Vodafone’s new Infinite mobile plans (out today) are a fresh take on unlimited calling plans which had previously been priced at $79 per month (3 Mobile), $89 per month (Virgin) all the way to $129 per month (Telstra). Starting at $45 per month for an unlimited calling plan, Vodafone is set to give the Australian mobile market a real shakeup.
These plans are undeniably good value, offering unlimited calls and texts within Australia and monthly data amounts starting at 1GB. The handset pricing is slightly less attractive than the standard cap plans from Vodafone, but these plans trounce the standard cap plan for included value.
If you look at the standard Vodafone $49 Cap with 35c flagfall and call rates of 90c per minute, you could make about 100 x 2 minute phone calls per month including a few text messages. About 400 minutes worth of short calls per month (flagfall is a killer in this scenario).
On the new $45 Infinite plan, you can get unlimited calls in the month providing a massively improved included value equation.
There are 4 Infinite Plan Options and each differs slightly when you look at the included data and included extras like International Calls:
- $45 Infinite Plan: Unlimited calls, 1GB of data, $45 for 13 / 1800 numbers monthly (no international calls) or voicemail access.
- $65 / $85 Infinite Plans: Unlimited calls, 2GB and 3GB of data respectively, $65 and $85 monthly for 13 / 1800 numbers or International Calls, or voicemail access.
- $100 Infinite Plan: Unlimited calls, 4GB of data, $100 for International Calls, unlimited 13 / 1800 numbers and unlimited voicemail.
But, as always, there is always a catch. The main catch on these plans is the removal of tethering as an option to access the included data amount. Why this has happened at a time where all carriers had previously all supported tethering for smartphones (where you your phone acts as a modem for your laptop to access the mobile internet) beats us. We’ve recently been enjoying tethering on our iPhones, with some of us reliable getting a nice stable 3Mbps download speeds on Optus through our iPhone 4 and our laptops in Nth Sydney. Vodafone now wants to charge 25c per MB for tethering on the Infinite plans. The other catch is that the handset pricing is less attractive than the standard caps.
These plans are very competitive though when you look at the comparisons in value, even when you factor in handset pricing. Take a look at this plan comparison where we’ve tweaked our usage requirements at 50 calls per week at 5 mins in length (200 calls per month) and 1GB of data and a new iPhone 4.