Optus are shaking up their old ways of doing things and attempting to offer something new to the prepaid market. In recent times, they’ve dabbled in media with their purchase of the rights to show English Premier League soccer, they showcased 5G at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, they have begun to cut off dead wood by shutting down Virgin – and now they are beginning to offer some new prepaid plans that are designed to address needs that are not well met by other companies.
With a growing customer demand for data, 5G on its way and TPG aiming to disrupt the market when they launch as the fourth major telco with their own infrastructure, Optus has their ear to the ground and are producing some interesting offers. Here’s a look at their latest plans and who they might appeal to.
The Newest Plans
Up until now, most of Optus’s big moves have been geared towards attracting long-term customers on a post-paid plan. Now, they have turned their attention towards prepaid.
The first plan, called Optus Epic Data, focuses on pre-paid customers who prefer higher data inclusions and tend to use their data for streaming TV. For every $30 recharge, customers on this plan will get 5GB data to use however they would like, and up to 10GB of additional data to stream TV on Netflix, Stan and ABC iView. Bear in mind, Netflix and Stan require paid monthly subscriptions that would be in addition to the recharge amount.
Along with the Epic Data option, Optus pre-paid customers can now choose the Optus Epic Value plan. Geared towards customers who don’t need more data but prefer to have more days before their credit expires, this plan offers a 42 day expiry instead of the usual 30 days.
This plan is geared towards infrequent phone users, who find that their credit expires before they’ve had time to use it. Extending the number of days before the $30 recharge expires gives these people more time to get value out of the plan.
Both plans come with unlimited talk and text until the expiry date is reached. Optus also offer data roll over with these prepaid plans – any unused data from that recharge period will “roll over” and be added to the total next time the customer recharges – as long as they recharge before the original credit expires. This data roll over can be used up to a total of 50 GB.
Optus prepaid customers can also now access Optus Sport. That gives them access to the Optus Sport coverage of the FIFA World Cup, which will show every game – SBS will only show a few select games as a free-to-air option. Once the World Cup is over, other Optus Sport content includes the English Premier League games which are only available on Optus Sport. Optus Sport is an additional $14.99 a month and can only be watched by Optus Prepaid customers when they have a positive balance – if they run out of credit, they’ll have to recharge before accessing content.
All in all, these are genuinely competitive offers from Optus. The real appeal of the Epic Data plan will be for people who spend most of their data allowance on streaming TV. If Netflix on your phone isn’t really your thing, there are other options. Telstra has a $30 option with 5GB, and offers data-free streaming of Apple music, if it’s music that chews up your balance. Telstra’s plan also includes some international minutes. For $40, Telstra offer a prepaid plan with 15 GB included, as well as the data-free Apple Music streaming – the plan is more expensive, but you can use that extra 10 GB on anything instead of being restricted to streaming TV. Alternatively, TPG offer 10GB for $29.99 on a prepaid plan.
Prepaid plans that offer data as well as a long expiry date are relatively rare, so Optus have addressed a gap in the market with this plan. Catch Connect do offer a prepaid plan that includes 6 GB of data for $39, with a 90 day expiry date. For the length of time the Catch Connect deal offers better value, and it does use the Optus network, so you would need another reason to choose Optus over Catch in this instance.
Aside from the value offered by the plans, the most stand-out features are the ability to rollover data and the access to Optus Sport. Unless you are constantly at or above your data limit, data rollover is a great option that allows you to save extra up for a rainy day. Optus Sport is also a drawcard for many soccer fans.
It’s interesting to see how Optus are making innovative attempts to meet specific customer needs. These new offerings are great news for people who want something more than another variation on the same basic plan. Optus have provided two new deals that are targeted to people with specific interests and who like to use their data in specific ways. If you fall into one of these groups, the new prepaid plans could be a great option for you. If not, then you might be able to find plans with better value.