Is Telstra still worth the premium?

With the release of the new iPhone and Pixel 3 and comparing the plans amongst the three major providers, I'm starting to question if Telstra is still worth the extra premium?

Would love to see what other opinions are!

Poll Options

  • 39
  • 5
    Staring to consider
  • 1
    Had bad experience with other providers so only pick Telstra
  • 5
    I don't see much difference
  • 35
    Way overpriced now!

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  • Reception wise, yep. Other than that, naaaah

  • I'm on Kogan (Vodafone) and it depends where you live I reckon. I live suburban Brisbane and very rarely go to rural areas, so I always have reception. A couple of times I have gone rural I've bought a Telstra SIM card on special at the shops for $10/15 and used that for a few days and its always worked fine.

    • I think I've got Telstra/Optus phones for personal/work and I tend to favour using the Telstra phone as the reception is superior.

      Optus phone reception tends to be fine in most city areas and the speeds are similar enough. It's really the fact that occasionally my Telstra phone gets reception where the Optus doesn't. It's definitely more pronounced in regional areas, but still happens in suburban areas occasionally too.

      • You think you've got Telstra/Optus phones for personal/work? I think that is something you would know

  • I work rural frequently. If I want full coverage Telstra is the way to go because many of their rural 4G towers are the infamous… B28! Vodafone tend to have the worst country with massive patches of 0 coverage while Optus are getting better but still patchy.

  • I have just switched to Telstra from Optus and happy so far. Some of their newer deals are great, $45pm for 50gb through JB Hi-Fi is pretty bloody good.

  • If you plan on having reception in more remote areas, national parks, basically anywhere that isn't within 20km's of a CBD - go with telstra IMO. I am using boost prepaid and its been great reception wise.

  • I was originally with Optus, but due to bad reception in the suburbs, i switch to Telstra.

    now been with Telstra for almost 6 years im thinking about going back to Optus.

    Reason is Optus has upped the reception coverage(i see my friends phones)
    And Optus has better plan prices and data

  • If you hike or play pokemon go / ingress out in the middle of nowhere it 100% is .

  • For sure. The cost difference between the various provider isn’t that much. It is a no brainer really. Humans are funny though, they try and ‘save’ here and there, but easily spend $5 for coffee a few times a day.

    • Coffee costs $3 on a good day. That is $90 a month. I could cut that back to $90 in the first month, then $10 each month afterthat. Then use that $80/month to purchase a phone plan, maybe with Optus, maybe with Telstra, who knows!


    I was with optus for a very long (2000 -2015) then switched to Telstra because the reception was crap around my house. Telstra was no better I used them for 3 years and just switched back a couple of weeks ago. Optus is perfectly good coverage. I live in a CBD, I get out to the country a bit but not really off the beaten track, just the usual travel hotspots.

  • It really depends on how much the premium is, exactly. I just switched from Optus to Telstra (to their $45/m for 50GB SIM only deal) which is exceptional value when you consider the improved reception and speeds for little extra cost (if any extra at all, depending on Optus' offerings at any point in time).

    When it comes to the Pixel/iPhones, there aren't any specials so that's where the big cost disparity can come into play. If you have your heart set on one of those devices, then I would look at doing the following:

    Sign up to the $65/m 80GB Telstra plan at JB HiFi with a free handset (
    Take the Oppo Find X or Huawei P20 Pro, and sell the phone here, on Gumtree, or on eBay (could get $700-$900)
    Purchase the Pixel 3/iPhone XS outright

    Based on the RRP of the base models ($1199 for Pixel 3 or $1629 for iPhone XS) and assuming you receive only $700 from selling the phone you get from JB HiFi, you're looking at an effective monthly cost of $85/m for the Pixel 3 or $106/m for the iPhone XS with unlimited calls and text and 80GB data. If you manage to net the higher end ($900) for the phone, then it comes down to $77.50/m for the Pixel 3 or $101.50/m for the iPhone XS. This works out to be a rather large discount for the Pixel 3, relative to Telstra's standard offerings, but less so for the XS, so may or may not be worth the time and effort to do the buying/selling.

  • For innerwest Sydney I found Vodafone better than optus but Vodafones international calls couldn't get through 10% of the time, optus always.

  • Compare to Optus, not much at all, when its comes to reception in CBR or ADL. Maybe depend on where you are.

  • As someone who needs the Telstra network to do stuff, I've used both boost mobile and Telstra.

    Boosts prepaid plans are absolutely better than Telstra's…but after being on Telstra's "unlimited" plan for a bit, it definitely feels like they prioritise their SIMs over the resellers.

    Just to bad their best plans are on contracts. That's not limited to Telstra though :shrug:

    TL;DR, depends how long you're using it for and what deals are around….and absolutely how much data you use.

    And what price bracket you're paying…boost doesn't auto enable that BS "extra data for 10 grand" stuff that Telstra has for their low end.


    Not sure what the fuss is about…I use Telstra from time to time and the reception is really not great in certain areas like Potts Point and CBD Westfield while Voda has nearly full bars.

    • The reception thing is namely with outback areas (and certain cities I suppose).

      I know personally, where I live, only the Telstra network is available.

  • Try Belong, the Telstra subsidiary.
    Telstra coverage (some remote towers excluded, but better than optus/voda in rural areas) at a fraction of the price.

  • A mate's iPhone XS is getting Telstra 4gx download speeds of up to 200Mbps. I'm not joking, that's double the fastest NBN speeds. The best I get on Optus 4g Plus is 40Mbps which is still pretty good because I'm back to my iPhone 5 :) but it's not 200!!!

    • It would be really depend on the location (coverage, signal) and time (congestion) and device. I got 300 down on Optus 4G plus the other day in Adel CBD using a Note 9,think the 4x4 MIMO helps a little bit haha.