While its merger process with Vodafone rumbles along, 3 is still pushing ahead with plans to allow roaming onto Telstra's Next G network. If a leaked price list is to be believed, that change will also make its data services somewhat more affordable. According to our favourite broadband discussion site Whirlpool, 3 is set to roll out roaming onto Next G in mid-April. And when it does, customers on mobile broadband plans will be charged 50 cents per MB for data — less than a third of the current $1.65 rate. Casual postpaid data roaming will still cost $2/MB.
The cheaper rate is welcome, and the shift to roaming onto Next G should mean much better performance. Nonetheless, if you're a regular 3G broadband user, choosing someone else and hence not having to worry about potential roaming charges still seems like a better bet. One other interesting note in the article: apparently less than 10% of current 3-owned phones are Next G capable, so the option isn't likely to be huge initially amongst phone owners.
3's new roaming rates revealed [Whirlpool]