[UPDATED] Optus launches off-peak Mobile Broadband - but is it good value?

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[UPDATED] Optus launches off-peak Mobile Broadband - but is it good value?

We crunch the numbers on Optus' latest broadband deals. We've also added a table comparing the plans against Telstra, Vodafone and Three

Users of ADSL and Cable broadband services will be au fait with the idea of peak and off-peak rates for broadband data, but until now it's not been a factor in the mobile broadband space. Optus has launched new plans that offer an effective "half-price" off-peak period from midnight to seven AM. All the plans are 24-month contracts only, starting at $20 per month.

It's a bit of a brain teaser working your way through the plan values, not because of the way that the off-peak works, but because of Optus' pricing plans, which owe more to the world of phone pricing than they do data. Each plan carries a fixed cost which buys you "value" (from $80 for the $20 per month plan up to $800 for the $100 per month plan) and data is charged against those caps at 8c/MB peak or 4c/MB off-peak.

Effectively, however, the real cost against each plan ranges from 2c/MB (on the $20 cap, peak) to 0.5c/MB (off-peak for every other cap). Notably, aside from the entry level plan, data costing doesn't appreciably change. It's 1c/MB peak, 0.5c/MB off-peak.

Full details of Optus' plans can be found here.

How the Optus plans compare
We've compared Optus' deals against the comparable $30 and maximum cost plans from Vodafone, Three and Telstra. Vodafone and Three don't do 24 month contracts, which is in their favour, and on contract, the USB modems are free.

Telstra plans if you have no other Telstra services are still worse value, but if you've got a landline and one other Telstra service, they quickly scale down, and they're the only plans that don't charge extra or limit availability once you go over your data cap.

Carrier

Plan Name

Monthly Cost

Data Allowance

Effective per-MB price

Excess usage charge

Modem Cost

Optus

Cap30

$30

3-6GB (Stated as $80 of value in 4c/8c blocks)

1c/0.5c per MB

None, but limited to MyZoo, Facebook, Webmail services

$79 upfront or $3.30 per month for 24 months (effective $79.20) for standard modem; $129 upfront or $5.38 per month for 24 months (effective $129.12) for premium modem

Optus

Cap 100

$100

10-20GB (Stated as $800 of value in 4c/8c blocks)

1c/0.5c per MB

None, but limited to MyZoo, Facebook, Webmail services

$0 upfront for premium modem on 24 month contract

Vodafone

$29 Cap

$29

4GB

0.725c/MB

2c/MB

$0; 12 month contract

Vodafone

$49 Cap

$49

10GB

0.49c/MB

2c/MB

$0; 12 month contract

3

$29 Cap

$29

3GB

0.96c/MB

2c/MB in 3 BB zone; 50c/MB in national roaming zone

$0; 12 month contract

3

$49 Cap

$49

8GB

0.61c/MB

2c/MB in 3 BB zone; 50c/MB in national roaming zone

$0; 12 month contract

Telstra

$29.95 month standalone

$29.95

400MB

7.48c/MB

Shaped to 64kbps

$0 after $299 device rebate; 24 month contract

Telstra

$119.95 month standalone

$119.95

10GB

1.19c/MB

Shaped to 64kbps

$0 after $299 device rebate; 24 month contract

Telstra

$29.95 month with fixed and one other service

$29.95

3GB

0.98c/MB

Shaped to 64kbps

$0 after $299 device rebate; 24 month contract

Telstra

$99.95 month with fixed and one other service

$99.95

10GB

0.99c/MB

Shaped to 64kbps

$0 after $299 device rebate; 24 month contract

 

 

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