Optus gets busy with new simplified mobile broadband plans

optusLocal Australian telco Optus has announced a new range of mobile broadband plans that its says will make it easier for consumers to get coverage.

The new plans start at $20 per month for 1GB of data and range up to $60 for 10GB of data. On the surface, the plans appear quite flexible with your choice of month-to-month, 12-month or 24-month plans, although its likely you’ll be getting some form of discount to go for a 24-month plan.

Optus is also throwing in some useful extras into the mix – for starters, if you go over your quota, you’re not instantly into the nose-bleed pricing: Optus will allocate an extra 1GB of data for a flat $10 fee (it could be worse, could be better). It also automatically resets that 1GB/$10 fee at the beginning of each month – it’s not a one-time use but there if you need it. Optus also gives you SMS warnings at 50%, 85% and 100% of your quota and at 85 and 100% of each additional 1GB you go over. (Although Optus doesn’t say it, this suggests you can go over your quota multiple times per month and just pay an extra $10 for 1GB of data.)

On the surface, this appears a good deal if you’re an occasional heavy user but not if you’re a mobile data freak and go through your quota faster than black tee-shirts.

On the $20 plan, you can spend $60 to get 5GB but with data costing only $6 per GB on the $60 plan, the cost rises quickly to that $10 per GB level. Clearly though, the more you spend, the cheaper you get your data rates, which makes business sense.

Still, it’s all a lot better than waking up to a $20,000 bill.

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