Telstra will enter the low-cost mobile market on Sunday with the launch of Belong Mobile, an extension of its discount broadband brand. Belong Mobile will launch with just two plans: $25 per month will get you 5GB, while $40 per month will get you 15GB.
Neither plan has calling inclusions out of the box, but an extra $5 per month will give you unlimited talk and text, or an extra $10 per month will also get you unlimited international talk and text to select countries. This means most will probably end up paying $30 or $45 per month, depending on your chosen data allowance.
If you make the change to Belong Mobile before the end of the year, you'll get a one-off data gift that will double your allowance for your first month. Both plans come with unlimited data banking and data gifting. Unused data will be rolled over to your next month, and it will be available for as long as you maintain an active service with Belong. Alternatively, you're able to share unused data with other Belong Mobile customers. Virgin Mobile is the only other Australian telco that current offers data gifting. If you happen to run out of data, an extra 2GB will cost you $10.
Belong Mobile's plans are contract free.
In terms of value, Belong Mobile plans hold up favourably. When it comes to the $45 plan (factoring in a voice pack), you're looking at similar inclusions to what Optus, Virgin, and Vodafone offer around that price. Optus, Virgin, and Vodafone will however make you sign a contract for those deals, while Belong's plan is month-to-month.
Belong's $30 plan (again, factoring in a voice pack) isn't dissimilar to what's offered by no-contract competitors, but spending around $5 or so more per month can get you 10GB of data. That being said, Belong is easily the best value provider on the Telstra network (at least around the $30 mark), so the decision will likely come down to whether you'd prefer Telstra coverage or extra data.
You'll be able to find Belong Mobile SIM packs in JB Hi-Fi and Coles from Sunday, or alternatively, you'll be able to order them direct through the Belong website.