Why are Mobile Phone Plans So Expensive?

Over the past few years, there’s been a growing consensus that mobile phone plans in Australia are skyrocketing in prices. Go online and find the hundreds of thousands of comments complaining about what people believe has become a massive problem.

Everyone wants to understand why that’s the case, and we’ve got some answers to share with you so you can understand what’s driving up the prices.

The Facts

The Australian Consumer Watchdog has been keeping a keen eye on pricing when it comes to phone plans, and they confirmed everyone's growing fears: the prices keep rising. As a result, the average mobile phone plan user is paying exponentially more for data they don’t use.


Because the plans they’re purchasing are offering more and more with no true substance attached.

The biggest players in this game are Telstra and Vodafone. These happen to be the biggest carriers in the country, so it shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone. However, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission noted that users on postpaid plans use a little under a third of their data allowance when on 20GB and above plans. So when you consider the fact that this data expires, it means you’re paying for more than you’re using.

What Usually Makes Mobile Plans More Expensive?

Several factors can influence the price of mobile plans to make them more expensive, including:

1. Licensing Costs for Spectrum

Spectrum is how we receive data; it’s what we rely on. Spectrum is licensed and allocated by governments. This can be very expensive for carriers who bid millions, if not billions of dollars, to get their spot. Unfortunately, consumers suffer.

2. Infrastructure

To ensure adequate coverage, carriers have to build out infrastructure around the country to supply their customers. As you might imagine, this can cost a ton of money for carriers. It’s a case of real estate for the base stations, spectrum, backhaul costs, and maintenance which occurs frequently. This can be a money-draining aspect of being a carrier supplying mobile phone plans.

3. Patents for Qualcomm

Qualcomm licensing fees are just another cost incurred by carriers. This holds patents for mobile network technology such as WCDMA, HSPA, EV-DO, etc.

4. Upgrades

Mobile network technology is forever evolving and changing in the form of upgrades. This can be things like 2G to 3G, 3G to 4G, or where we’re currently heading, which is 5G. This means upgrades to infrastructure, which, if you remember, is expansive, meaning expensive.

So What Solutions Can Be Made To Remedy Expensive Mobile Plans?

The solutions are pretty simple. Here are some that you should consider:

Switch Your Plan

The most successful solution is to simply switch your plan altogether. Now, this can sometimes be easier said than done, but if you can switch carriers, you’ll likely end up slashing the fee you pay monthly in half. You can find the same benefits for far cheaper from smaller carriers. For example;

1. Optus Vs. Moose Mobile | Switching plans means saving +$338 | 20GB 2. Telstra Vs. Belong | Switching plans means saving +$240 | 40GB 3. Vodafone Vs. Circles.Life | Switching plans means saving +$204 | 100GB

These are just some examples of what can happen when you switch your plan. Switching carriers is easier when you’re not on a prepaid contractual agreement.

Pay For What You Need

It’s very possible that we get lured in by big numbers and benefits and think that’s the plan we need. However, the reality is that we don’t even get close to using the vast amounts of data we receive every month.

Beyond switching to cheaper options, switch to options that actually make sense. Don’t get 20GB for 28 days because it sounds great. If you’re not going to use it all, what does it matter? To find plans that work in your favour. For example, Catch Connect plans last a full year, and you use the data as you need. You get unlimited national talk and text and a fair amount of data per various plans.

A great choice is 20GB per 90 days for $29.

Get a Plan That Benefits You

You need to find plans that actually suit your needs and not that make sense because they come across as great deals. If you don’t need a massive amount of data every month, why are you getting excess data? If you are in various accessible wi-fi zones a majority of the time, why do you need a lot of data? Think about what you need, research your usage, and determine what plan to get from there.


Data is expensive, and so are most mobile phone plans. This isn’t going to change any time soon. While watch dogs are attempting to clamp down on the blatant price gouging, we’re far from seeing major changes to the pricing from the largest providers in the country.

The only way to save your money is to find new and better places to put it. We at Catch Connect know what saving money means, and that’s why our mobile plans feature reasonable prices and flexible timelines for usage. So check our website for some of the latest offers for new and existing customers. We are ready to get you connected like never before.