Mobile data deals just got cheaper
MOBILE phone customers are being offered bigger chunks of data for less money as telcos fight it out in an all-out data war.
In the past two years telcos have pumped up their offerings enabling smartphone addicts to chew through more data but pay less.
New analysis from telco comparison website WhistleOut found in 2016 customers were paying on average $55 per month for about 9GB of data and many were in contracts.
But now customers are getting closer to 10GB of data for about $38 per month and they don't need to be locked into a plan.
WhistleOut's spokesman Kenny McGilvary said for customers not tied into a contract now is the perfect time to "suck it and see" with a new provider.
"Don't commit to long-term contracts until you know what the service is like,'' he said.
"Try it first, if you like it that's great and you can sign up for longer and get better deals, but if you don't like it you can switch and save again."
Telco giant Optus recently resurrected its double-data offer for new and recontracting customers on 12-month plans, giving customers 30GB of data for $45 per month.
Vodafone has also super-sized some plans including $40 per month for 25GB and unlimited calls and texts on a 12-month contract.
Smaller provider Dodo is also doubling data across a range of deals.
Many more Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) - smaller providers - have cost-effective offerings on the table which is making it tougher on the big players.
However, often these cheaper options don't give customers all the bells and whistles such as free access to music or sports packages.
Moose Mobile's chief executive officer Dean Lwin said there are a few key things to consider before switching telcos.
"Make sure you have good coverage in your area with the network you want,'' he said.
"All telcos use one of the three networks Optus, Telstra or Vodafone - there are no other options.
"Some telcos don't allow you to modify your plan if your needs change, say if you're on a 12 month plan with no flexibility, or charge you a fee for a plan change."
Mobile phone portability also makes it easy to switch - customers can keep their number if they do jump ship.
Belong's head Ben Burge said it's vital customers know how much data they need each month before signing up to any deal.
"With a conventional plan, any data you don't use in a month evaporates into thin air, the most expensive data is that which you don't get to use,'' he said.
He also warns about excess usage charges.
"Look for plans that give you billing certainty that don't slug you additional charges for data or voice,'' he said.
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