Vodafone opens 4G to mobile broadband users

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Vodafone opens 4G to mobile broadband users

Contract only.

Vodafone Hutchison Australia has opened its 4G network to mobile broadband-only users for the first time, unveiling two modems and data plans of up to 8GB.

The telco said today it will offer 4G-capable USB stick and pocket wifi modems for between $3 and $7 a month.

The mobile broadband plans are postpaid only and start at $20 a month for 2.5GB of quota. Other options include 4GB for $30 a month and 8GB for $45 a month.

Vodafone's 4G network to date has been limited to handset-only users. The telco made it clear last year that it was in no hurry to offer standalone mobile broadband plans on its 4G network.

The mobile broadband plans are available only on 24-month terms. A VHA statement notes that prepaid configurations aren't available at this stage.

Price leader

Vodafone's pricing is particularly aggressive and is likely to apply some pressure to other operators with 4G mobile broadband products.

Virgin Mobile — which runs on the Optus network — has a postpaid plan with 13GB of data for $60 a month. The contract term is a year. (pdf)

Telstra offers two flavours of mobile broadband. 'Freedom' plans start at 1GB of quota for $25 a month, up to 15GB for $95 a month. Modems are an additional $5 to $15 a month, depending on the length of contract agreed.

Regular mobile broadband plans start at $40 a month for 1GB of quota, up to $110 a month for 15GB, plus the device cost. These differ from 'freedom' plans as they are capped and contain no excess usage charges.

Optus 4G plans with a USB modem start at $25 a month for 1GB, up to $65 for 10GB — both over 24 months. Shorter terms are available for higher prices.

Optus also offers 4G wifi modem plans starting at $27 a month for 1GB, up to $67 a month for 10GB, again over 24 months.

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