Optus revamps plans with easier data sharing


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


  1. Good to see a move to Data sharing capabilities/choice.

    I just moved my prepaid to Optus (saves $25.00 per month) BUT

    I loose effective coverage – particularly outside of Brisbane (major centre)
    Whilst the (Optus) 3G/4G services continues to use the 2000 Mhz plus frequency the service is affected by weather and cloud cover (900 Mhz is better and Telstra use 850Mhz).

    This disparity of coverage/performance is one reason why (in this country) the infrastructure should be Government owned/regulated (i.e. shared). Remember most of the country (3G) infrastructure (outside metro areas) has been funded directly of indirectly by the taxpayer (the change from CDMA to 3G), yet is controlled by Telstra, without Government interference.

    Telecommunications competition in this country continues to be a lip service, strangled by Telstra, as the controlling agent.

  2. I was with Optus for many years, but their woeful 3g congestion and woeful 4g coverage forced me to switch. In regional areas, Optus 4g coverage is almost non existent . Telstra has had 4g coverage in my city for 3 years, yet Optus don’t even have a build date. I would love to switch back to Optus, but they are just not keeping pace with Telstra.

  3. Telstra have had data sharing plans for over a year and their new business plans available from tomorrow include data sharing SIMs from $85 and up.

  4. Pretty good looking plans from Optus, like the ability to share data without paying an extra monthly charge.

    However having previously had a family of four on Optus for the past 5+ years, we have all recently churned to Telstra given ongoing dropout/coverage issues. Only live 11km outside of Melbourne… Barely any in building coverage inside the house with Optus.

    Optus was only really attractive with the $10/20 MVNO plans, which are now mostly gone. At $50/month its just not worth it. I’d prefer to have less data and still be able to make calls. Even SMS seemed delayed with Optus.

    Telstra apps and customer service are pretty functional too nowadays.

  5. They can have as much data as they like and create better plans but if the coverage is no good then what’s the point.
    I live in Cundletown just outside of Taree and the coverage is woeful they were going to put a tower here but they scrapped it for some reason known only to them.
    Their coverage maps only tell half the story it says we should get good coverage but we don’t unless we go outside.
    If Optus and Vodafone want to win over Telstra customers they have to improve coverage even more

  6. This open the flood gates for Optus resellers to demand for similar arrangement for their products and services

    IINET and Internode was refused by the Optus Wholesale division

  7. I’d say give the Telstra encore caps a go. Prepaid but they can offer quite good deals compared to most post paid plans.

    I’ve moved from Optus because I got sick of little to no reception where I live. Optus 0 bars inside my house, Telstra 3. Optus internet dropping out regularly, so far no issues with Telstra.

    Doesn’t matter how cheap something is, if you can’t use it then you’re not getting any value.

  8. Say what you want about coverage, these plans are phenomenal value.

    $45 for unlimited calls + 2GB 4G data + data sharing up to five devices.

    To get similar value on a post-paid telstra plan + data sims, you’re looking at >$100/month

    • Telstra $55 Mobile Accelerate BYO data share plan plus $10 data sharing SIM = $65. 1.5GB data plus coverage benefits. More expensive yes but certainly less than $100.

      • I Found Optus considerably cheaper over the years, although I think the gap is closing a bit. Only 500 mtrs from Optus tower, but even after 3 years with different modems, I couldn’t shake the congestion and drop outs.. In building reception was sporadic,on mobile. Just couldn’t put up with it anymore. Though there is good news today. It appears Optus are finally going rollout their 4g over next 12 months or so. Hopefully 700mhz

      • You’re comparing apples to oranges.

        Optus’s $45 plan has unlimited calls. Telstra $55 Mobile Accelerate BYO only has $700 of calls and they have a 12 month minimum term. Furthermore their call rate is a hefty 99c per 60 seconds + 40c connection fee. To get unlimited calls on Telstra you’re still looking at $95. Add two data sims and you’re at $115.

        Obviously Optus doesn’t have the coverage of Telstra, but in terms of value Optus is in a different league.

        After a couple of years of price rises and reductions in quota the market is finally heading in the right direction. Good news for the consumer.

  9. From another perspective – this is likely to overload the already shocking Optus network.

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