Yes, we also did a double-take when we read that. Kogan Mobile's prepaid mobile certainly looks enticing for budget-minded phone users.
[Correction: The headline to this article incorrectly stated "6GB data for $39". The error has been corrected.]
Now online retailer Kogan has entered the fray with a service based on Telstra's extensive 3G network which reputedly has the best coverage and performance.
Three Kogan Mobile
prepaid plans are offered: 30 days for $29, 90 days for $79, and 365 days for $299.
Each plan includes unlimited standard calls within Australia, calls to 1300 and 1800 numbers, voicemail deposits and retrievals, as well as a generous 6GB of data per month.
If you only need data, eg for use with a tablet, dongle or portable Wi-Fi router, $9.99 gets you 2GB with 30 day expiry.
This makes paying for internet access at a hotel even more questionable - just swap your phone's SIM, then connect your tablet or computer to the phone to avoid the expense of additional hardware.
There are other brands that offer competitive mobile rates. Amaysim is one, which uses the Optus network. It arrived in 2010 with prepaid plans that avoid the confusing "$400 value for $20" style pitch that often masks very high per-minute rates.
One of Amaysim's prepaid plans offers unlimited standard calls (including 13 and 18 numbers), SMS and MMS plus 4GB of data for $39.90 per month.
If you go directly to Telstra, there are four choices for $30 a month prepaid. None of them gives unlimited standard calls or texts, and the most data you'll get is 400MB per month.
One drawback is that Kogan's service is offered for personal "non-business" use. Another is that international roaming is not available, even with the Premium Access Bolt On ($14.99) that allows international calling from 10c per minute, video calling, and the use of Sensis' 1224, 12456 and 1234 services, among other features. The Bolt On lasts for 30 days our until you've used the $14.99 credit.
is 3G only, and one of Telstra's selling points is its 4G network.
Then again, relatively few people have 4G handsets yet.