The typical Australian take on unlimited mobile data comes with speed restrictions, but Amaysim is going to try something different.
As customers, our love for mobile data is clear: we’re using it all the time, and our phones and tablets are to thank. Whether you’re using it to check and send emails, to talk to friends, to upload photos and videos, or just to read this article, you’re probably reliant on mobile data in a big way.
Big data needs are producing big data headaches for customers, as you might need more than a few gigabytes monthly. Depending on what you do and what you use data for, you might need at least 15GB, 30GB, 50GB, and possibly a lot more.
One solution Australian telcos typically rely on is the use of unlimited data with a speed catch. That catch means you get unlimited data at unlimited speeds for the first 30 or 50GB — essentially, the full possibility of your mobile data connection for the amount your plan typically comes with — and then the rest of the “unlimited data” is shaped at a lower speed. Across Australia, telcos tend to cap that unlimited data at 1.5Mbps, what’s also known as ADSL1 speed, a good one or two percent of the speed on offer by many 4G connections. It is seriously low, and not ideal for movies or gaming, but should work for social, email, and web browsing.
Unlimited data with a speed catch isn’t the same thing as unlimited data, though, and it’s something not everyone approves of. While some carriers offer 4G connections with unlimited data, some people prefer paying extra for full-speed data, rather than unlimited and shaped.
And some carriers are different again.
Amaysim has signalled this week that it’s offering what it believes is the first truly unlimited mobile data solution, though it’s one that comes across more as a trial and only appears for the Australian summer.
The plan provides users of the $40 and $50 Amaysim monthly packs unlimited mobile data for the first three renewals, and when you hit the fourth, they drop back to their respective data allowances, either 60GB for the $40 plan or 80GB for the $50.
For those first three renewals, you’ll find unlimited data with no speed shaping, and all three renewals have to have been redeemed by March 31. Essentially, Amaysim’s unlimited mobile data offering ends on March 31.
Regardless of whether you catch the data with unlimited quantity in the first few months or brought back to 60GB and 80GB, you’ll find unlimited calls and texts to Australian phones as part of the plan, plus unlimited standard calls to ten countries including the UK, USA, and New Zealand, and 300 minutes international to 22 more including Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Taiwan, Turkey, and Vietnam.
“Aussies love data but until now have often been sold so-called ‘unlimited’ or ‘endless’ mobile data, only for their data to be slowed down and capped, draining the value,” said Peter O’Connell, CEO and Co-Founder of Amaysim.
“Unlike anything else currently available, our new summer plans will give total freedom and flexibility to our customers during what is the highest mobile data use period in the year,” he said.
While Amaysim’s dabble with unlimited plans does appear to be more of a test than anything else, and one made for the summer, it’s a test we’ll be watching very curiously, particularly if any other telcos jump on and offer something of their own.
The shaping of unlimited data speeds is one of the bugbears of Australia’s mobile industry, not just because it hampers the experience, but because the speed is seriously so much slower than what 4G is known for. Rather, a 1.5Mbps maximum imposed by carriers taking part in unlimited data speed shaping is actually closer to 3G speeds, and in some instances, even lower. With 4G able to hit between 25Mbps and over 1000Mbps, downloading at a fraction of the speed is hardly the same result, even if data prices are capped.
Amaysim’s unlimited data plan, short as it is, won’t suffer quite the same speed concerns, and customers can try it out for the time it’s available and then switch to a different carrier if they so choose, to, as Amaysim doesn’t lock its customers into plans. Instead, Amaysim works month to month, using the Optus 4G network with no lock in contracts.
Anyone keen to see what this is about can find the Amaysim unlimited mobile data plans in action for $40 and $50 per month over the first three renewals, until the deal ends at the end of January 2020.