Excessive data roaming costs are the bane of every traveller’s life. Optus new Bridge DataRoam Unlimited packs, which offer unlimited data roaming in selected Asian locations, are definitely one of the more appealing solutions we’ve seen.
Picture by Benoit Mortgat
You pay either $27 for three days or $40 for five days of unlimited data roaming, using networks which are members of the Bridge Alliance group. The packs work in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand. (The obvious missing candidate? New Zealand. Optus says India and Macau will be added in the near future.)
The one catch? You have to make sure to manually select the relevant Bridge Alliance partner in the country you visit — if your phone roams onto a different network, you’ll pay the standard data charges (which are the gut-busting industry standard of $15.36 per MB). That’s fiddly, but still worth it to save on high data charges. Note also that a given pack will only work in that one country: if you’re going to both Singapore and Hong Kong, you’ll need a separate pack for each. And you aren’t covered for call costs, so you need to consider that separately.
There has been a concerted effort recently to revamp roaming options, with Telstra also recently updating its offer. While Telstra’s options work in many more countries, Optus’ is far better value.