Telcos tussle over data sharing lures

Telstra and Optus fight for customers with new plans that allow multiple mobile devices to share data on a single plan.
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01.Multiple devices on one plan

Telstra and Optus are playing tug of war over customers using new data sharing plans that allow customers to spread their data usage across multiple mobile devices. The plans aim to improve simplicity of use and billing while reducing data wastage.

Optus announced new shared data plans on Monday this week that let customers spread their data download limits across multiple devices. The plans are similar to, but aggressively cheaper than, Telstra plans put in place in October last year. Optus charges a one-off $5 fee per device, while Telstra’s plan charges $10 per device, but for every month.

The revised Optus MyPlan range lets customers share their data allowance across five devices such as smartphones and tablet computers, all on one bill. Optus is looking to lure customers who use tablets to surf the internet via a data plan, but who have to also have separate plan for their smartphone. The new SIM-only plans are available from 10 June and let customers use their existing mobile devices with no lock-in contract.

Telstra hit back just a day later with new data sharing plans, but only for business customers. The Telstra EasyShare Business plans  allow shared data multiple services on a small or medium business mobile account.

The alternative to the Optus and Telstra data sharing plans is to simply tether your tablet to your smartphone, using its connection to the internet. This method has no extra costs, but lacks the instant-access convenience of having a data plan built into each device and drains the batteries of both devices faster.

Telstra holds the lion's share of the mobile market, with more than rivals Optus and Vodafone combined.



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