Telcos slash mobile broadband prices for Christmas

Today must be the day for special offers from your friendly telcos.
First Vodafone announced a ‘three months free access’  for their $39.95 5GB Mobile Broadband plan when you sign up for a 24 month contract. According to Vodafone the offer is available until February 28 2009 and the three-month term takes effect in the fifth sixth and seventh month of the 24 month contract. In my mind that’s a weird way to spin it but in reality you’ll save $119.85 on the total contract which normally costs $958.80 — a saving of more than 10 percent.

The three months free access is also being offered on $79 mobile caps and the $69 Dell Netbook plan.

Moments later we received another press release from 3.
3’s offer which in dollar terms is more attractive provides a 6GB Mobile Broadband plan for $19.50 for the first six months over a 24 month contract means you’ll pay a total of $819 marginally cheaper than the Vodafone plan but with an extra 1GB of data per month.
3 unlike Vodafone has also extended their offer to other broadband plans so you can use the offer on 3GB/month for $14.50 or upgrade to 7GB for $24.50/month. If you choose 3 beware that the deal is only relevant when you’re on 3’s network. Step outside of 3’s network and you’re in roaming territory where you’ll pay $1.65 per MB. Ouch. (Though to be fair to 3 you can disable roaming on their modems so you may hit blackspots but at least you will avoid the risk of extra fees.)
No Christmas cheer from Telstra or Optus on Mobile Broadband but Optus has been quietly tweaking its iPhone plans.
Vodafone as you may have already read completely surrendered the low-end iPhone market to Optus whose cheapest plan still starts at $19/month (compared to $69/month on Vodafone) but is now also offering unlimited data for any iPhone or BlackBerry Storm connection before February.
Optus is still the only carrier offering 12 month iPhone contracts and has re-jigged its plans across the range. Handset repayments on iPhones have moved up a couple of dollars on all contracts (where the iPhone isn’t provided free) and Optus has also added an iPhone Timeless plan to its range available in either a 12 or 24 month contract. The cheapest iPhone timeless plan which costs $113.95/month includes unlimited calling and national SMSs plus 1.5GB of data.
There’s no doubt that Optus offer the best value iPhone plans but the question is can you cope with the Optus 3G network?