Optus iPhone 3GS Prices: No Big Shocks, Tethering Just About Dead

iphone3gsby4Optus' iPhone pricing for the 3GS isn't massively different — but the company is already backing away from its rort-tastic $9.99 tethering charge.

At a press briefing this morning, Optus announced that customers who purchase one of its Mobile Internet Packs will have the controversial charge waived as part of a "promotion". In practice, that means that if you sign up for its $99 Timeless plan (which already includes a Mobile Internet Pack) or a more expensive Timeless deal on a 24-month plan, you won't have to pay any tethering charges. Optus officials say that promotion will be in place for at least three months, and also covers existing Timeless customers.

The total cost of the phone on that 24-month $99 plan will be $2376. Optus is also continuing to offer the phone on cheaper plans (ranging from $19 to $79 a month), but those won't allow tethering without paying the extra charge. Optus is also now including unlimited free texts and MMS messages in its Timeless plans for iPhone users (the same applies to the $59 and $79 yes plans).

Optus consumer manager Mike Smith said that the tethering charge was designed to minimise the impact on Optus' often-flaky network. "In some respects, the tethering charge is about ensuring we have a quality network going forward," Smith said. "We need to make sure that the network stays good through that process."

Smith also confirmed that Optus will be looking to stamp out tethering workarounds. "We're aware of it. Apple's position is they will work with us to find a way to make sure that those things which aren't approved software are fixed."

Optus iPhone pricing


    How is this not surprising Angus? Instead of passing on Apple's USD$100 price drop in the subsidised prices for each phone, Optus is essentially retaining the same pricing here as their current prices for the 3G models. Tethering aside, that is a pretty bad deal for customers looking to upgrade and the same high barrier to entry for customers who are thinking about getting iPhones for the very first time.

    "Optus is also now including unlimited free texts and MMS messages in its Timeless plans for iPhone users (the same applies to the $59 and $79 yes plans)."

    I'm assuming this means the Yes Cap plans for the iPhone. So, does this include iPhone 3G users who are currently on the $59 or $79 plans from last year?

    I'm considering buying mine from overseas. There's a good chance it will work out cheaper

    I was expecting to get it free on a $59 plan. Perhaps Optus will be more generous when they release their business plans. Otherwise I'll be waiting till Three release their prices and hopefully that will force Optus to lower their prices a bit.

    I'll be putting up with Optus for as long as my current contract lasts, then ditching them - presuming Three or Voda step up before then with better deals. It makes me mad knowing that Australian telcos are more interested in squeezing every drop out of their loyal customers than they are providing competitive quality services.

    Hackers are always 2 steps ahead of any "official" fix to a problem. Tethering will and shall be free on ANY phone I buy!!

    I too will be ditching Optus as soon as my current plan expires. I came to them because Voda's customer service had gotten so poor I could no longer support their ineptitude.

    Optus are actively trying to rip me off with this tethering charge. If their reason is truly to protect the integrity of their network, then the bundled bandwidth plans are a con - they obviously realise their network cannot provide the bandwidth they charge you for.

    I won't support such duplicitous behaviour any longer than I have to.

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