news The nations number two telco Optus has revamped its mobile phone plans, allowing customers to pay only a once-off setup fee of $5 to share data between devices with different SIM cards, launching SIM-only plans, bolstering voice and data value and setting excess data fees at $10 per gigabyte per month.
At an event in Sydney this morning, Optus country chief officer Paul O’Sullivan billed the plans as Optus’ best yet. “These plans build on the breakthrough My Plan products we launched last year,” the executive said. “Once again, we’re delivering on our commitment to provide industry-leading products that dramatically change how customers use data. These are our best plans yet. We’re confident our customers will love them and these plans will convince more consumers to join Optus.”
The four changes to Optus’ mobile plans are that the company has changed the way it does data sharing, allowing customers to share their mobile plan data with up to five mobile devices with no ongoing fees (and only an initial $5 setup fee), new SIM-only plans with no lock-in contracts, more value (all the new plans now have more included voice and data) and no huge excess feeds — the new plans will cost just $10 per extra gigabyte of data per month.
They are aimed at tackling the new trends towards customers bringing their own mobile phones to no-lock-in contracts with telcos instead of signing up for one or two year subsidised handset purchase plans, as well as enabling the many 3G/4G-equipped tablets around Australia to connect to the Internet with little expense and without using their Wi-Fi hardware.
“Customers told us they loved the original My Plan products, and thanks to their feedback, we’re making these plans even better. The new My Plan delivers all the benefits of our previous products with more included voice and data plus the added value of data sharing. So now Optus customers can do more of the things they love on their phones and tablets,” said O’Sullivan. “Optus is revolutionising the mobile market. With these new plans, we think many customers will choose to ditch standalone mobile broadband plans for good,” he said.
“Increasingly, customers don’t want to be locked into a contract, and are happy with their existing phone. Optus is the first major telco to deliver a great value SIM-only plan, with the added value of data sharing,” said O’Sullivan. Available from 10 June, the new My Plan will continue Optus’ “mission to prevent bill shock” while providing “exceptional value” thanks to more included minutes and more data.
The company has also published a ‘let’s compare’ graphic of its new plan versus its old plan at around the $60 mark, a graphic comparing its $60 plan versus a Telstra plan, and a graphic of comparison site Whistleout, in an attempt to demonstrate the value from its plans.
Optus is making some good moves here. I know a few people who have recently switched to the carrier from Telstra, and they agree that the coverage in metro areas is almost as good. When you combine that fact with the enhanced flexibility Optus has delivered today, it becomes a little hard to pass up the carrier’s offers.
However, it also remains true that Optus is still losing mobile customers as a trend, and a lot of people were so burnt by the Vodafail episode that they still remain entrenched close to Telstra’s ample and safe (but expensive) bosom. It will take a bit more than this from Optus to pry them loose. This morning Optus attempted to compare its new data sharing options to the ‘Yes time’ success it enjoyed in the 1990’s. But I hardly think these new plans are quite as “revolutionary” as that. They represent a good start, but most people will need more convincing.
Image credit: Optus