Don’t you just love it when you think that a product can’t get any cheaper but then it does?
While Amaysim offers without a doubt the best value if you need unlimited calls and text and lots of 4G data, their plans might be too expensive for people who don’t need that much data but still want to have unlimited calls and texts.
Some of our readers and subscribers have indicated to us that they don’t need that much included data and don’t want to pay $45 a month.
Instead, they wanted to know what are the absolute cheapest unlimited prepaid mobile plans currently available in Australia.
Well, your wish is our command! 🙂
For quite awhile now, the Unlimited National plan from Lebara (which runs on Vodafone’s 3G network) has been the cheapest unlimited prepaid mobile plan in Australia as far as it’s ongoing regular pricing (i.e. excluding any promotional offers).
For $29.90 a month you get unlimited calls and texts to any Australian number as well as 2GB of data.
In recent months, another virtual operator called Lycamobile have tried to ‘put up a fight’ and match Lebara’s offering one-for-one ($29.90 for unlimited calls and text and 2GB of 3G data) in order to also be in the running for the title of the cheapest unlimited prepaid mobile plan.
Lycamobile runs their services on the 3G Telstra network (or a “portion” of it as they describe it) so on the face of it their offering sounds superior due to better coverage, right?
Well, unfortunately things are a bit more complicated than that based on our testing.
As far as coverage for calls and texting, there is no doubt that Lycamobile does indeed offer superior coverage in most places compared to Lebara due to them using the Telstra network whereas Lebara uses Vodafone.
Our own testing, as well as that of others, does indeed confirm that.
However, there are three things about Lycamobile which, in our opinion, make their offering less appealing:
- Their data speeds are pretty terrible and the connection itself is often very unreliable. We were surprised by that because given they use Telstra we thought it’ll be quite good. After doing some digging into it, we discovered that Lycamobile has some kind of a strange ‘roaming’ agreement with Telstra and the data connection, while coming through the Telstra network, is being routed through some unknown overseas operator. This is, in all likelihood, the reason for the poor data service. If you have ever used Lycamobile before, we would love to hear your experience as far as their data service. Please let us know in the comments.
- Lycamobile doesn’t allow tethering. This means you can’t use your included data allowance on your laptop or tablet while out and about.
- Lycamobile has some ‘shady’ pricing practices. They change the inclusions and pricing of their plans very often with no notice at all and would do so even half way through the month. They are also very fond of doing so called ‘promotions’ without a specified end date and then cancel them with no advance notice once they managed to ‘lure’ enough people in (in a classic “bait & switch” manner) . We would have no problem with that if those frequent and unannounced changes were actually making their plans better value for consumers but unfortunately, in all but very rare occasions, the opposite is true.
Therefore, if you are looking for the cheapest unlimited prepaid mobile plan and Vodafone has decent coverage where you live and work, we would definitely suggest you go with Lebara instead of Lycamobile.
If however, Vodafone coverage for you is pretty poor, you can take a ‘punt’ with Lycamobile and see whether or not it works for you. It’s prepaid so worst case scenario, you give them a go for one month and move on after that.
So now back to Lebara, which as you gathered is our preferred choice when it comes to the cheapest unlimited prepaid mobile plan.
If Vodafone has decent coverage where you are and you want to give them a try, the cheapest unlimited prepaid mobile plan in Australia could be even cheaper for you for the first month.
How does half price sound? 😉
Not only that, you will even get a BONUS of either $10 of free credit which you can use for international calls (at quite competitive rates) or another 1GB of data! The choice is yours.
Just remember that the $15 price tag and the included bonus is only available if you buy your SIM pack through OurDeal.
If you call overseas a lot, you might want to consider buying the International Unlimited plan instead which gives you unlimited calls to over 60 countries (including to mobiles for some of them).
Based on our own testing, the voice quality is pretty good (provided obviously you have network coverage).
With the OurDeal offer, the first month will only cost you $29 instead of the normal $50 price tag. With this plan you also get unlimited calls and texts in Australia and 2GB of included data (3G only as per the above).
If you have lots of family or friends overseas, Lebara has another feature which we think you will like and is unique to them: Lebara allows to transfer credit between their customers and over 230 mobile operators around the world.
This is a great way to share credit with your family and friends overseas or help them out if they can’t afford to buy their own credit. The full conversion rates and list of supported networks are available here.
So there you have it, the cheapest unlimited prepaid mobile plan in Australia just got a little bit cheaper (even if it’s only for the first month).
As usual, if you need any further clarifications or have any questions or comments, just hit us up in the comment box below.
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