Everyone's favourite MVNO, Virgin Mobile, has been hot on the heels of every 4G announcement Optus has made for the last few months. True to form, Virgin now has a 4G mobile broadband offering that seems to work out as better value than its larger rivals can offer.
Picture by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images
Virgin Mobile outed its 4G mobile broadband plan — there's only one — today: $59 gets you 13GB of usage, as well as a Huawei E5776 4G Wi-Fi modem for $0 upfront on a 12-month contract. That data is charged at $0.0045 for those playing the numbers game.
Update: we had assumed it was a 24-month contract on Virgin. It is in fact a 12-month contract.
Compare Virgin's offer to other, larger telcos, and you start to see the value inherent.
Telstra has a 4G mobile broadband plan for $50 per month that gets you 8GB of data, with the tier above it costing $95 per month for 15GB. The Telstra Wi-Fi hotspot is also priced at an extra $6 per month on top of your plan on a 24 month contract. The Virgin deal straddles those prices quite nicely, but you have to remember that you'll be on Optus' 4G network and not Telstra's, which is still reaping the benefits of its 12-month head-start.
Optus, meanwhile, offers its 4G mobile broadband plan at $49 per month on a 24 month contract that gets you 10GB worth of data included. Interestingly, in breaking down the Optus plan you find that the service plan element only costs you $34.95 per month for the 10GB of data, while the 4G modem costs you $15 per month in device repayments. Optus has the cheaper service plan, but overall, Virgin still has a better value package deal for your money.
The only disappointing thing about Virgin's 4G mobile broadband plan is that there's only one tier to choose from. Hopefully we'll see more in future. [Virgin]