Optus has released a range of revamped mobile broadband plans, which the company says promises better value by offering different rates for peak and off-peak usage.
The plans range from AU$20 per month (including 1GB of on-peak quota and 2GB of off-peak quota) through AU$30, AU$50 and AU$80 options, with the top plan costing AU$100 per month and including 10GB of on-peak data quota and 20GB of off-peak quota, all on 24-month contracts. Optus' peak time designation is from 7:00:00am to 11:59:59pm, with off-peak data charges applying from 12:00:00am to 6:59:59am.
Once a customers' quota has been used, they will not be able to further access the internet — other than certain free Optus sites and Facebook — until they buy a new data pack to tide them over until the next month.
"We've taken a new approach to our mobile broadband plan structure," said Austin R. Bryan, the telco's marketing director of its Consumer division in a statement. "For the first time, Optus mobile broadband customers will have access to cap plans that offer peak and off-peak data amounts, with double the data available for use in off-peak times."
The telco offers two USB modems: the E610e device, which offers theoretical network speeds up to 3.6Mbps (AU$79 upfront or AU$3.30 per month for 24 months on a AU$20 plan or nothing on higher plans); or the E1762, which offers speeds of up to 7.2Mbps and will cost AU$129 upfront or AU$5.38 per month over 24 months on the AU$20 plan, AU$99 upfront or AU$4.13 per month on the AU$30 and AU$50 plans, or nothing on the higher plans.
Optus has suffered complaints from customers in the past with respects to performance issues on its network. But Bryan said the network was continually being upgraded.
"We have continued to invest significantly in our network to support mobile broadband growth and improve customer experience," he said. "The Optus 3G dual-band mobile network now reaches more than 96 per cent of the Australian population, with over 600 mobile sites constructed in the last financial year alone."