Virgin Mobile is adding post-paid 4G mobile broadband today, announcing an AU$59 plan with a hefty 13GB of included data on a 12-month plan.
Unlike most services from other telcos, Virgin Mobile does not include a broadband device as part of the deal. It is offered as a SIM-only "bring your own device" (BYOD) deal, making it suitable for use in generic mobile broadband dongles or hotspot devices, or in tablets.
For those in need of a device, Virgin can offer the Huawei E5776 Wi-Fi modem on a 12-month plan, though final add-on pricing for the modem has yet to be announced.
Virgin uses the Optus Network to deliver its network services. Virgin Mobile offers 4G services in areas of Sydney, Newcastle, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. Hobart is expected to roll out in 2014.
The 13GB of data at AU$59 is a good deal for heavy users, though not the best we've seen. Another Optus reseller and recent arrival, Vaya, offers 10GB for AU$33 per month or 15GB for AU$53 per month with no contract (plus AU$20 to receive your SIM pack).
From the major players, Vodafone offers 14GB for AU$49 per month on 12-month contract, but has yet to launch 4G services, so this is a 3G offering. Optus offers BYOD 4G data deals with 10GB for AU$34.95 per month on a 12-month contract. Telstra is more expensive, at AU$50 for 8GB or AU$95 for 15GB on a 24-month contract.
While prepaid data with varying expiry lengths may still suit most users with usage that changes widely month to month, and for many others, buying add-on packs to their main mobile plan suits general usage best, these contract deals show there's some good value to be found if you want a lot of data on the move.