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Amaysim kills off free social browsing, raises data limit on top plan

The award winning MVNO will be increasing the data limit on its Unlimited plan to 5GB, but will up the price and drop its free data for selected social media sites.

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Budget MVNO Amaysim is making some changes to its top level mobile plan, along with removing its offering of free data for select social sites from all plans.

The Unlimited plan from Amaysim will now come with 5GB of data, up from the original 4GB. The plan will also increase from AU$39.90 a month to AU$44.90. Other aspects of the plan -- and other Amaysim plans -- will stay the same.

Speaking to CNET, Amaysim MD Julian Ogrin said that the company had seen an 85 percent increase in data use just over the past 12 months.

"The bump in data use started with the penetration of smartphones, but these days it's been about the education of what users can do with their phones," said Ogrin. "It's not just browsing any more -- it's also videos, and music streaming, and much more."

Ogrin said that this, coupled with a poor understanding from many consumers about the data costs of various activities, is still driving "bill shock" in Australia.

"In the last 12 months nearly AU$400 million dollars was wasted on bill shock, and half of that was around excessive data use," said Ogrin.

At the same time, Amaysim will remove its free data offering for some social media sites. Amaysim currently offers "unlimited standard national access" to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace, eBay, and Foursquare across all of its plans.

"Free social media was phased out some time ago by most of the other carriers," said Ogrin. "We held on, but it's become unsustainable."

Amaysim will let customers know about the changes to free social in a targeted way.

"We'll be informing customers about social browsing changes based on their usage. We've been able to segment our users to make sure that the information about the change is targeted and not a one-size-fits-all email."

Ogrin said that the next step for the carrier would be 4G connectivity, but that was still some way off.

"Of course we're looking at 4G, but we don't need to be bleeding edge about this -- it's not our business model," he said. "We're also seeing that increased 4G usage by other carriers has reduced 3G congestion. In the last few months our own 3G has been upgraded and we're seeing up to 42Mbps in the city."

The changes will come into effect on September 1, with all customers curently on the Unlimited plan rolling over to the new plan.