Optus reveals full iPad plans


Optus this morning revealed its full pricing plans for mobile devices that use the new Micro SIM card — found in Apple’s highly anticipated iPad device, which is slated to hit Australia from 28 May.

The plans come in both pre-paid and monthly plan varieties, unlike Telstra, which on Sunday only revealed pre-paid iPad plans. VHA, which operates the 3 and Vodafone brands, has not yet revealed its iPad plans.

Optus has three monthly iPad plans, all of which require no yearly contract and feature no cancellation fees. The three offerings cost $20, $30 and $60 per month, and feature 2GB, 3GB and 8GB of included data downloads respectively.

The telco will charge $30 for its Micro SIM starter kit, which comes with 2GB of included data. From then on users have a range of recharge options, startin at $15 for 500MB of data and ranging up to $130 for 14GB of data. Until 30 September this year, each recharge comes with an addition 1GB of data downloads.

Telstra’s pre-paid iPad plans require users to use their data allowances within 30 days of purchasing them, and some of Optus’ plans are even worse — for example, if you recharge your Micro SIM with $15 or $20 worth, you have to use the included 500MB or 1GB of data within just 15 days.

However, on larger amounts customers have 30, 60 or even 186 days to use their allowance — with the 186 day limit only applying to the $80 recharge (which includes 8GB of data). Optus will start offering its Micro SIM plans from 26 May 2010.

The telco has also launched a website — OptusBeFirst.com.au — to promote the new Micro SIM packages, but the site doesn’t mention the iPad, stating it is promoting “the new tablet-ready Optus Micro SIM”. The site is being advertised through Google.

“Register now, so you’re all set to switch on your tablet and discover incredible new apps, purpose-built games and much more,” the site exhorts potential customers. “Touch the future first with Optus.”

So far, a VHA spokesperson has only said the following about its own plans: “Vodafone and 3 Mobile’s iPad data plans will give customers access to real innovation at a truly affordable price. Customers will be getting great value from a company that really understands why fast internet that doesn’t break the bank, or limit their enjoyment or freedom, matters.”

Neither Optus nor Telstra will sell the iPad directly, but VHA has not confirmed whether it will or not.

Image credit: Delimiter screenshot of Optus press release


  1. I like the 186 day idea – it works out to just over a gig per month on average. Unfortunately, the Optus network isn’t to my liking so I’ll be forced to investigate what Telstra are going to do for Enterprise customers for whom “pre-pay” isn’t really an option.

    • My reading of the situation is that Optus has priced that $80 recharge at just the right level — customers will pay the extra amount and go for the long-term signup, knowing that their data won’t get used up quickly and that they have a while to use it. Just as with the iPhone, Optus seems like it’s being pretty smart about this one.

      It’s giving customers options … but I would bet it expects most people to sign up for the entry level recharges or that $80 option straightaway.

      However, there is the flipside — as you note — that Optus’ network is … shall we say, not exactly up to Telstra’s standard? :)

      I am looking to switch to Next G as soon as my Optus contract runs out — potentially over the next few months as we get more clarity about the new iPhones. The new Androids are looking mighty attractive. I have an iPhone 3G I am looking to upgrade from.

      • I’m looking at an Android purely for software development purposes. As a device, nothing beats the iPhone. I get my iTunes, email, calendar, apps and everything all in one easy package. If I had to convert all of my music to MP3 and then bring it over to Android, that would take me time and I wouldn’t get the ease of use of iTunes anymore.

        iTunes is the killer app ultimately.

        I think the smart thing about the Optus plan is, for someone like me, I use 2 – 3Gb per month on my iPhone currently. If I went with the $80 plan, I’d probably use it in 4 months. I’d be more likely to go down that road because the odd month I might only do 1Gb, so I wouldn’t have my bandwidth expire as quickly. Its very good purchasing psychology.

        • I agree with you about the iPhone, with the exception that I think iTunes is too bloated on Windows PCs. On the Mac it seems to run fine.

          But I also do have a bit of a wider philosophical agreement with Steve Jobs and the app censorship phenomenon. I don’t want to go back to the days where we can only run what apps Steve says we can … it’s our hardware, after all. We’re not licensing the hardware for monthly use from him.

          • One of the fundemental flaws with Windows has always been quality control on applications and Windows having to work across a plethora of hardware. We’ve all complained about it: security, performance, poorly written software, etc… The Apple model of the App Store attempts to rectify that – controlled hardware platform with stringent quality control on the software. And to some degree it works – I’ve never once had an app bring down my entire iPhone.

            Sometimes you have to take the good with the bad – I am ok with the App Store model for my iPhone.

      • Short of having the iPad share data billing with and iPhone contract (one bill…wouldn’t that be sweet) the $80 Recharge option has got grudging nods of approval from all around our office.

        I wonder if tethering is an option an if it will attract a surcharge.
        I still rail at “here is your data, but we’re going to charge based on how you use it”
        Soapbox rant over.

        Yeah…. $80 Recharge=good.

        • As far as I know, you won’t be able to do tethering on the iPad. What do you think this is — some kind of open device or something?? Jeez!

  2. Hmm, I notice the screenshot’s been corrected for an error — originally the $80 plan was listed as “8GB + 1GB bonus = 10GB” which is a miracle even before Conroy’s filter takes effect! :-) (It’s since been updated to rectify the numeric reality whereby 8 + 1 = 9 amazingly; I’m assuming it was Optus’ error.)

  3. Will the IPAD Sim be available from all Optus and Telstra stores from this Friday or is there likely to be delays? Can anybody hel.

  4. I spoke to an Optus sales consultant today and said that I thought I had read that there were iPad plans available to consider because my iPad is due to be delivered in a week.

    I was confidently assured that I was wrong and there were no plans released yet.

    This speaks to me quite clearly about their staff and their training methods.

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