Optus adds data sharing for people with more than “just a smartphone”

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It’s one of those things we’ve been asking telcos about ever since the first 3G tablets started dropping by, and now it looks to be here, as Optus delivers plans with shared data across five gadgets.

The first Aussie tech news this week, Optus is making its 4G plans a little better tailored for people who own more than just the phone, which is quite a few of us, it seems.

The new plans called “My Plan Plus” add a feature called “Data Sharing” which will make it possible to pay a one-off $5 cost per gadget to share your data plan with up to five other gadgets, meaning the 2 or 3GB data provisions you get monthly won’t just have to be used by your phone, but could be shared between an iPad or tablet, smart camera, laptop, and anything else with a SIM card slot.

That means you won’t need specific plans for tablets and laptops with Optus, and provided you pay the $5 once-off cost per gadget, you can share you regular mobile plan across your other devices.

“Optus is revolutionising the mobile market,” said Paul O’Sullivan, Country Chief Officer at Optus. “With these new plans, we think many customers will choose to ditch standalone mobile broadband plans for good.”

It’s not the first time a telco has unveiled data sharing in devices, and it probably won’t be the last, with Telstra supporting the same concept, provided you paid for each gadget monthly per device. Businesses have also been given this sort of support in the past, and when GadgetGuy has asked about shared plans previously, telcos have pointed us to fleet plans made for big business.

However, this is the first time a telco has more or less provided a once-off fee per gadget, with the $5 cost — which we assume is the cost of the SIM, roughly — letting any extra gadget you want online and sharing the data you normally pay for anyway.

But the plans do a little more than just invite more devices to share the data, with lock-in contracts done away with, provided you bring your own phone.

As such, there’ll be two versions of the Optus My Plan Plus, with the regular plan running through a 24 month contract if you bundle in a phone, with unlimited SMS and MMS across the entire range, unlimited phone calls from $60 onwards, and data provisions from between 500MB and 5GB depending on how much you want or need.

The contract-less plan will also be on offer, called My Plan Plus SIM Only, offering three prices — $30, $45, and $60 — with either 500MB, 2GB, or 5GB data amounts, and similar phone call and messaging packs, as well.

Across all of the plans, Optus will continue to provide usage alerts, as well as offer data packs at a rate of 1GB for $10 if you end up needing more data. The new plans support up to five mobile devices sharing the data, provided you pay $5 per device that’s using your plan.

“These plans build on the breakthrough My Plan products we launched last year,” said O’Sullivan. adding that “once again, we’re delivering on our commitment to provide industry-leading products that dramatically change how customers use data.

“These are our best plans yet. We’re confident our customers will love them and these plans will convince more consumers to join Optus.”

June 10 is when these plans should be rolling out, delivering the speeds and data across both 3G and 4G LTE, dependent on where you’re located, of course.