Oft-lambasted telecommunications company Dodo has launched a new "unlimited" prepaid mobile SIM offering. How does it rank against its competition?
The 'Magic SIM' plan utilises the Optus network and comes in two flavours. Firstly there's a pay-as-you-go option which charges 11 cents per minute with no flag fall to standard Australian numbers (including 13 and 1800 numbers). Text messages are 11 cents each, and data is 5 cents a megabyte. Recharge options include $10 with a 60-day expiry; $20, $30 or $40 with a 90-day expiry; $50 with a 180-day expiry, or $100 with a 365-day expiry. (The initial SIM costs $2.)
Potentially of more interest to Lifehacker readers is the Unlimited option. For $39.90 a month, you get unlimited calls to standard numbers and texts to Australian mobile numbers, and 5GB of data. (As an introductory offer, Dodo is halving the price to $19.95 and adding an additional 5GB of data for the first month.)
More unusually, you also get 100 minutes of calls to selected international destinations. Whether that represents good value depends on whether those countries include the ones you want to call. The deal covers most major European and Asian destinations (Indonesia aside), but is a lot sparser for Africa. These are the countries covered:
Unsurprisingly, the offer only includes landlines in those countries.
Those prices are extremely similar to the prepaid and unlimited deals offered by Amaysim, which recently lowered its pay-as-you-go charges to 12 cents a minute, Boost and Red Bull Mobile. The chief differentiators for the unlimited deals are the more generous broadband offerings (5GB rather than 4GB) and the international minutes.
Against that, you'd have to set Dodo's frequently shaky reputation for customer service (minor case in point: right now, the link to the coverage map on its site doesn't work).
It's not the outright cheapest 'unlimited' prepaid deal in the long term: that's still Red Bull's 365 days for $365 offer. However, that ties you to the Vodafone network (often an unpopular choice) and doesn't give you any flexibility to switch plans over that time.