Telstra vs Optus - is Telstra worth the premium price?

Hi, first post. Please go easy on me (:

My question: is there a noticeable difference in service quality between Telstra vs Optus?

I'm looking at getting the Google Pixel 5 and can get a better deal upgrading my current plan than to switch to Telstra. But if it's worth the price, I'll switch.

Currently have a huawei mate20 pro with Optus and I feel like the service quality is not the best (call drop out, texts come hours later, weak signal) I'm not sure if it's hardware related (dropped my phone way too many times to count).


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  • No visual voicemail with Optus

    • None with Telstra either if you don't have an iPhone.

      • what's the difference between visual voicemail and Message2Txt/Voice2Txt?

        • Visual voicemail displays voicemail messages in the Voicemail section on the phone app. You can play, share, move to different points of the message, delete, etc.

      • I have a samsung s10e with boost and all of my voicemails are delivered in my messages so i can listen to them without dialing into my voicemail, i thought this was visual voicemail?

        • Not quite. Visual voicemail is more like an app which lists all your voicemail which you can play, save or delete from. It's similar, but different…

  • Depends on where you are. I prefer Optus but not thru Optus directly as they are a pain to deal with. Catch Connect are much better imo.
    Have never had any of the problems you mention. It may be the phone?

    • Depends on where you are


      If you are located Metro areas I would suggest to try Kogan mobile (aka Vodafone network) and save heaps if you have BYO mobile.
      They usually offer a $10 intro decent 1 month plan (unlimited and usually 20GB) to try their network.

    • I used to use Catch a bit when they had the cheaper 90 day deals - but one thing I like about Optus is they have the voicemail messages sent through as an audio file to listen to. From what I can gather, Catch does not have this?

  • You can also get a discount on Telstra plans via Amway:

    • But then you need to join a pyramid scheme…

    • You can use the benefits of the discount without needing an Amway membership - a referral code is provided and you deal with Telstra.

      People tend to throw the term 'pyramid' too loosely for network marketing. If they interpret it as the person higher than them getting paid more and will always get paid more, then that's just normal business. My manager gets paid more than me, my director also, then the CEO etc. My work too is then by lay-definition a pyramid.

      • some managers get paid less than workers in some industries - especially with EBA which include penalties, over-time and allowances vs Salary.

      • Sorry… Amway, along with all those other "network marketing", 'multi-level marketing' and 'business babe' schemes are pyramid schemes.

  • We switched to Optus from Telstra.
    lasted a month and switched back.

    Optus was congested and had constant drop outs compared to Telstra
    It will always depend on your location i find

  • i'll start by saying i work for telstra.. but under most people's circumstances, Optus is fine

  • I've found that in the areas that I live/work/travel, telstra has been the best out of the 3 in terms of consistency (speed, signal and least amount of deadzones).

    Between around the Airport to Mac Park, also in an apartment right now where I've got full reception 4g telstra vs 3/4 reception flips between 4g/3g optus.

    TLDR: worth it (for me!)

  • +1 vote

    I left Optus in May this year. They continued to charge my account. Took countless messages with their live chat and me having to chase them up. Finally got my money back last week.

    • Optus are hopeless with their billing and customer support, but that's a double edged sword. When I was with them, I used to call up every other month and say the last guy I talked to promised me a $20 discount on my bill and I never got it. Because they messed up so often, the assumption was that they were wrong, and so I'd get it.

  • Night and day difference, ofc there may be certain locations where Optus is better but in the overwhelming majority of locations Telstra offers the better experience.

  • Telstra has pretty cool Google Home/Nest features; it can now receive phone calls made to your mobile number, in addition to making phone calls

  • My question: is there a noticeable difference in service quality between Telstra vs Optus?

    Depends on things like location, reception towers etc. Some peeps have had better experiences with Optus than Telstra and vice versa.

    My own experience is yes, it is better, I switched from Optus to Boost Telstra. As my apartment didn't have any good reception when I was with Optus (call drops, 4g slow, SMS/MMS sometimes doesn't send etc).

    Is it worth the extra? Yes and no. I wouldn't go to Telstra directly. I find I get more value from those providers that use Telstra network. Like Boost and Woolworths.

    I'm looking at getting the Google Pixel 5 and can get a better deal upgrading my current plan than to switch to Telstra. But if it's worth the price, I'll switch.

    If your not going to use the large data GB per month perhaps look at getting prepaid SIM from Boost or Woolies? And purchase the device outright?

  • If you have problems with Optus then you are up the creek with your own equipment and skills IMHO. The Optus support are script jockeys.

    Saying that Optus are cheaper than Telstra. Belog is also cheaper than Testra, but use the Telstra network with offshore support centre that closed down in the height of the covid crises and their support went to god.

    I would buy a cheap Optus and/or Belong SIM when on special at Woolies or Coles and put it in the phone to see how you go. If you find it's better then port your phone over and ditch the Optus and/or Belong SIM ( make sure you cancel the Belong SIM otherwise you will be charged for the next month or recharge).

    Only use coverage maps as a GUIDE as they are NOT accurate.

    • Belong use the Telstra Wholesale network, not the Full Telstra Network (only Telstra and Boost get access to the full Telstra network)
      Telstra Wholesale network has coverage similar to Optus.

      • Yes they use both 3g and 4g not the full 4gx LTE network that is only offered to boost and Telstra.

        • Telstra Wholesale has significantly smaller land area coverage than Telstra Retail, it's not just a speed difference.
          The networks are not at all comparable.

  • I moved to Optus and moved straight back to Telstra within 4 week. Melbourne CBD area.

  • Check the phone specs as to what category LTE it runs as well as what bands.

    My new phone OPPO RENO 5G had amazing specs and best LTE.

    There is a big difference between Telstra v Optus speed test alone, plus Telstra has VOLTE.

    YES Location matters, if you're in the CBD there won't be much difference but in the country areas Telstra covers much more signal.

    • Melbourne can be shocking on Optus. When I was last on it (granted, 2 years ago) there was no signal in the loop or major train stations, no signal in my office building and 4G deadspots everywhere (it used to be impossible to get a signal at the Flinders St/Elizabeth St tram stop, where there used to be big Optus 4G advertisements).

      Before signing up to a $1,000 plan though, if I was OP I'd get the cheapest Telstra prepaid and test it out for a day, that's the easiest way to tell if it's the network that's the problem or not.

  • You should have thought about this earlier, you missed out on the JB Hi Fi vouchers

    • I'm still waiting on the illusive callback from jbhifi because there systems were down. Jbhifi are trash sometimes

  • Optus customer service is a joke. Instead of solving the actual problem for you, their strategy is to annoy the hell out of you, so you give up contacting them eventually.

  • As above Optus C/S is a joke, although only times i need to contact them is when i need to process a relocation request that's when i get the headache, once things are up and going i find their connection to be fine and rarely have drop outs.

  • It really depends where you live/work. I recommend getting a prepaid Sim like the others above said, and checking where you live and work is suitable before contracting with a different network. I moved from Optus to Vodafone because I had heaps of problems with Optus but Telstra was too expensive, yet Vodafone was same price as Optus without the problems.

    A personal example, I have a dual Sim iPhone with a Telstra corporate Sim for my work number and a Vodafone prepaid Sim for my personal number. At my parents house I get one bar of Telstra reception and full bars Vodafone, at my house I get half bars of both networks and at my work I get full bars of Telstra and one bar of Vodafone. It actually suits me fine because I’m not expecting work calls when I am at my parents, nor am I expecting many personal calls while I’m at work.

  • Tesltra Tesltra Tesltra! For me, even slowed down Tesltra at 1.5 Mbps is much better than Circles.Life/Optus on some days.

  • Telstra all the way I’m afraid. That Optus service is more likely to be congested and unable to dial out in peak events/times, and also less likely to have better speeds. Call quality on Telstra is also better too. Some areas though Optus is better - all round though Telstra will trump them.

  • It really depends on where you live. If you want more 5G availability and faster speeds generally I would pick Telstra. If you move around regularly, especially out of highly populated areas again I would choose Telstra.

  • Price will almost always be better with Optus, but service and coverage is almost always better with Telstra, especially if you venture out of the major cities….

  • My question: is there a noticeable difference in service quality between Telstra vs Optus?

    Define service quality. Network service or customer service? If network service, then it's the Optus & Telstra network so opens right up to resellers as far as customer service, billing, etc.

  • Telstra relied initially upon its branding, and only idiots remained true to the brand, even though other alternatives presented themselves much better and cheaper alternatives.

    Are you one of these people?

  • I was with telstra and had drop outs a lot. Switched to Optus and for me the problem solved and cheaper for me. I guess it depends on location and what you need. I'm happy with Optus for my needs. :)

  • Here in WA (and I travel a lot all over WA) nothing beats Telstra for coverage….period.

    HOWEVER - if most of your service requirements are metro and you can live with losing connection between country towns Optus may be fine.

  • Telstra service is TERRIBLE unless you are a business customer

  • I have both Optus (personal) and Telstra (company), family also on Optus. Telstra's signal coverage is much much better than Optus. I used to live in bushy areas and go to lots of parks and bush walks. Can't get signal with Optus in a lot of cases but can with Telstra.

    A good example, if you're in Sydney, go to Bobbin Head and track around, with Optus you'll get low or no signal whereas you'd be better off with Telstra.

    Everytime I take the train, up to the North Shore line, there'll be segments where Optus data just cuts off, I'd switch over to my Telstra line and its still good to go.

  • Optus lack HD voice with interconnecting to Telstra, which results in crap voice call quality between the carriers.