The nation’s biggest telco Telstra today announced a series of changes to its mobile phone and mobile broadband business plans, including matching Optus and Vodafone with the introduction of data quota sharing, as well as a new tool to let organisations remotely manage their smartphone fleets.
From today, the company’s Business Mobile Plus plans will be no more. Instead, Telstra has chosen to replace the range with 10 new Business Mobile Advantage Plans that cater for businesses both small and large. There’s now five new standard plans, ranging in price from $30 to $90 per month, as well as a low-cost $10 plan, two high-end plans ($130 and $150), and two casual plans ($55 and $150). The $130 and $150 options can also be undertaken on a 12 or 24-month contract.
Call connection fees have been abolished from the new plans for calls made to other staff on the same Mobile Advantage account, while a data allowance is included for every option, although for anything under the $50 plan heavy users of smartphones may want to consider adding an extra data pack as the quotas are relatively small at 600Mb or less.
And that’s where the big news really is. Those who switch to the new Mobile Advantage offering can now share data between other users under the same account thanks to the nine new Telstra Mobile Broadband Shared Plans.
Data allowances can be shared between Telstra Mobile Broadband Shared Plan services and Mobile Advantage plan services, with Telstra offering three initial packs of 4GB, 8GB and 15GB for approximately $35, $45 and $85 respectively if you bring your own device or are already with Telstra on a monthly repayment option.
For example, if a business were to add 5 users on the 4GB plan, as each user would be allocated 4GB for the month, in total there would be a pool of 20GB for all services on the Mobile Advantage account to share.
Vodafone has offered a similar feature as part of its Shared Infinite deal, as has Optus, but for Telstra customers it’s the first time users have been able to share extra data with others.
“Telstra has introduced a range of new pricing plans to deliver greater value, flexibility and simplicity for its mobile and mobile broadband customers,” executive director of Small Business Sales and Service at Telstra, Charles Agee, wrote in a statement today. “Our new Telstra Mobile Broadband Shared Plans are an exciting step forward for the mobile small business operator as for the first time, data allowances can be shared.”
Telstra also today debuted new tools which it said would allow organisations to manage their smartphone fleets more easily — giving the ability to track multiple devices and update mobile security configurations through a new software as a service application.
“With the growing adoption of smartphones and the increasing numbers of employees that access corporate data through personal devices, it is a challenge for organisations to ensure their corporate data remains safe and secure,” said Tim Webber, Telstra’s director of Business Mobility.
“We’re also seeing a rise in mobile workforces across the board, with more and more staff demanding greater functionality while out of the office. Telstra Mobile Device Management provides peace of mind while giving IT managers visibility and the ability to deploy new IT software direct to handsets easily and effectively.”
The cloud-based service allows IT administrators to manage fleets covering the most popular smartphone operating systems from Apple, Google Android, Windows Phone 6.5 and Nokia Symbian. The service will also be used to configure tablets in the near future.
Depending on the smartphone, the Telstra Mobile Device Management Portal allows an organisation to: Configure the smartphone settings such ActiveSync, WiFi, APN and VPN; Restrict device applications such as camera and application stores; Enable security features on devices such as lock, wipe and enforce passwords; Deploy enterprise applications; Check device information such as storage, serial number, roaming status; Upgrade smartphone firmware; Send SMS messages to devices and generate usage reports.
Image credit: Telstra. Renai LeMay contributed to this article.