There’s more to the world of phone plans than Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone. It’s easy to just pick one of the big three providers and be done with it, but Australia has plenty of smaller telcos which can often offer you a better deal.

The thing is, most people don’t know that these tiny telcos (also known as mobile virtual network operators, or MVNOs) use the same networks owned by the bigger companies. As such, you’ll get the same kind of coverage and service (although, Telstra’s wholesale network is a tad smaller than its main network, mostly in parts of rural Australia where you’re likely to get Wolf Creek’d).

Plans from smaller providers do, however, tend to be more of a no-frills kind of affair. While Optus, Telstra, and Vodafone have bonuses around sports, entertainment, and roaming, MVNO plans are a little more basic. You’re typically just getting talk, text, and data, but if you’re looking for a bunch of data at a good price, a smaller provider is hard to beat – and you might be surprised by just how much you can save.

Here are some of our favourites.

amaysim is Australia’s largest MVNO and runs on Australia’s second-largest network, Optus. amaysim’s best plan right now is a nifty 30GB for $30 prepaid recharge on a 28-day term. It’s hard to complain about a dollar per GB, especially when you’re getting so many of them.

If you want a 30GB plan on Optus itself, you’re looking at $49 per month on a 12-month contract. Shackling yourself to Optus for a year will get you free access to Optus Sport and a six-month free trial of Apple Music, however.

You may have heard of Exetel as an internet provider, but it’s also in the business of selling SIM cards. Like amaysim, it’s powered by the Optus network.

Exetel is a great choice if you prefer your phone bill to cost you less than $10 per month. $8.99 will get you 2GB of data on a no-contract term. Perfect if you’re typically mooching off Wi-Fi.

For comparison, Optus’ cheapest standard plan is $15 for a 28-day prepaid recharge. This gets you just 500MB of data.

If you’re after a Telstra-powered provider, Belong is quite literally Diet Telstra. Owned by Telstra and run as a budget brand, Belong undercuts its business daddy in a serious way. $25 per month gets you 10GB on Belong, whereas you’ll pay $50 per month for 15GB on Telstra. If you need even more data, Belong has a 30GB plan for $40 per month. Not bad at all.

At PEDESTRIAN.TV, we independently choose and write about products and other stuff we love and think you’ll froth on, too. We have affiliate partnerships so we might get a cut of the revenue from any purchase you make based on our recs. Happy buying.

Alex Choros is Managing Editor at WhistleOut

Image: Seinfeld