Network failure = disappointment x infinity

Summary:Regardless of the definition, "infinite" mobile phone plans are no good if your network is constantly unavailable.

Regardless of the definition, "infinite" mobile phone plans are no good if your network is constantly unavailable.

Optus has taken Vodafone to court, hoping to get the court to ban Vodafone from running its most recent ads that use the term infinite, which many scientists would likely have much to say about.

Vodafone is by no means the first telco to offer plans claiming to be "infinite" or "unlimited". Optus has previously ended up in court over its unlimited plans, and in October Telstra began offering "unlimited" calls and texts on a $129 cap plan.

But let's ignore the semantics of "unlimited" or "infinite". The introduction of these plans indicates one thing: telcos know that customers want unlimited access to the internet and endless calls and they're prepared to offer plans that claim to offer such services.

Unfortunately, the infrastructure the companies have in place doesn't seem to match their ambitious marketing.

Both Vodafone and Optus have heavily invested in upgrading their mobile infrastructure, but they've also had nasty outages which have left customers screaming.

After all, call- and data-hungry customers don't only care about how much data they can consume and calls they can make, they also care about constant, reliable access. Some rely on such access to run their business and suffer losses if services don't meet their needs.

So perhaps in the future, we will see consumers or businesses testing unlimited and infinite claims in court instead of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. Or it could even go further.

How long will it be before customers are in the courts demanding access as a basic human right? After all, it's already happened in Finland.

Topics: Telcos, Networking, Optus, Outage

About

Armed with a degree in Computer Science and a Masters in Journalism, Josh keeps a close eye on the telecommunications industry, the National Broadband Network, and all the goings on in government IT.

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