Vodafone unveils 100GB shared data 'bucket'

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Vodafone unveils 100GB shared data 'bucket'
Vodafone's data pool is growing in size.

Small business plan trumps bigger business product.

Vodafone Australia has introduced a small business plan that enables up to five users to consume mobile broadband data from a pool of up to 100GB.

The top-end shared data allowance on the new Business Elements plan comes in at $500 a month for up to five users, plus a minimum $29 per user (for voice services).

The download quota is double that offered on the carrier's biggest Infinite Business plans, where a shared data allowance of 50GB can be split between up to 100 users at a cost of $4499 a month.

Plan structure

The new Business Elements plan is broken into a series of modules.

Each user is assigned a basic phone plan worth $29 or $49 a month that includes a certain amount of voice calls. Each user's voice spend goes into a single pool that all users can access.

Although the basic phone plan does not include mobile data, it is possible to consume data on a pay-as-you-go basis – charged at two cents per megabyte, with minimum 50KB increments.

Users can also opt to buy a "bucket" of data to be used as a pooled resource across all users on the account.

By itself, the "bucket" – called a data pack – can only be consumed from a smartphone.

If users wish to consume the pooled data using a 3G modem or tablet, they must pay an additional $5 a month that covers a SIM card and network access fee (this is called a "data plan" in Vodafone's terminology).

The smallest mobile data "bucket" is $20 a month for 2GB; the largest is a hefty 100GB of mobile data for $500 a month.

Excess data charges are two cents a megabyte.

Small focus

Vodafone is clearly aiming Business Elements at small office-home office (SOHO) and small business (SMB) markets.

It appears possible to have more than five users on a single account, though that needs to be approved by a Vodafone sales representative (meaning the sweet spot for the plan is between two and five users).

"The products are ... not available to large business/corporate and commercial customers," the carrier noted.

"Large business/corporate and commercial customers should contact Vodafone for information about Vodafone's corporate business products".

The small print [pdf] indicates Vodafone will offer Business Elements only until the end of August, unless it extends the offer.

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