The ACCC has decided to block the proposed merger between TPG Telecom Limited and Vodafone Hutchison Australia. Whene large companies in markets where ownership is concentrated want to merge, the ACCC looks into whether there's public benefit in either approving or refusing the deal. The ACCC has deemed that the proposed deal has the potential to stifle competition in the long term. Will this make a difference to consumers?
Tagged With wireless broadband
I've done a lot of testing of how well 3G broadband services work on trains, including two separate attempts at maintaining a connection while travelling to Townsville on high-speed trains. Last week, I upped the speed ante again, seeing if I could maintain a broadband connection while working on the Eurostar between London and Paris.
Last year, I found out how well wireless broadband works when you're stuck on a train to Far North Queensland. But what happens when you switch networks and the train gets a lot faster?
One of the big disincentives to signing up to mobile broadband services -- especially as your main means of Internet access -- is the excess data charges you face when you go over the limit. Primus has just introduced two plans that eliminate data limits in favour of 'shaping' your connection down to a 64Kbps speed. That's a familiar model in ADSL, but hasn't been much used in wireless broadband before. Primus is offering a $49.95 a month plan which is shaped after 6GB and a $79.95 plan which drops after 12GB; for both, you need to sign up for two years and get an access speed of up to 3.6Mbps (via the Optus network). Would a shaped wireless broadband plan appeal to you, or would the lack of speed drive you mad at the end of each month? Share your thoughts in the comments.
If you only want wireless broadband occasionally -- when you travel for work or pleasure --then a prepaid plan sounds like a good investment. Optus has just launched such a deal; pay $199 for a wireless broadband modem and then recharge in blocks starting at $30 for 30 days access. That might sound like a tempting offer but, as Paul Wright points out over at APC, Optus is charging a minimum 10MB access each time you connect -- so if you check your mail a few times a day, you might chew up more data than you anticipated. Proceeding with caution might be wise.
3 has upped the capacity on its wireless broadband plans, adding two new options and increasing download limits on its X Series plans. New to the 3 arsenal are plans offering 6GB of data for $39 a month or 7GB of data for $49 a month, with a free USB modem in return for a 24-month signup. Capacity on X Series plans (designed for on-phone use with the option of using your 3G handset as a modem for your PC) have also increased, with the $20 plan now offering 1GB, the $30 2GB and the $40 3GB.While that makes all the plans comparatively better value than their rivals (Vodafone's equivalent $39 plan offers 5GB), the usual 3 caveat remains: if you're going to make use of the service outside 3's capital city coverage areas, you'll get slugged with an obscene $1.65 per megabyte roaming charge. The 24-month lock-in might also be a concern, though this applies to most equivalent offers. If you are in a good 3 reception area, this is a potentially tempting offer, and don't forget you can use it on an Eee PC for a highly portable solution.
OK, you've picked out a wireless broadband plan you can afford, checked the coverage is OK for your home and office, and made sure it works with your chosen operating system. Reckon you're done? Not so fast, Speedy Gonzales. No matter who you want to buy from, there's a few simple steps you can take to make sure the transaction goes smoothly.