Optus has fired yet another salvo in the on-going data wars, with the addition of a 50GB SIM-only plan billed at $60 per month. The massive new plan headlines a SIM-only plan refresh, which also includes competitive 15GB and 30GB plans, priced at $40 and $50 per month, respectively. The complete range is as follows.
- $30 per month: 3GB of data
- $40 per month: 15GB of data
- $50 per month: 30GB of data
- $60 per month: 50GB of data
The plans are all sold on 12-month contracts, and also include unlimited talk and text, and an Optus Sport subscription. If you're spending over $40 per month, you'll also get a minimum of 300 international minutes.
While Optus' 15GB $40 plan is now essentially the industry standard when it comes to SIM-only offerings, its top two options have pushed SIM-only data caps the highest we've seen. (At least when it comes to 4G connection, there are a couple of smaller providers offering SIM-only plans with higher data inclusions, but these are limited to the Optus 3G network).
Optus' 30GB $50 plan beats out every plan currently on the market, providing more bang-for-buck than Vodafone's 20GB $50 plan, Virgin's 22GB $48 plan, and Amaysim's newly launched 20GB $50 recharge. It is however worth noting that Amaysim's $50 recharge is the only option available on a month-to-month basis, the other providers all require you to sign a 12-month contract.
When it comes to the 50GB $60 plan, there's currently nothing else quite like it on the SIM-only market. However, given that Optus is easily the largest network wholesaler around, it wouldn't be surprising to see Optus-powered MVNOs offer similar plans in the not too distant future.
Is 50GB on a phone plan overkill?
While 50GB certainly isn't the largest data allowance around - Optus now offers 100GB and 200GB plans when you buy a new phone - it's worth considering if it's right for you. The latest ABS Internet Activity Survey suggested the average Australian is still only using 2.2GB of mobile data per month, and while this is on the rise, 50GB is a massive leap up.
In real world terms, 50GB is equivalent to about 100 hours of Netflix (at medium quality) on the go, over 300 hours of Spotify, or almost 600 hours of scrolling through Facebook. That's a whole lot of internet. As a relatively heavy smartphone user who streams Netflix on the train and at the gym, listens to a lot of music, and rarely bothers with Wi-Fi, I tend to use a little less than 15GB in a month.
Of course, if you're relying on your mobile phone as a back-up internet connection or you're regularly tethering on the go, Optus' 50GB plan could be a gamechanger.
The important thing is to make sure you're purchasing a mobile phone plan that suits your needs - there's no point taking up a massive plan if you're not using what you're paying for. Especially when Optus' new $40 and $50 plans still represent excellent value.