Optus Apple iPad plans

Optus iPad plans offer a range of data options from 1.5GB to unlimited (subject to a fair use policy) at a reasonable price. Optus customers don't have to be locked into a contract for any of these plans and this makes Optus a good choice for anyone looking for some flexibility with their data usage.

The plans exclude overseas use, usage for commercial purposes and Peer-to-Peer usage.

Pre-Paid Micro SIM Starter Kit. Costs $30 and includes 3GB data

Recharge value    Data                                                          Unused credit expires after
                         (if you recharge before 30 September 2010)
$15                    Up to 1.5GB                                               15 days
$20                    Up to 2GB                                                  15 days
$30                    Up to 4GB                                                  30 days
$40                    Up to 5GB                                                  30 days
$50                    Up to 6GB                                                  30 days
$70                    Up to 10GB                                                60 days
$100                  Up to 13GB                                                60 days
$130                  Up to 15GB                                                60 days

Optus also offers a month-to-month plan on the iPad. $20 includes 2GB data, $30 buys 4GB and $60 buys 8GB a month.

Coverage

The Optus Mobile Dual Band network provides 3G services to over 96% of the Australian population and Optus continues to invest in its mobile broadband coverage. Having said this, coverage is not available in the Northern Territories and Tasmania.

Expiry

Data can be rolled over in the pre-paid plans provided you top up, except for the $50 unlimited data voucher.

Speed

On the Optus network, the iPad will use the standard 3G range. This isn't as fast as Telstra's Next G network, which operates on a slightly different band and provides faster speeds. However, Optus says user experiences are typically between 512 Kbps and 3.0Mbps, which is still a decent speed.

Benefits and disadvantages


Not being tied into a contract on these deals is an advantage for iPad users, who can enjoy the flexibility of switching to a different provider if a better deal comes out, or they find the coverage is not as good as expected. The unlimited data use over 30 days for $50 is also a great deal for heavy iPad users.

Be aware that on a post-paid plan, if you exceed your plan's included monthly data allowance, additional excess usage will be charged at an additional $0.06 per MB. On post-paid plans, you cannot roll over unused data either, so make sure you are getting the right amount of data for your use if you sign a contract.