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Telstra, Unwired revamp wireless plans

Unwired and Telstra today both revamped their wireless broadband plans: in the same week thatOptus and Virgin unleashed new wireless offerings.
Written by Suzanne Tindal, Contributor

Unwired and Telstra today both revamped their wireless broadband plans: in the same week that Optus and Virgin unleashed new wireless offerings.

Telstra has introduced a new wireless plan with 10GB per month of downloads, and has reduced the overall number of plans, such as those with differentiated pricing according to speed, which the company said were confusing customers.

New customers with Telstra services can also receive 12 months' half-price wireless broadband access, BigPond group managing director Justin Milne said.

The new plans become available from 24 August. Existing companies can change to the new pricing by visiting the My BigPond section on bigpond.com.

Telstra's new prices:

Monthly Plan Monthly usage allowance Price per month
BigPond Wireless Broadband 400MB 400MB $39.95
BigPond Wireless Broadband 1GB 1GB $59.95
BigPond Wireless Broadband 3GB 3GB $89.95
BigPond Wireless Broadband 10GB 10GB $129.95

Any additional usage is charged at $0.25 per MB. The typical speeds of the connection run from 550 kbps to 3Mbps, or up to 6Mbps in metro and CBD areas, Telstra said.

In comparison, 3 Mobile offers 1 GB for $15 per month, 2GB for $29 month, 3GB for $29 paying an additional $5 a month for the key modem, 6GB for $39 and 7GB for $49, with excess use charged at 10 cents per MB. Roaming usage outside the 3 broadband zone is charged at $1.65 per MB.

"Prices have changed quite a lot recently," a spokesperson for 3 said, adding that customers could expect speeds to be around 600 kbps to 1.5 Mbps.

Unwired also announced new wireless pricing, but only for prepaid plans. The company has increased the amount of data customers can download, with the new plans set to go live Monday.

Unwired's new pre-paid plans

Voucher Price Voucher Duration Usage Allowance
$9.95 7 days 400MB
$19.95 15 days 1GB
$34.95 25 days 3GB
$59.95 45 days 6GB
$99.95 75 days 10GB

As it took the lid off its new pricing, Unwired gunned down claims from Optus earlier this week that it was the first to wade into the pre-paid wireless broadband market, saying Unwired had been in the market for over a year.

"We realised there was a market for pre-paid wireless a long time ago and launched a range of plans aimed at users who have internet usage patterns that are not consistent with regular monthly plans," Unwired's CEO, David Spence said in a statement.

The company also decided to increase the speed for its customers to 512Kbps, a speed Spence said the company could deliver in real life, because it had enough backhaul connections.

Optus' pre-paid wireless broadband offering:

Voucher Price Voucher Duration Usage Allowance Free SMS
$30 30 days 2GB 15
$40 30 days 3GB 20
$50 30 days 5GB 25
$70 60 days 6GB 35
$100 60 days 9GB 50

The typical speeds for the Optus service sit between 512kbps and 1.5 Mbps, according to the company.

Vodafone launched its new USB stick "plug and play" broadband offering on the same day. The company offered 5GB for $49.95 a month unbundled on a 24 month contract with the modem for free. 1GB was $29.95 a month, with $5 per month extra for the modem. Excess usage was charged at $0.10 a MB.

Typical speeds for the service were 500kbps to 1.5Mbps according to a spokesperson.

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