Amaysim Will Finally Go 4G In 2015

Amaysim is one of the most popular prepaid carriers for Lifehacker readers, but there has always been one big complaint: it uses Optus' older 3G network. That's all set to change around April next year, when Amaysim finally introduces 4G plans.

Optus today announced that it has renewed its wholesale agreement with Amaysim, and that it will begin offering 4G services at that time. The crucial question is whether Amaysim will raise prices, offer both 3G and 4G plans, or simply roll customers onto the broader network.

Amaysim's stance has generally been that 4G will be priced differently. "We want to make sure when we go to 4G that the timing’s right, the product’s right and 4G is mainstream, and the majority of customers will have compatible handsets," managing director Julian Ogrin told us earlier this year.

Amaysim raised its prices on its Unlimited plan in August, upping to the data allowance from 4GB to 5GB but increasing its monthly charge by $5.

I'm an Amaysim customer myself, and this is a useful development. Apart from anything else, I've been finding the 3G network less reliable in recent months, especially for voice calls.

Optus


Comments

    They should raise it but only slightly. Less than $5 increase for the same data amount. They should steal alot of market share with that pricing and decent marketing campaigns.

      I reckon they may leave the pricing the same, but drop the data down to something like 3.5-4gb. If we had a decent Optus 4G network in Canberra, I might actually go across for that.

      I'm actually quite happy since changing from Optus (edit: 3G) to Boost (Telstra 3G). It's actually quite fast seeming as everyone's moving over the 4G and freeing up the frequency.

      Last edited 19/12/14 11:20 am

        Are they still going to charge data per MB instead of KB?

          They've been saying MB, but I'm billed by KB (which others have also confirmed). However, the smallest amount of data I'm billed at is 100KB.

            Their MB billing is the reason I left for Optus $2 a day prepaid recently.
            4GB of data gone in a little over a week, same usage now I only go through 5GB a month

            Last edited 19/12/14 12:46 pm

        Boost is optus. *head butt brick wall

    Going on to 4G won't increase the reliability of voice calls, in fact it will make no difference.

    I'm an Optus customer too, but I only use their network for data. I would never again use it for voice if I can help it because Optus:
    - uses something called Enhanced Full Rate. It's a compression technology that allows them to squeeze many voice calls over the same amount of 2G or 3G bandwidth.
    - Optus still drops most calls down to 2G, especially when the network is busy. That is better than the alternative, which is not allowing you to make a call at all, and they need to do this because they have less low frequency spectrum than Vodafone and Telstra do. Low frequency spectrum gets through walls, buildings, lift wells etc easier and travels further distances in the country.
    - Optus did buy 700MHz at the 4G auction though, so this situation should change when Optus turn on Voice over LTE, but Optus will need to rollout 700 across their network before they can start taking voice calls over 4G.
    - Due to having to drop most calls down to 2G only, Optus can't use the noise reduction and voice clarity filtering that Telstra and Vodafone use on 3G.
    - Optus also can't introduce HD voice just yet when 2 Optus mobiles call each other. This uses a higher bandwidth codec on the network to carry the mobile to mobile call, and makes your call sound as good as a skype call does, even better when you are in a good reception area. Telstra have had HD voice for years (since 2009 at least) and Vodafone have only had it about 12 months IIRC.

    Going 4G however will give you much better reliability with data, and your latency will also decrease. It usually won't be the sub 50 ms latency that Telstra and Voda customers enjoy, but it is much better.

    To get the most out of Optus 4G, your phone should support LTE bands 1, 3, 7, 28 and 40 - that's LTE at 2100, 1800, 2600, 700, and 2300MHz respectively.

    Out of all those, bands 3, 7 and 28 are the most important.

    Band 28 is the old analogue TV spectrum that is now used for mobile phones. This will give you excellent city and rural coverage. Not as many phones support this new band (exclusive to Asia & the pacific) but the list is growing at a rapid pace and if you just bought a new smartphone from Optus, chances are your phone already supports it.

    Band 3 and 7 are supported by almost every phone or device that supports 4G. Band 3 is used in the cities and was the first 4G frequency in use. It's on every other base station in the cities but it doesn't get out very far. Band 7 gets out even less, but the advantage of these very high frequencies is speed. Band 7 is used in regional areas and you can expect about 4-5kms of range outdoors from a cell site. It's used to provide higher speeds in the centre of town where people live, and to give 4G to phones that don't support Band 28. Optus doesn't have any Band 3 spectrum in regional areas so they can't use it there (except in Newcastle/Hunter/Wollongong and I think the Gold Coast too?). The Newcastle/Lake Maquarie/Central Coast area has very good 4G coverage because it's where Optus trialled and tested 4G before rolling out to the rest of the country. Optus 4G has better 4G than Telstra in that region.

    Last edited 19/12/14 9:04 am

      Interesting to know. I had thought all calls went over 2G (until they roll out VoLTE). This would explain my clearer phone calls since going to Boost.

        I could be wrong about this but I believe if you are standing out in the street in the city for example, your call will go over 2100MHz 3G first, because Optus has more capacity on 3G high bands than Optus do on 2G. If that's congested though, the call will go over 2G still.

        Telstra and Vodafone definitely don't use 2G for voice calls from 3G/4G handsets. You will only use 2G if your phone is locked to 2G or you have a 2G only handset.

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