Opinion: Why Telstra's Shared Data Plans Are A Bad Deal Right Now

Telstra has them, Optus is working on them which means shared data plans are probably here to stay. That's problematic, because the first attempt kind of sucks.

You know, assuming it is a first attempt. Let's hope it is anyway, because the "value" in the offerings unveiled today is pretty non-existent.

Telstra today announced that it would offer shared data plans for an additional fee on top of each Every Day Connect plans.

Here's how it explains the offer:

Sure, shared data plans are a great idea, but you have to price it correctly to make it a compelling deal, otherwise you're just left with a telco ticking a box saying it has it available.

Here's the problem: Telstra, in its data sharing wisdom, has decided to charge an extra $10 to activate data sharing on an already expensive plan, before charging an extra $10 for each new SIM card attached to the plan.

While we can't disagree with the additional SIM card charge on the plan (profit shouldn't be a dirty word), the ongoing product activation cost is a bit of a stretch. Say you want one additional SIM on your Every Day Connect plan. That's an extra $20 per month on top of a plan that has already had its data allowances slashed in recent plan retooling.

At those rates, it works out cheaper to add an additional 1GB of data onto your plan via a data pack so you can use your existing service as a portable hotspot.

There isn't a phone on the market that doesn't do that already, which means Telstra needs to make its prices a little more compelling if it wants to actually sell any of these tethering options.

Image via Shutterstock

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