Getting 4G without being locked into a contract sounds good, but is it really a better deal? We look at the basic pros and cons of pre-paid mobile phone deals.
Optus has this week announced 4G on pre-paid plans so that you can now get the much faster mobile Internet without signing up for a long contract.
Before looking at Optus offers, it’s worth thinking about whether pre-paid is a better option for your business rather than the traditional mobile phone or data contract.
With a contract, you are committing yourself to a minimum monthly fee regardless of how often you use the service.
So, if you take a month off, you still pay the monthly fee.
On the other hand, you get the benefit of knowing what your phone expenses are likely to be as the cost is fixed – as long as you don’t go over any call or data allowances.
With pre-paid, you add credit to an account and when the credit expires – ether through use or hitting an expiry date – the service either stops or is reduced in some way.
The advantage is that you only pay for what you use.
However, the call and data charges are usually billed at higher rates than on fixed contracts and at a busy time your costs can balloon.
The Optus 4G pre-paid rates start at $30 for up to 250 minutes of call time and 500MB of data. At the high-end of the scale, $100 gets you 900 minutes of call time and 5GB of data.
There are also $40, $50 and $70 credit top-ups available.
Any paid-up credit on these plans expires after 28 days and offer free Optus to Optus mobile calls, standard SMS to any mobile and unlimited mobile access to a number of social media services.