Optus is Australia’s most expensive mobile network for data roaming, according to a study by Australian Business Traveller.
The business travel site analysed the price of data roaming on Optus, Telstra, Vodafone and 3, including various discounted plans on offer.
Optus customers fared the worst on basic data roaming pricing, paying a flat $20 per megabyte worldwide.
Telstra and Vodafone charged $15 and $10 per megabyte respectively, while 3 charged $20 in most countries and $0.50 per megabyte in countries where 3 Mobile networks were available.
Prices fell significantly with pre-paid, discounted roaming plans, under which Optus customers paid between $9.09 and $10 per megabyte worldwide.
The price fell further to between $2 and $2.67 per megabyte with Optus DataRoam offers that covered 11 Asian countries.
According to Australian Business Traveller deputy editor Dan Warne, the telco could be “dragging its heels” on introducing a new ‘DataRoam Unlimited’ plan that would provide unlimited internet access in those 11 countries.
An Optus spokesman told iTnews that the plans were scheduled for release later this year. "Optus also plans to develop other data related packages that will make data roaming much more affordable," he said.
Telstra’s discounted roaming packs covered 15 countries in Asia, North America and Europe, and cost between $2.67 and $2.90 per megabyte, depending on the customer’s plan.
Vodafone’s prepaid data roaming bundles worked in 50 countries, and brought data prices down to between $1.65 and $2 per megabyte.
Warne urged business travellers to consider using prepaid SIM cards in their destination country, or to purchase prepaid roaming packs from the Australian carrier with the most competitive rates in that country.