett on this. $10 per month is enough for a small amount of usage.

  8. Ray Fimmell says:

    Hey Leo, I refer to your answer to Judy. Are you sure sms text to overseas is available? and charged at 50c per message? I could do this previously when iiNet used Optus, but since the change to Vodaphone, I cannot send?

  9. Ray Terris says:

    I have my own phone and Internet at home.

    I want data only for when i’m not home, My phone can take TWO sim cards . what prices have you for basic data. I am a iinet(Adam) customer

  10. Cheryl marshall says:

    I’m looking at data for mum ,she is 90 years of age and wanting to put Netflix on , she is on a pension and I think it would be great for her she with the colder mths Coming, what is the cheapest price for her

    • Leo Yarnold says:

      Hi Cheryl!

      This really does depend on what is available to her. Whilst we’d usually recommend the Seniors plan from our friends at Westnet, Netflix can use more than the data limit on that plan. We’d suggest having a chat to our Sales team on 13 19 17 and they’ll be able to lend a hand.

      -Leo

  11. Peter McDonald says:

    Does iiNet have the equivalent of Telstra’s global roaming package ($5 a day in NZ, $10 for the rest of the world) for using the phone overseas?

    • Leo Yarnold says:

      Hi Peter,

      International Roaming is currently not available on iiNet Mobile plans, so we’d suggest using a local prepaid SIM in your destination country.

      -Leo

  12. Ken prrice says:

    Sorry but Vodafone country coverage is not that great. I often only have 3G coverage at times

  13. Helen says:

    When you switched to Vodaphone, my mobile stopped getting reception in my house in Lilyfield Sydney. Fine outside, in the car, in other homes. Not my home. I’m wasting my money.

  14. Samantha Williams says:

    Since we received Vodafone sims, the coverage has been extremely poor (2 bars at most). Is Canberra in a glitch area for vodaphone coverage? Tradesmen and visiting friends find the internet coverage very slow and despite being on an unlimited data plan, the Apple TV drops out frequently. Why Vodafone? iiNet was fine.

  15. Wayne Faulkner says:

    Just travelled throughout central Qld and vodaphone coverage is shocking or should I say no exiting, will be changing our service to another provider.

  16. Michael White says:

    Since our IINET mobile phone carrier changed to Vodaphone the coverage especially in our home has been appalling. IINET wake up!!!!

  17. Peter Clark says:

    Similar to above complaints, our reception in our home has been poor for the last month, metropolitan Brisbane, two different phones. 100 metres up the street we can get reception again. Our mobiles are how we communicate with the majority of people these days, so unless there is an improvement, we will have to switch.

  18. Yvonne Nixchol says:

    No reply to 2 emails i sent to iinet complaining about Vodaphone sevice
    I am in Normanville SA 5204. Constantly dropping out during calls, and often no signal indoors.

  19. Melissa G Brown says:

    Voda phone cover is completely useless for anyone not living in a city or Major town….. NO a cover anywhere that’s actually rural, numbers of people are irrelevant to where you can use your phone. The more remote you are the more important it is to have cover that you can depend on. Find a better provider and you ll have a better service……….worthy of country users.

  20. Have been a loyal customer for 20 years using iiNet’s broadband plan and mobile plan. Recently dropped broadband and went to dodo because after taking your advice and switching to wifi,we found it much slower. When I requested reconnection I was informed it would cost me.
    Yesterday I received an email from you quoting new mobile plans with incentives. When I asked to be changed I was told it was only for new customers – not available to those of us loyal customers. I will therefore in the next week be seeking a new provider.

    • Leo Yarnold says:

      Hi Carol,

      We can always help and we’d love the opportunity to have this looked at for you. Please feel free to send an e-mail to our Social Media e-mail address: [email protected] with your details and we can have the appropriate team make contact.

      -Leo

  21. Craig Stephenson says:

    I am looking to change providers. I have 4 SIMs on the one account with the total data shared between all devices. Does iinet offer data sharing?

    • Leo Yarnold says:

      Hi Craig,

      Thanks for your interest in us. We don’t offer data sharing at this time, but if this changes, we’ll be sure to publicise this.

      -Leo

  22. Guy Neumann says:

    After twelve years as a happy iiNet customer, I must move my two mobile services to another provider. iiNet NBN services are good, but the change to Vodafone mobile network meant having to deal with 3 toolboxes instead of one (all with different usernames and passwords). I lost continuity of mobile service for four months running because having my bills automatically debited from my Visa card proved just too difficult for iiNet. My service was disconnected every month, each time having to call the support team. Every time I had to explain my problem and was promised that it was fixed. I had to re-enter my card details again and wait for hours for the service to be reconnected. The fifth time, I was told that the system was simply unable to deal with two mobile invoices due on the same day, for the same amount and on the same credit card! So, I added a different card, but was disconnected once again. Five months and many hours hanging on while operators were sweating over my “problem” … – enough.

    • Leo Yarnold says:

      Hi Guy,

      We’re genuinely sorry to hear this as this isn’t the experience that we want for you.

      You will have multiple invoices if you’ve taken our new mobile plans, as these sit in a separate billing system from our legacy offerings and will bill in a different fashion to what the legacy services do. Having said that, we aren’t aware of conflicts with charges being taken from the same account on the same day, so this is something that we can investigate. Would you mind sending your details through to us via our Social Media e-mail address: [email protected]? At the least, we can have the team look over the case history here, so this can be investigated.

      Thanks!

      -Leo

  23. Louise says:

    Let me know when you ditch Vodaphone as your carrier and I might return as a mobile phone customer.

  24. Christine Perkins says:

    Not happy with Vodaphone.
    Never had a problem when you used Optus.
    It’s not as if we live in the bush. Townsville is a reasonable sized city and we expect better service.
    We have been a customer of iiNET for more years than I can remember. Please go back to OPTUS.

  25. I agree with Christine Perkins. Since iiNet switched to Vodaphone the reception is rubbish. I live in a NSW regional city where making and receiving calls frequently impossible. Get another carrier as the existing one is a waste of money.

  26. Norman says:

    HELLO
    II must agree with others that after going over to Vodafone I now have two invoices for two mobiles, Though for two months always say they can’t take from my MasterCard but they can for my broadband. and when there notice is emailed out, there is no attachment to open. other than going to toolbox. whereas with broadband/phone bill there is an attachment that opens straight away .

    I do feel that you can do better, i aapt/iinet customer for 12 years.
    I
    Norman

    Perth

  27. ray dybala says:

    when you changed from Optus to Vodaphone i lost the ability to enter competions, but i still pay the same amount.So i now receive less for the same amount . Not good.

  28. BRIAN OATS says:

    Biggest mistake iiNet have made moving mobile network to Vodafone their coverage is pathetic and looking at their web site for outages in my area (Glenelg SA) shows continual work but no completion date – I’m certainly not getting my value – paying for little or no coverage. Have been with Adam (iiNet) 17 years but seriously looking to change all my needs to another provider.

  29. Jane says:

    When iiNet switched to Vodaphone, I had NO SERVICE at home. Soi rang iiNet help and they checked and advised me to switch to an Optus provider for my mobile phone. Which I did, using Moose, and it’s fine. Still iiNet for internet and Fetch etc.

  30. Ian says:

    was considering moving to one of your plans (with Telstra at the moment) but.. now iiNet are using Vodaphone network? 100% fail ! ( I have lots of bad experience with that with trackers at work) and I also see no International Roaming available. Another fail. Your plans, your mobile offerings might be cheap but they sure are uncompetitive.

  31. Elaine says:

    Hi, have been with you since Adam and happy until you changed to Vodaphone. It is vital I am able to contact my husband who has a disability when I am out and about if I leave him in car while going into a shop nearby. Have found sometimes there is no service and also sometimes cannot check into shops using code. Never had trouble when with Optus. Will have to consider changing. Different billing times and passwords for internet and mobiles not ideal.

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