Optus sweetens iPhone deals further

Matthew JC. Powell
21 July, 2008
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Despite gaining the inside running on iPhone 3G with pricing plans generally agreed to be the best value on offer amongst Australian telcos, Optus has today announced unlimited voice plans that can be used with any handset including the iPhone 3G. Depending on how you use your iPhone the Optus “Timeless” plans offer better value than the plans announced before the iPhone’s release.

Optus says it has “taken the cap of the mobile cap with ‘yes’ Timeless Plans” — plans that include unlimited local and national voice calls and unlimited SMS messages to mobiles within Australia. This immediately erases one aspect of the confusion in deciding between mobile plans from different telcos — weighing up exactly what call value means. For example, $500 worth of calls from one telco might be exactly the same thing as $300 worth of calls from another if the calls are more expensive per minute, or per 30 seconds, or if you’re charged by the second. Evaluating the exact value proposition of voice plans from mobiles can be that confusing.

With the ‘yes’ Timeless Plans it becomes virtually irrelevant. The $99 Timeless Plan includes 200MB of mobile data plus as many local and national calls, SMS and MMS messages as you want to make. The $129 Timeless Plan (available from 28 July) includes the same limitless voice and messaging, plus 2GB of mobile data. It’s not quite the nirvana of unlimited data as well as unlimited voice and text, but in reality you’d be pretty hard-pressed to exceed 2GB of data on an iPhone in a month so it’s close.

For those who wish to choose their own data plan rather than the bundles Optus has set you can buy the Timeless plans as standalone packages and add your own data bundle. Also launching 28 July is a $79 Cap + Unlimited text which includes $550 worth of calls.

The plams are apparently in response to an increasing number of customers using their mobile phones in place of landlines. Warren Hardy, Optus Consumer Managing Director, is quoted in the release as saying that Timeless plans give customers “the freedom to ditch their landline and
be free to talk as long as they want” because the calls are effectively untimed.

An Optus spokesperson has confirmed that iPhone users on the Timeless plans do not get free access to Optus’s WiFi hotspots — a feature exclusive to Optus’s iPhone-specific plans.

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