Optus cuts mobile broadband costs

Broadband and phone provider Optus is offering more data for a cheaper price on its month-to-month and contract mobile broadband deals.

Mobile broadband plans on a 12-month contract start at 4GB and go up to 16GB, for peak-time use. Customers who want to use the internet in the off-peak time (off peak time is 12:00am midnight to 6:59:59am AEST) can access double the data allowance during the day.

Contract lengths are 12 months, instead of 24 months and Optus customers still have unmetered access to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, eBay, MySpace and FourSquare.

Optus offers a cap value that you can use during the peak or off-peak on its mobile broadband plans, rather than an 'anytime' data allowance. In the peak time, data costs $0.08 per MB and in the off peak, Optus charges $0.04 per MB.

For $29.95, Optus includes $320 of value, which means customers can access up to 4GB in the peak time, or up to 8GB if it is all used in the off peak.

For $39.95, Optus includes a generous $640 of value, which translates to up to 8GB in the peak and 16GB in the off peak time.

Optus also offers a $59.95 plan for 10GB in the peak, 20GB in the off peak and has added a massive 16GB plan, with up to 32GB available in the off peak, which costs $79.95.

These are great deals and bring Optus plans closer in line with some of its rivals, including Virgin, Dodo and Vodafone.

Mobile broadband customers looking for a light plan should compare the Optus plan with Dodo, which has very cheap plans starting from $9.90 a month for 0.25GB, while customers looking for a Wi-Fi mobile broadband option should consider Virgin's similarly priced deals.

Bear in mind that other providers may charge for using excess data, however. Optus will cut off access to the internet (apart from selected unmetered sites) and give you the option to buy more data if you exceed your cap in the month.

If you are looking for a mobile broadband plan, you should also consider the coverage available in the areas you want to use it. Coverage affects the speed and reliability of the internet connection, so make sure you ask about this before committing to a plan.