Optus CEO Allen Lew announces a multimillion-dollar investment to improve mobile phone coverage across the Cairns region next week PICTURE: ANNA ROGERS
Optus CEO Allen Lew announces a multimillion-dollar investment to improve mobile phone coverage across the Cairns region next week PICTURE: ANNA ROGERS

All-you-can-eat mobile data has arrived

UNLIMITED mobile phone data plans have arrived in Australia but have had a false start after Optus quickly removed all-you-can-use deals from their website.

The telco has remained tight-lipped to why the super-sized plans were removed within hours of going live this month but experts say these super-sized deals could result in customers doing away with having home broadband or bother signing up to the NBN.

Optus have rolled out ‘double data’ deals. Picture: Anna Rogers
Optus have rolled out ‘double data’ deals. Picture: Anna Rogers

Mass-sized data deals are continuing to roll on to the market and now Optus has rolled out "double data" deals giving customers up to 100GB per month on their mobile devices.

Telco comparison website data WhistleOut found 100 GB of data equates 400 hours of Netflix on your smartphone, 600 hours of spotify or 1200 hours of scrolling Facebook.

While Telstra confirmed they do offer mobile phone data deals including up to 120GB per month.

The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network's spokesman Luke Sutton said an increasing number of customers were really solely on their mobile device to provide data.

"We are seeing that more and more people are going mobile only and doing without a fixed-line phone as well,'' he said.

"For some consumers, having a mobile phone or mobile broadband plan that suits their data needs may mean that they will opt not to have a fixed broadband plan at home."

Australians are addicted to their smartphone devices which is resulting in telcos rolling out bigger data deals.
Australians are addicted to their smartphone devices which is resulting in telcos rolling out bigger data deals.

While the race is on between the telcos to roll out 5G, concern remains around the viability for those munching less data to need additional internet connections.

Vodafone's consumer business unit director Ben McIntosh warned consumers to watch out for the terms and conditions linked with any potential unlimited mobile data deals being offered.

"If we ever did (offer unlimited data) we want to make sure we provide a service where there's no tricks or traps,'' he said.

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But an NBN spokesman was quick to hit back at claims there was no need to sign up to the troubled network and said they have fast speeds on cost-effective deals.

"Right now end-users on the NBN access network can access retail plans which offer unlimited data plans for around $60 per month and on average are downloading close to 200GB per month,'' he said.

NBN Co’s chief executive officer Bill Morrow has been riddled with criticism over the rollout of the network.
NBN Co’s chief executive officer Bill Morrow has been riddled with criticism over the rollout of the network.

Telco comparison website WhistleOut's spokesman Kenny McGilvary said telcos "are breaking new ground" with enticing deals.

"We would we expect to see bigger plans to keep increasing, it's a trend going on for a few years and it's accelerating and it does appear the carriers are trying to win customers,'' he said.

"There will be cases were using mobile data on its own will work, particularly for people who move house frequently or you don't have access to a fixed line or NBN."

sophie.elsworth@news.com.au

@sophieelsworth