Optus to shut down Unwired from Feb 28


blog Well, it’s been coming for a while; it’s been kind of obvious since Optus bought Vividwireless in February this year for its spectrum that the wireless telco’s network assets would eventually be shut down. And now the pedal has started to hit the metal. Optus has reportedly starting emailing customers on Vividwireless’ Unwired network (remember how Unwired was planning to set the world on fire, circa 2005) to let them know they only have a few months before their broadband goes AWOL. The company’s statement today (from an Optus spokesperson):

“Following Optus’ acquisition of Vividwireless earlier this year, we undertook a review of the current services available to Unwired customers. As a result, we have taken the decision to close the Unwired network from February 28, 2013. Optus will provide a range of great value 4G and 3G mobile broadband plans to ensure existing Unwired customers can continue to do the things they love online.”

The most comprehensive article we can find on the subject comes from El Reg, which has a copy of Optus’ letter to Unwired customers and has gone to town on it. The good news is that Optus’ 4G and 3G networks are pretty good these days; although if you want the best wireless game in town, your best bet is still Telstra. Don’t even think of picking Vodafone. You’ll regret it.

Image credit: Optus


  1. Are you even interested in the story you just wrote, or was writing it just a premise to allow you to bash vodafone yet again?

    • People come to Delimiter for technical advice, among other reasons. It’s worth reminding people not to sign up with Vodafone right now, as the network is far less capable than that of Telstra and Optus.

      • Uhg, not always true, 40 mins north of Brisbane CBD, and Optus is not worth anything here, I was forced a year ago, to find a landline when I needed to call emergency services because the operator and I would have had better luck, screaming out teh windows at each other than using the SLOPtus network.

        Today, some (actually 15 months later) the same SLOPtus service exists, Vodafone works fine here, I was so annoyed with that I bought a 30 buck 365 day plan backup service, it works terrific for voice, dont use it for data, its as good as Telstra’s, so with such pathetic signals in an area of well over 20K ppl, the best you ever get is about 2 or 3 kB/s for data, how could it be any better when hte voice service cant even hold it together unless your near the Bruce Highway when they installed their tower some decade or so ago.

        Optus might be fine in CBD, I dont dispute that, but as far as outside a CBD, forget it.
        and to think with hte NBN being forced upon us all and mere 4-6 hours of battery standby (reduced obviously with talk time), god help ANYONE in this area who needs EMS in a prolonged blackout, hell, even when I lived in Paddignton a blackout could easily last 3 to 7 hours after a good storm. So we’re all screwed.

    • It’s a technology news / articles web site which posts a lot about the telecommunications in Australia.
      So if Renai wasn’t interested in some news we all have to suffer? :)

  2. I wonder when my vividwireless service will get canned. No where as fast or reliable as the LTE 4G networks, but where else is one going to get 50gb for $70/month over wireless?

  3. In Adelaide, Vodafone is far MORE capable than Optus.

    Your sweeping generalisations disguised as “advice” are not factual or honest.

    • and at both Sydney Airport and Brighton Beach I found the same thing – vodafone much more capable than Optus as voda could do 7mbps+ and Optus could barely manage 3mbps.

  4. hey renai,

    to save more comments like the ones about vodafone above, can you just put the following line in a separate paragraph called ‘opinion/analysis’ like your other articles:

    “although if you want the best wireless game in town, your best bet is still Telstra. Don’t even think of picking Vodafone. You’ll regret it.”

    this should solve this argument.

    i am willing to bet that 60-70% of people would agree (as i do) with your assessment that the vodafone network needs a lot of work to get up to telstra’s standard.

    • The article is labelled as a ‘blog’, which contains opinion,analysis and news. It’s too short for separate sections — generally these things are only three pars.

  5. Don’t even think of picking Vodafone. You’ll regret it.

    This is what’s know as good advice!

  6. There’s a devil in the detail. Optus will not (as of Novemeber 9th) commit to putting a redirect on the old Unwired e-mail ddresses after the cutoff. The time allowed is not sufficient for people to find and advise all users of their Unwired email address, especially if they have used it to register with Internet sites, and especially considering that the period includes the Christmas / New Year break. If Optus shows such a disregard for a managed changeover of email addresses then I for one certainly won’t be taking up their offer of a replacement wireless service – it’s not worth the risk that they will pull the same stunt some years dfown the track..

    Keeping a server at that domain name to redirect mail up to at least June 30th is the least they can do for people who have persisted with Unwired till the end. Technically, it’s trivial. For customer service, it’s critical.

  7. Those bloody big companies killing the smaller ones where else am i to find decent wireless internet with no paying for excess, and with a good data usage. Im fed up, for one due to our area we are too far away from the exchange to get adsl or any wired services, plus we have some stupid pargain problem so our only choice is unwired. now i need to find a replacement internet provider but barely any do wireless with a good deal like unwired.

  8. I’ve been a customer of Unwired for years.
    Optus offered to move me to a new one year term data plan, and giveme a free wifi modem.
    Being quite lazy I agreed, and they collected my detaills, including my drivers licence number, “in case I have to pick the modem up from the post office” if not at home when they deliver it, plus details like my home and work status, how much I earn – and not even bands, just how much do you earn.
    Of course alarm bells started ringing as they appeared to be collecting personal information relating to credit under the guise of seomthing else. Anyway sure enough the next day I get a call advising they wanted to do a credit check, and use information collected the previous day.
    Of course I said no, since I have been with Uniwired for over 5 years without missing payments via Direct debit and am on a high salary with little debt. “I’m am sorry sir, you are a new application and we need to do a credit check”. Anyway, after pointing out how this must cost them a bundle trying to do credit checks on established clients, that it was a waste of time, and no I would not agree to them doing a credit check they declined to offer me the monthly service! Cant help wondering if there is an earn-out in the sale agreement and they’re not fussed about losing clients…

    • It’s becoming clearer that Optus has no intention of honoring this offer to ex-Unwired users – at least for the basic plans.

      I applied for the $30 wireless option with free modem. I answered all the questions, but was then told I failed the credit check. That seemed unlikely, so I escalated the request. I was told that it was an Optus rule that I had to be cleared for credit by Dun & Bradstreet. So I requested my credit information from D&B. While waiting, I tried the same thing at two Optus stores – no-one was able to find any reference to the Unwired offer, despite very extensive efforts and calls to their own private help centre. It seems that the special deal for Unwired users has been kept very secret indeed.

      When the credit information arrived it was completely clean – nothing listed.

      And now today I start receving calls from Optus offering me an iPad or Samsung with no deposit and approval guaranteed! 3 calls in 2 hours so far. The caller had a lot of detailed information about me. When I started to question where the infromation had come from, they hung up.

  9. ^ I was thinking of taking the same $30 plan, did you end up getting it and is it any good?

    Darned if I want to sign another contract or even worse, cop those marketing calls !!!

    I dunno what I’m going to do… I bludge from a work dongle and my wife tethers her phone to the iPad but that can’t go on forever. There must be something better for a reasonable price!

  10. There are no capped plans at all from Optus, I signed up, new equipment ready to deliver and follow up calls revealed the plan is not capped, they don’t do capped limits.. I explained I am providing internet for a whole traveler rental house and need a limit… I can monitor it myself though… Err no.. Order canceled.. Need capped off plan as future tenancy unsure..any provider suggestions?

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