August 1, 2008
Virtual network operator Virgin Mobile added to the already intense competition between iPhone sellers in the Australian market on Friday, bringing out the Apple device with its own tariffs.
This looks to make Virgin the first MVNO to offer the iPhone and takes the number of providers offering the device in Oz up to four, although Virgin does piggyback on fellow iPhone seller Optus’ network. Vodafone and Telstra are the other two network operators selling the Apple device.
For the Australian market, Virgin’s tariffs are also pretty competitive. Customers can pick up a 16GB and 8GB model free of charge on identical tariffs, which is a little strange. But seeing as the 16GB version is already listed as sold out, might mean people who aren’t too bothered about picking up the larger model opt for the 8GB option instead.
Virgin has two tariffs available, both on 24 month contracts. For A$70 per month, users get A$520 worth of call and SMS credit and a 1GB data bundle, but for an extra $30 per month they can step this up to 5GB of data with the same amount of call credit.
Meanwhile, 3 Australia, the only carrier not to get an iPhone deal and the only carrier to go publicly begging for one, has announced a ‘bring your own iPhone’ tariff.
3’s 3G SIM and Data Starter Kit plans range from a A$49 per month option with A$350 worth of calls and texts and 1GB of data, to a A$199 per month option with A$2000 worth of calls and texts and 2GB of data. Noel Hamill, director of sales, marketing and products at 3 Australia said, “With the 3G SIM and Data Starter Kit we think Apple’s 3G iPhone customers will be able to get more use of their iPhone on 3, with much more value to those living in our Broadband Zones.”
As long as they can get their iPhones safely unlocked that is, which is only legally to be done in Australia by purchasing a prepay model and paying the carrier to unlock it.
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