2013-03-20 07:11:45 - If you're a multi device household, you'll love what US telcos are doing with their new shared data plans but in Australia, our telcos won't be giving you a taste of it in 2013.
Telco comparison site WhistleOut has confirmed that Australian telcos won't be following the big two US telcos in offering families the opportunity to share their included plan allocations on their mobiles between family members or between devices as an official plan feature. For a couple with two new high-end phones on contract and a new iPad Mini, shared plans can save more than $1600 over 24 months when compared to the equivalent plans from Australian carriers, Telstra and Optus.
ATT and Verizon Wireless, the two biggest carriers in the US have both introduced shared plans to formally embrace the multi-device household, with Verizon Wireless recognising this as the future and completely disbanding all standard non-shareable plans. ATT provides both individual
and shared plans.
A shareable data plan means that the calls and data allowance in a plan can be shared between two or more devices owned by the customer or between family members on the same account. Historically, individual plans meant that a customer needed a plan for each device, as is the case in Australia.
Share plans offer significant savings to US consumers. As an example, a shared US plan offers unlimited calls and a data pool of 4GB per month. If you've got an iPad and want access to this data pool, for just $10 you can add a new line to tap into this data pool, giving both devices access to the data bucket. Adding a second smartphone to access this pool is $40 per month, giving the second smartphone unlimited calls and access to the data bucket.
The comparison chart below shows that while US mobile phone plans may be more expensive initially than the Australian equivalent, shareable plans get cheaper the more devices and users that are added to it. The multi-device household is here in Australia (there are more mobile phones than people), but Australian telcos are not supporting the trend with shared plans.
Today, Australian carriers still utilise the billing model of each device requiring a separate monthly plan and fee. WhistleOut has confirmed with each of the major carriers: Optus, Telstra, and Vodafone and Virgin Mobile as well as several independents including Vaya and Live Connected, that shared plans are not on the horizon for 2013.
In one household, a family could have multiple phone contracts and iPad plans at once, with each different device having its own plan and data usage allowance, none of which are shareable across devices right now and won't be this year.
Crazy John’s had previously offered shareable data plans, however these plans were removed from sale as the brand is merged into Vodafone. Virgin, Telstra and Optus have shareable plans available to their business customers only, so it is consumers and families who are missing out.
Australian startup WhistleOut is now delivering extensive telco comparisons for the US market with unique comparison of mobile phone plans from all the major US carriers as well as comparisons for all major telco providers in Australia