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Optus Wireless Broadband: Now cheaper, sort of

Optus is now offering its wireless broadband plans cheaper, but only for the first 12 months.

(Credit: Optus)

Get out your calculators, Optus has announced new Wireless Broadband pricing and something tells us it's just as convoluted as previous "deals".

Customers signing up to a new Optus Wireless Broadband contract now have a choice of five 12-month contracts; the Wireless 15, 25, 35 and 55 packages (which include 1, 2, 4 and 7GB of data each month respectively), and the Wireless 199 package which includes an E160 USB modem plus 1GB for 12 months in return for an upfront payment of AU$199.

So far things are relatively straightforward, and the prices are cheaper than before. But once you reach the end of the 12-month contract you suddenly lose half of your broadband allowance while continuing to pay the same monthly rate, ping-ponging your cost to data ratio from a decent 3 Mobile-like deal to a gouging Telstra-like arrangement. So, customers who choose the Wireless 15 plan will get 1GB for the first 12 months then only 500MB of data each month thereafter. The only upside we can see is if customers would be free to change to a different broadband provider — hardly an excellent customer retention strategy.

There is good news though, Optus now charges less for its broadband modems, the E160 is AU$99 and the E172 is AU$149, and its excess usage charge is down to 6 cents per MB, down from 15 cents. If you're still worried about excess usage charges you should check out the Optus-owned alternative, Virgin Mobile, who throttle the speed of customers who reach their limit rather than charging extra.