Vodafone’s new plan offers unlimited data for just $50

Vodafone is one of two major telcos in Australia to offer unlimited data on mobile, alongside Telstra. While Vodafone’s plans are more affordable, …

If you’re hungry for cheap unlimited data, Vodafone is bringing more value to the table – secretly launching an all-new, unlimited plan that undercuts its previous endless data offerings.

The telco now offers a new, $50 SIM-only plan with unlimited monthly data use, a full $10 cheaper than its existing $60 unlimited plan (and $30 less than the $80 unlimited option). Vodafone’s newest unlimited offer is available only on a 12-month SIM plan (or with a new phone), and features unlimited standard talk and text in Australia, up to 1150 minutes of international calls to selected countries, and all the data you can use each month.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Vodafone Logo

$50 Unlimited SIM Only

  • Unlimited data*(capped at 1.5Mbps after 60GB)
  • Unlimited national calls & SMS

min. cost $600 over 12 month plan

Unlimited*Max Data**/billing period $50Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Vodafone Logo

$60 Unlimited SIM Only

  • Unlimited data*(capped at 1.5Mbps after 100GB)
  • Unlimited national calls & SMS
  • 10,000 Qantas Points

min. cost $720 over 12 month plan

Unlimited*Max Data**/billing period $60Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Vodafone Logo

$80 Unlimited SIM Only

  • Unlimited data*(capped at 1.5Mbps after 150GB)
  • Unlimited national calls & SMS
  • 20,000 Qantas Points

min. cost $960 over 12 month plan

Unlimited*Max Data**/billing period $80Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Canstar BlueView all mobile plans listed on Canstar Blue **^^View important information

Of course, there’s a catch: while you’ll get 60GB of data each month at full, maximum 4G speeds, the rest of your data use will be capped at just 1.5Mbps. This is fast enough for most day-to-day phone use, although video streaming will be restricted to standard definition, and some media content may load slower than on full 4G connections.

A full speed data allowance, combined with unlimited throttled data, is also how Vodafone’s other unlimited plans are structured: on the 12-month $60 Red Plus plan, you’ll currently get up to 100GB of fast data each month (40GB, plus 60GB bonus data), while the $80 12-month plan includes 150GB monthly (80GB, plus 70GB in bonus data).

Regardless, this means customers looking to avoid excess data changes now have an even cheaper way to protect against bill shock. And if you’re a current student, you can also save $5 off your plan fees each month under Vodafone’s student discount offer.

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Telstra unlimited data plans

Vodafone is one of two major telcos in Australia to offer unlimited data on mobile, alongside Telstra. While Vodafone’s plans are more affordable, Telstra is the only Australian provider to offer a plan with unrestricted full-speed data, but be prepared to pay: its Ultimate Unlimited plan is priced at $199 per month on a 24-month contract.

For your almost-$200 each month, you’ll get unlimited data at ‘the best speeds available’ on Telstra’s 4GX network. The plan also includes unlimited talk and text in Australia, unlimited standard international calls and text messages, and 10GB of overseas data roaming each month (plus unlimited calls and SMS) in selected countries.

If you want a premium plan with no limitations, it’s the best you can get – but if the monthly cost is a dealbreaker, Telstra does offer several more affordable alternatives.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Telstra Logo

$99 Large

  • Unlimited national calls & SMS
  • 20GB bonus data
  • Unlimited international calls & SMS to 15 countries

min. cost $2376 over 24 month plan

30GBMax Data**/billing period $99Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Telstra Logo

$129 Extra Large

  • Unlimited national calls & SMS
  • 60GB bonus data
  • Unlimited international calls & SMS to 15 countries
  • Special offer: $10 monthly credit

min. cost $3096 over 24 month plan

60GBMax Data**/billing period $129Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Telstra Logo

$199 Ultimate

  • Unlimited national calls & SMS
  • *Unlimited data offered with ‘the best speeds available’
  • Unlimited international calls & SMS
  • 10GB international data roaming

min. cost $4776 over 24 month plan

Unlimited*Max Data**/billing period $199Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Canstar BlueView all mobile plans listed on Canstar Blue **^^View important information

Telstra’s $99 Large and $129 Extra Large 24-month plans include ‘Peace of Mind’ data, which is simply unlimited slowed-down gigabytes (more or less the same as Vodafone’s unlimited data). Speeds are capped at 1.5Mbps, so again, this isn’t suitable for high-definition streaming; but with the Large and Extra Large plans currently including 50GB and 120GB of full-speed data each month respectively, there’s plenty of Netflix-friendly gigabytes available for the average phone user.

If $99+ is still too steep, you can also add Peace of Mind data to any 24-month Telstra postpaid plan for an extra $10 per month. However, as these plans begin at $59 monthly, that still means you’ll pay a minimum of $69 each month for unlimited data with Telstra.

So although Telstra offers plenty of perks and extras – including data-free Apple Music streaming, sports streaming from the AFL and NRL, and free Telstra Air WiFi hotspot use – it’s still not the best option for buyers on a strict budget.

Vodafone already offered the cheapest unlimited data plan on the market, so its unclear why the company has decided to cut prices by launching a new unlimited plan. But overall, if you’re looking for a foolproof way to avoid paying extra data fees – other than a prepaid plan – Vodafone’s new $50 plan is definitely a competitive offer.

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How NBN Co could save the Telstra share price

Amazingly, NBN Co could save the Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS) share price. That’s quite a stunning thought considering it was the introduction …

Amazingly, NBN Co could save the Telstra Corporation Ltd(ASX: TLS) share price.

That’s quite a stunning thought considering it was the introduction of the NBN that has been a major reason why the Telstra share price and earnings have fallen over the past few years.

According to the AFR and Vodafone, the NBN owns a large amount of unused 5G spectrum that could drop the cost of 5G services.

Vodafone chief strategy officer Dan Lloyd said opening up this spectrum would provide “earlier access to 5G, better network performance, lower costs and a more competitive 5G market in Australia.”

The NBN has initially said no. It needs the spectrum to provide its broadband services. But, the government could generate some money if it leases access to the unused portion of the spectrum that Vodafone are referring to. So I wouldn’t rule it out just yet.

5G seems to be the key point to an investment in Telstra, besides the telco’s low share price. Last month Telstra invested $386 million in the 5G spectrum auction to secure 30-80 MHz nationwide. Combined, Telstra now owns 60MHz of contiguous 5G spectrum in all major capital cities and between 50-80 MHz of contiguous 5G spectrum in all regional areas.

It could be argued that within a few years the NBN infrastructure will become materially inferior to the speed which consumers could get using a 5G network. It could be possible to simply deactivate a broadband service and use 5G for all a home’s needs. This is how Telstra could use its scale to attract the most customers and create an unassailable market position.

Foolish takeaway

Telstra is trading at 14x FY19’s estimated earnings with a trailing grossed-up dividend yield of 10.8%. Some investors may be attracted to Telstra at this level, but until I can see how Telstra will price 5G services and what that means for its profit I’m not going to consider buying any shares.

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Optus completes 5G data call using 3.5 GHz spectrum in Australia

Rival operator Telstra began switching on 5G technology in August 2018. Since then, the telco has enabled 5G sites in Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra, …

The carrier aims to launch 5G fixed wireless in the country in the first half of 2019

Australian carrier Optus said it has successfully completed a 5G data call using 3.5 GHz spectrum and 60 megahertz of channel bandwidth.

The call was made from an Optus 5G site in Dickson, Canberra, utilizing a commercial grade 5G radio network and customer premises equipment (CPE) developed in partnership with Nokia, the carrier said.

Optus said that this call was made using the 3GPP Release 15 September specification, using a standard commercial chipset.

“We are on the cusp of delivering this next generation technology into the hands of our customers and hitting this milestone is an important step towards our commercial 5G launch planned for the first half of this year,” said Dennis Wong, Optus managing director, networks.

Wong said that using 60 megahertz of the 3.5 GHz band “means that we will be able to deliver greater capacity compared to 4G, enabling the use of multiple devices as well ultra-high definition video streaming which is expected to be key for our customers when 5G begins rolling out this year.

“This is the first time in Australia that a data call has been made using 60 MHz channel bandwidth on an Optus live network and a 5G device,” the executive added.

Optus said that it aims to begin switching on its 5G network across a number of capital cities in the first half of this year, with the aim of providing this technology through fixed wireless

“Our fixed wireless access product, combined with our ambitious roll out plan, means customers will be able to experience 5G soon,” the operator said.

Optus’ multi-year 5G network build plan includes upgrading and adding new mobile sites while densifying the network with small cell solutions which will increase capacity and speed in highly populated inner-city locations.

In November last year, Optus had said it was expecting to launch its 5G fixed-wireless services in the cities of Canberra and Brisbane in January 2019. The carrier, owned by Singapore´s Singtel, said that other major Australian cities will have 5G coverage in March next year.

During 2018, the carrier successfully completed live 5G trials in Sydney.

Rival operator Telstra began switching on 5G technology in August 2018. Since then, the telco has enabled 5G sites in Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Hobart, Launceston, Toowoomba and the Gold Coast. At the beginning of 2018, Telstra opened a 5G Innovation Center on the Gold Coast, with the main aim of testing next-generation technologies to support the early commercial deployment of 5G mobile services in Australia. Telstra aims to launch commercial 5G services in 2019. Telstra has previously said that it would work with Ericsson on key 5G technologies including massive multiple-input, multiple-output (Massive MIMO), adaptive beamforming and beam tracking, and OFDM-based waveforms in its Gold Coast center.

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Optus’ riposte to Telstra: 5G data call

Optus has clapped back to rival Telstra by announcing it has made a 5G data call on 60MHz using the 3.5GHz spectrum. The call took place from a 5G …

Optus has clapped back to rival Telstra by announcing it has made a 5G data call on 60MHz using the 3.5GHz spectrum.

The call took place from a 5G site in Dickson, Canberra as part of pre-launch testing using a commercial grade 5G radio network and customer premises equipment (CPE) developed in partnership with Nokia.

The Indoor Nokia 5G CPE will facilitate 5G fixed wireless access to Optus’ network when the telco activates 5G in selected capital cities sometime in the first half of 2019. The technology uses a high-gain antenna to deliver 5G connections in residential customers.

Optus managing director for networks Dennis Wong said the milestone was an important step towards the telco’s eventual 5G launch.

“Using the 5G 3.5 GHz 60 MHz band means that we will be able to deliver greater capacity compared to 4G, enabling the use of multiple devices as well ultra-high definition video streaming which is expected to be key for our customers when 5G begins rolling out this year.

He added that it was the first time in Australia that a data call has been made using 60MHz channel bandwidth on Optus’ network. The call also used a 3GPP Release 15 September specification with a standard commercial chipset.

“For Optus, 5G is a fundamental part of building a smart network that keeps our customers connected. It’s important that customers experience the benefit of this next generation network from the outset.”

“Our fixed wireless access product, combined with our ambitious roll-out plan, means customers will be able to experience 5G soon.”

Optus and Telstra have been trading paint in the lead up to the launch of 5G services in Australia, which is expected to happen in the first half of this year.

Last week, Telstra said it would be the first Australian telco to offer 5G-enabled smartphones from “some of the world’s biggest brands” but could not name any of those partners.

The last time we heard from Optus on its 5G efforts was in December when the company spent $185 million to buy 45 lots of 5G spectrum.

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Optus makes its first 5G data call

As previously reported, this took place at Telstra’s 5G Innovation Centre on the Gold Coast, with Ericsson, Telstra and Intel claiming it was the first of its …
Dennis Wong (Optus)

Dennis Wong (Optus)

Credit: Optus

Optus has made its first 5G data call in Australia using 60 MHz using 3.5 GHz spectrum, in what it has called a “significant step towards its commercial launch of 5G”.

The call was made using a commercial grade 5G Radio Network and customer premises equipment (CPE) developed in partnership with Nokia from an Optus 5G site in Dickson, Canberra.

According to Optus managing director for networks Dennis Wong, this was an important step towards Optus’ commercial 5G launch, planned for the first half of 2019.

“Using the 5G 3.5 GHz 60 MHz band means that we will be able to deliver greater capacity compared to 4G, enabling the use of multiple devices as well ultra-high definition video streaming which is expected to be key for our customers when 5G begins rolling out this year,” Wong said.

“This is the first time in Australia that a data call has been made using 60 MHz channel bandwidth on an Optus live network and a 5G device.”

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