With so many options, how you can find the best mobile phone plan? Mobile phone plans often seem complicated, but they don’t have to be. Find out which plans are best for you.

Pre-Paid vs. Post-Paid Plans

The biggest difference between plans is pre-paid vs. post-paid. A pre-paid mobile phone plan allows the customer to set the limits on data usage and save money with your smartphone. This leads to more control over the monthly costs, reducing overage and unsightly fees. With pre-paid plans you avoid locking into a contract that you don’t want. Change plans at any time. Decide ahead of time how much you plan on spending.

Pre-paid contracts are excellent choices for anyone that is on a budget, uses the phone primarily socially, or for families that have multiple members using a plan. Some options like international roaming may need to be added to the plan. The prepaid plans can be bundled with the purchase of a new phone from any number of popular brands.

Post-paid plans require a locked-in service. Typically, you will sign on for up to two years. During this time, you cannot change carriers without incurring fees. These plans are often complicated. They might offer options like bill capping – where you set the monthly amount you want to spend each month. Hidden fees and surcharges are common.

Network Comparison – 2G, NextG, and 4G

Traditionally, 2G covered most of Australia. However, with newer technologies, 2G networks no longer support mobile phone technology. Third generation networks (3G) do cover basics like video calls and traditional voice calling. These networks are offered by Optus, Vodafone, and Telstra. These same companies have rolled out NextG (or 3G) technology options which uses 850MHz and covers the majority of Australia.

Long Term Evolution (LTE) or 4G delivers faster performance but has a much more limited area of coverage at this time. However, more and more networks are using 4G. In the future most Australians will be covered. Both Optus and Vodafone offer 4G coverage.

International Calling and Travel

If you plan on making many international calls, be sure to choose the smartphone plan that fits your needs. Not all plans include international roaming. Some charge very high fees for this service. Look at both post-paid and pre-paid plans to compare the two different options. For example, if you run an international business and anticipate video conferencing daily or travel internationally often, you will need to find the plan that offers the best coverage. Find the best international mobile options specific to the country you visit. Each country has different options. Here are examples from some popular travel destinations:

  1. Europe

Your Australian phone is compatible with the European GSM networks for a higher cost. Save money by keeping your phone off or asking friends to only text you while you travel.

  1. New Zealand

Chances are you will need to purchase a separate daily all-inclusive plan for your visit to New Zealand. Don’t get stuck with exorbitant rates due to roaming. Spark, Vodafone, and 2 Degrees are the main phone operators in New Zealand. If you spend significant time in New Zealand, purchase a local pre-paid plan.

  1. Thailand

Your smartphone should connect to Thailand’s GSM network. Check with your service before visiting.

Choose the Right Plan

Find the right plan for you. Choose a plan that fits your budget, your usage, and your travel. Enjoy your phone stress-free.

Richard is an experienced tech journalist and blogger who is passionate about new and emerging technologies. He provides insightful and engaging content for Connection Cafe and is committed to staying up-to-date on the latest trends and developments.