IDC warns iPhone users over data costs

Optus offered the best overall value for users, says IDC

Analyst firm IDC is warning Australians that the overall value in iPhone 3G pricing plans leaves a lot to be desired and comes with costly excess usage charges.

IDC found Optus has the widest selection of options and arguably offered the best overall value for users, offering both capped and non-capped plans. Unlike other providers it also offers a 12-month contract.

Telstra did less well in the comparisons.

“Telstra competes based on coverage, not price,” says IDC telecommunications analyst Mark Novosel. “Therefore, expecting the company to offer large amounts of included value or data in its plans would have been unreasonable.”

However, Novosel says Telstra’s entry-level A$30 (NZ$38) plan provides a “trivial” 5MB of data per month.

“Downloading a single song, leaves consumers with excess usage charges of A$1 per MB,” says Novosel.

“Vodafone’s iPhone 3G pricing has gone against the company’s recent trends, such as pioneering moves by slashing mobile broadband to A$39 for 5GB, which resulted in a unanimous downward shift in mobile broadband pricing across the board,” says Novosel.

The analyst had mixed feelings about New Zealand’s offerings.

“Although Vodafone’s NZ$80 Plan proves to be expensive compared to Australian carriers’ offerings, the plan compares favourably to other Vodafone New Zealand plans on offer. Effectively costing A$85.79 per month or A$2,059 over 24 months, the plan provides 120 minutes, 600 SMS and 250MB data,” he says.

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