Review: Optus My Plan Plus

On June 10 this year, Optus will launch an upgraded version of My Plan, its suite of consumer-level mobile phone plans. They're a welcome move in the right direction.

Imaginatively titled My Plan Plus, these new plans provide more calling credit and larger data allowances, thus reversing an industry trend that had threatened to seem unavoidable. Furthermore, and in apparent response to Telstra, the new plans also include a data sharing provision, meaning that for a small fee additional devices can access the same data allowance.

If you're waiting for the bad news, there isn't much. The cheapest pre-paid plans have gone up by $5 per month (to $30 and $45 respectively), although the top pre-paid plan is actually cheaper (now $60, with a big increase in its data allowance).

First, the increased allowances. On all SIM-only tiers, data allowances have at least doubled. Increases are less dramatic on contracted plans, but still significant. Here's a handy table:

Type

Old Cost

New Cost

Old Data

New Data

Contracted

$35

$35

200Mb

500Mb

$50

$50

500Mb

1Gb

$60

$60

1.5Gb

2Gb

$80

$80

2Gb

3Gb

$100

$100

2Gb

5Gb

Pre-Paid

(SIM only)

$25

$30

200Mb

500Mb

$40

$45

1Gb

2Gb

$65

$60

2Gb

5Gb

Voice allowances are also up, in some cases increasing all the way to 'unlimited' (which is telco code for 'limited in ways you don't expect'.)

Type

Plan Cost

Old Voice (minutes)

New Voice (minutes)

Contracted

$35

200

300

$50

450

600

$60

600

Unlimited

$80

800

Unlimited

$100

Unlimited

Unlimited

Pre-Paid

(SIM only)

$25

200

300

$40

500

Unlimited

$65

Unlimited

Unlimited

Now to the data sharing. For an extra $5 upfront per SIM, you can now add additional devices to your plan, thus allowing it to access the data allowance on that plan. So for example, if you have a $60 plan (With 5Gb of data), you pay a once-off upfront fee of $5 to add your 4G tablet, and it can now also use that 5Gb.

Telstra recently launched something similar, with the difference that it costs an extra $10 per month per device, and is thus of questionable value given the ease of tethering modern phones, and considering Telstra's far less generous data allowance. We talked about them here. (Spoiler alert: we weren't impressed).

My Plan Plus retains Optus' existing provision whereby going over your voice or data limit automatically rolls you onto a $10 blot-on for an extra block of voice minutes or data. Back when these were released we argued that this was a smart move on Optus' part, and had less to do with an altruistic urge to combat bill shock than to move from an uncertain revenue stream based on bill blowouts than a steadier stream composed of thousands of constantly flowing rivulets. That's probably still mostly true, but the increased data allowances on the new plans certainly offset this. Fewer customers will be exceeding the new data allowances. 

All in all, these new mobile plans from Optus are an excellent upgrade.