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Telstra launches unlimited mobile plan for business

Yesterday, Telstra launched their first 'Unlimited' mobile plan for business.

The headline plan details are:

  • $180 per month plan includes all standard voice calls, video calls, MMS and SMS to any Australian mobile or fixed number
  • The plan is available for a 12 or 24 month minimum term

Whilst Unlimited calls plans are extremely alluring, Telstra is not the only mobile service provider that offers this type of package.

Equally, 'unlimited' is rarely ever 'unlimited'.  In Telstra's case, the offer is subject to their Fairplay policy - which states that usage over 2500 minutes a month would be deemed excessive.

On the face of it, this make the Telstra deal pretty attractive - a very heavy user could make a typical 3 minute call cost 22 cents (assuming a maximum number of minutes of 2500 in the month) for a single business phone user.

Compare this to their next plan down, worth $160 a month, a typical call will cost 92c.  A significant difference.

Now, compare these costs to Vodafone who offer a $99 'Unlimited' plan, that's a clear difference of $61 a month.  There are a lot of small printed terms, and additional costs on top of this $99, and Telstra would roundly argue that their deal is far more transparent.

But a high cost 'Unlimited' plan is not for everyone, both in terms of cost or even product suitability.

If we compare each suppliers next most expensive plan, assuming that every call lasts 3 minutes to a national number we get the following comparison:

Telstra
Monthly cost: $160
Monthly call cap value: $160
Av 3 min call cost: $0.92
Total calls available within cap: 174 calls

Vodafone

Monthly cost: $79
Monthly call cap value: $550
Av 3 min call cost: $3.05
Total calls available within cap: 180 calls

So whilst the Vodafone individual call cost could be three time that of Telstra, you pay half the price, and get a few more minutes.  If as a business owner your monthly usage exceeds 180 calls, then the Vodafone cost will soon catch-up with Telstra.

The point here is that even a simple comparison is complex.  The answer is do your homework.  Understand how, when and where you use you mobile phone, and then compare some of the leading providers.