Woolworths To Sell Android Phones, Launches Prepaid Cap Plans

Woolworths has sold its own brand prepaid service since 2009, but has stayed away from cap deals or direct phone offers. That changes this week with the supermarket launching a pair of cap plans and two handsets — but the call and data rates are on the steep side.The two cap plans, both via Optus, have a 45-day expiry and include 5GB of data. The $29 plan includes $250 of any network calls and $250 in credit for calls to other Optus customers. The $49 plan includes $500 in each category. While that sounds generous, the call rates are high (and not actually visible on the site as I write this): 89 cents per minute for calls, with a 30 cent flag fall.

Both caps require a $2 starter SIM, and offer a 10% discount on recharges to Everyday Rewards card holders. Data is also counted in 1MB increments, which isn't ideal for low-volume usage, and there's no sign of the free social networking site access offered on other Optus plans. Tethering is not allowed with the 5GB of supplied data. As with most prepaid plans, there's no overseas roaming option. Woolworths' old pay-as-you-go plans (also on Optus) will continue under the Everyday Mobile brand and be aimed at lower-volume customers. With that said, the lack of transparency and the data restrictions mean this isn't a particularly appealing prepaid offer for smartphone owners.

The two handsets on sale in Woolworths stores will be the Huawei Sonic for $188 and the LG Optimus ME for $138. Reportedly, neither are network-locked. Would you be happy buying a phone from Woolworths, or would you prefer a more specialised retailer? Impressed or appalled by the rates? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Woolworths Mobile


Comments

    well its still cheaper than vodafone

    I think the rates are standard. I'm with TPG Mobile atm and they have very well priced plans. I'm currently looking at moving to Telstra prepaid with their Cap+ options which would provide me better value (once reception is taken into account). Telstra's prices are the same as listed on Woolworths so I don't have a problem with that.

    Also 1mb increments? Who cares when they give you a very generous 5gb!!!

    Pretty good value all in all. If it weren't for Optus service reception being a bit lousy for Optus sub-contracted retailers, I'd consider it.

      Of course you do understand that TPG use Optus...same coverage

        Correct me if I'm wrong here, but aside from Telstra, Optus, Vodafone and Three; who all operate their own mobile networks - I'm pretty sure that ALL other mobile service providers resell Optus' network - except Crazy Johns who resell Vodafones.

          Optus is certainly the most active wholesaler. 3 is now, for all practical purposes, the same as Vodafone. Also, if we're being pedantic, Virgin and Boost are actually owned by Optus, not just wholesaled to by them.

            As far as I'm aware, VHA are still operating the Vodafone and Three networks concurrently - with the intention of switching off Three's network (where it is already duplicating Vodafone's coverage areas) in the coming future. At least, that's what I was told by a Vodafone service rep in their Kingston contact centre.

            At this point I'm likely to believe this is still the case, as I get next to no receiption regularly around Tassie with my Vodafone SIM, but it's not unusual to pick up reception with my wife's Three SIM in my phone.

            Interesting to know that both Virgin and Boost are owned by Optus however, I was under the belief they were independent.

            In any case; the point still stands - unless you're using Vodafone/Three, Telstra or Crazy Johns; odds are you're using Optus' network.

      Still no Amaysim even with those rates... $39.90pm (no contract) for unlimited calls to any landline/mobile in Oz, unlimited SMS, unlimited MMS, 4GB data. No charge for data tethering and very reasonable international rates make it about the best of the Optus resellers if you ask me.

    Well it is about time they did some product offer changes. Range has been rather stale for a long time.

    The data options look great - 5GB is plenty for their target market.

    Has their website caught up with the announcement?

    Paul of course you read Lyndon L's comment about lousy reception for Optus sub-contracted customers....which I concur with. It's not the same coverage.

    My Optus coverage thru' TPG in SE Melbourne is worse that I was getting before on Vodafail.

      Errrm you can't use the argument that because your TPG coverage is a certain spot is worse than Vodafone - it's therefore not the same as Optus. Have you used an Optus SIM in the same handset at the same location to compare with TPG? Who's to say that its not a black-spot for Optus too?

    How do they know if your tethering? Do they monitor your traffic, and if so are they allowed to snoop on their customers like that?

      Apple identifies traffic through its tethering system, which gives carriers the option of blocking or charging for it. (I imagine that wouldn't be an issue for jailbroken iPhones.)

      They don't....I use it all the time

    How long is the Australian public still going to be conned by the capped price model? Of course you can get $500 of "value" for $49 if your per minute price is ridiculous. But the fact that we're not even told the per minute price is really deceptive - I hope this is just an oversight.

    Demand minutes for your money!

    Phone is unlocked... plays nicely with a number of SIMs.
    One of the cheapest Android 2.3 devices around.

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