Buying several different mobile plans for your family's phones and tablets is a right pain, so Telstra's capitalising on that annoyance with new mobile sharing plans. Here's what you need to know.
What Is It?
It's called Go Mobile. Telstra has designed these plans for families as well as hyper-connected folk like you and me that need* a SIM card for a tablet, smartphone and laptop without breaking the bank.
The Go Mobile plans are centred around sharing which means that when you connect a new plan, the data goes into the account pool for everyone to share. More on that in a moment.
Here are the three plan tiers:
Consumer (24-month contract)
The Go Mobile plans do come with additional costs over and above the traditional Freedom Connect plans Telstra has on the market for individuals right now. Mostly because you need to provision the extra SIMs that are going to be on your account.
Adding an extra data-sharing SIM onto the service will cost you an extra $5 per month. That allows you to connect a tablet or laptop to the pool of data currently being shared between the different services, and means you don't have to pay for an extra standalone data account.
If you need something that has more than just data on the service you can pay $40 per month for what Telstra calls a "Companion SIM". That SIM comes with unlimited calls, texts and MMS (to Australian numbers), but shares the pooled data on the service.
How Does It Compare?
Angus Kidman over at Lifehacker Australia points out that if you do your comparisons and calculations carefully, you'll actually be able to save yourself some cash with a Go Mobile sharing plan for your household:
Sharing a plan with Go Mobile will generally be cheaper than buying two separate plans on Telstra — though you have to do the comparisons carefully. For instance, suppose you signed up for the $95 Go Mobile L contract plan (6GB of data) and added the $40 companion SIM for a second phone used by your partner. For $135, you’d have 3GB of data to use on each phone, unlimited calls and texts on one and a generous allowance (399 minutes) on the other. If you instead purchased two $70 Go Mobile M plans, you’d have less data (2.5GB on each plan) and a less generous calls allowance (though in truth you still probably wouldn’t exhaust it). One downside of the shared approach? Only the main account holder is eligible for a subsidised handset.
When Can You Get Them?
Telstra tells us that the new Go Mobile plans will be available from Tuesday, 12 May.
What do you think of the new sharing plans? Does sharing make sense for your family? Tell us in the comments!