Amaysim 4G Plans: More Data And Faster Speeds, With A Catch

Amaysim is finally offering 4G access on its plans — but that change does alter some of its most popular offerings. Here's what you need to know and how Amaysim compares to all its major rivals.

Amaysim has been a popular choice ever since its launch back in 2010, in large part because of its relatively generous data and calling allowances. While its bargain-price plans have made it the largest independent mobile network in Australia, it has been subject to one increasingly vocal criticism in recent years: it only utilises the older Optus 3G network, rather than the faster and more frequently upgraded 4G network. As 4G coverage has become more widespread, that has made it look less valuable to customers, especially when other Optus resellers like Virgin, Vaya and Jeenee already offer 4G.

So the announcement last year that Amaysim would shifting its plans from 3G to 4G was a welcome one — but the devil is in the detail. It does come with a number of changes, especially for customers on the popular Unlimited plan. Whether those changes are welcome will largely depend on whether you're already in a 4G reception area and how you utilise data.

What's Changing

All the no-contract plans that Amaysim offers — the fully prepaid As You Go for casual users, the $19.90 per month Flexi for light users and the $44.90 Unlimited for heavy users — will be switching from Optus' 3G network to 4G. In the case of As You Go and Flexi, the only real change is an increase in the per-MB rate for data usage, which goes up from 5 cents to 7.2 cents. But that rise does come with a benefit: usage is now calculated with per kilobyte (KB) rounding, rather than per MB rounding. That means your overall data usage may well be lower, since individual polling by, for example, your email, now won't automatically be rounded up to the nearest megabyte.

Unlimited has a more significant change. While it continues to include unlimited calls and texts to Australian numbers, the amount of data being included on the $44.90 per month prepaid plan has dropped from 5GB to 4GB. Amaysim's argument is that with the per-KB rounding (which also applies here), many customers will still ultimately consume a similar amount of data. That will be the case for some users, but it won't be true for everyone.

Amaysim increased the amount of data offered on Unlimited from 4GB to 5GB back in August 2014, but it also put up the price from $39.90 to $44.90 at that time. As a result, dropping the data inclusion back to 4GB does look like a price rise for data inclusions - more speed but with a little less to use. How much that matters will depend on how often you bounce against the existing limit.

If you'd prefer to hang onto your 5GB inclusion and you're an existing Unlimited customer, you can elect to stay on your existing plan, which will be grandfathered. You won't be switched onto the new Unlimited plan unless you specifically request it, and you'll keep your 5GB allowance. However, you'll also stay on the 3G network, rather than being shifted to 4G, and your usage will continue to be rounded to the nearest MB.

Whether that switch is good value for you will depend on individual circumstances. If your home address is in a 3G-only area, the incentive to switch will be minimal. If you can get 4G, the improvement could be worth it — but if you're regularly coming close to 5GB a month, you won't want to switch without careful checking. (Once you've switched from the grandfathered plan, you can't switch back.)

If you're sure you'll want more data regardless, there will also be an Unlimited plan with 6GB of data for $54.90 per month. That's cheaper than using the existing 1GB add-on, which costs $10. For customers who run out close to the end of the month and want extra data occasionally without paying for a full GB that might not be used, there will also be the option to add 300MB for $4.90.

One new plan is also being added to the mix: Unlimited Text. That costs $29.90 a month, and includes 1.5GB of data, unlimited texts and 500 minutes of calls to Australian numbers.

All Amaysim's plans include free calls and texts to other Amaysim customers — not really relevant on Unlimited (where all calls to Australian numbers are free anyway), but potentially useful for families who want to use the cheaper plans while being able to call and text each other for nothing.

So how do these plans compare? Check out Lifehacker Australia for the full break down!

Originally published on Lifehacker Australia.



    I couldn't be on a plan that has got less than 5gb a month. Even 5gb isn't really enough. How do people survive on 2gb or less ? Don't they use their phone's?

      Use it for what? I use my phone all the time but I rarely use more than half the 2.25Gb I get per month. Half of that is usually from tethering the phone and the next biggest culprit is downloading apps.. My apps rarely use more than about 50Mb a month.

        I'm on my phone all the time surfing the net and use it for my TV guide. Uploading photos to dropbox, printing from phone, games, you tube, basically everything. I've stopped using my computer altogether and just use my phone instead. Half the time I have to top up my data just to get through the month.

      For what though? Do you stream movies? Do you download large files? I struggle with 2.5gb or there abouts. But what do you do with over 5gb of needs*?

      *Except for pRon of course haha you dirty Bastard. But seriously what?

    you need roughtly 1000 rounded up polls of 1023kb for the drop in a GB to equal the same thing. over a month thats 1 poll per 43 minutes. Wow they really were gouging if thats even remotely correct.

    1 Poll per 43 minutes sounds extremely low to me to be honest. I have an Exchange account set up on mine, and other push notifications. These add up pretty quick with the Mb rounding. That said, I never got close to my 5Gb, so no issues for me. Already approved the switch to 4G and in 20 days I'll be switched over (it switches when your plan is up for the month).

    They were gouging. Also ... it wasn't per poll it was per data session. A data session is commenced when you turn your data on. It is terminated when you turn your data off. This is bad for users who use battery saving applications.

    The data sessions also terminate and recommence when your phone switches from tower A to tower B. This is bad for people who work or live in tall buildings as their phones can see a number of towers. Phones will always try to connect to the strongest signal which can fluctuate quite significantly when there are a number of towers around - this "flapping" between towers can also create a large number of data sessions.

    The 1Mb rounding was the entire reason why I switched from them. I found that I was only using about 3.2GB of data (according to my phone) to their reports of 4.8GB. When I switched to another provider, the phone data usage was on par with their calculation.

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