Telstra have now announced they will be selling the iPhone as well. According to the Age, since Telstra’s NextG network covers 99% of the population the iPhone will get good coverage due to it using the 850Mhz 3G frequencies.
Additionally the Age have reported on the pricing Telstra will offer on their bundles:
The cheapest monthly plan will be $30, paying either $279 upfront for an eight-gigabyte iPhone or $399 for a 16Gb model. Customers who do not want to pay upfront could sign up to an $80 plan for the 8Gb model or a $100 plan for the 16Gb model.
I’ll still opting Vodafone for now, but lets see what the Vodafone pricing and data usage policy will be compare to Telstra’s. If they are almost the same (and I doubt it) it could prompt me to jump carrier. The coverage that NextG have is unrivalled in this country – but has been pricey to use for data so far. SMH Blogger Adam Turner correctly speculates that even though the pricing is out, there is no mention of data usage. Don’t get too hyped about Telstra’s offering just yet. Despite the fantastic infrastructure they are usually the most expensive.
Just to show I’m not entirely biased, Telstra are taking pre-registrations at their website. Thanks to @IdleThoughts for the heads up on this.
June is just around the corner and my current Vodafone contract runs out this month. Perfect timing. The reason I was hoping for Vodafone is this: with a $79 cap, the $500 credit (currently) covers 3G data usage. You pay $1 per 5 minute block out of your cap. Its totally different how Telstra charge: $60 per month on top for data and $0.25 per MB.
Since I make about $100 of calls in a month, that’s $400 of included data in my cap; or 33 constant hours of 3G data. But wouldn’t it be nice if Vodafone shifted to an untimed/uncounted data plan for the iPhone. That is the ultimate Geek Nirvana.
Telstra announced yesterday that their ADSL 2+ (what’s with the plus?) upgrade has now been completed Australia wide. What does this give the average end user access to? The Telstra PR and discussion site explains:
The ADSL2+ upgrade of 907 telephone exchanges serving 2.4 million homes and businesses announced in February is now complete. This means millions of additional Australian families, businesses, non-profit organisations and government agencies across every state and territory can now enjoy the benefits of high-speed broadband
This is a double edged sword. On one side it is a good thing that this increases high speed access to the end user; on the other side its Telstra. Even though I am a Bigpond Cable user, I would not recommend Bigpond ADSL2 unless it was last resort – for a number of reasons;
if you are not on a shaped (liberty) plan their excess price is AU$150 per GB.
These cons mean that a non tech person getting ADSL2 could start of with the entry level 600MB plan, spend a few days surfing YouTube and having clocked up, lets say 1.6GB of usage, would be up for AU$209.95 for their initial monthly cost, on top of installation and hardware costs.
But in some cases this is the only ADSL2 on offer where previously there was none, dialup or very expensive wireless. Before Telstra commenced the turn on they made sure that “the Government … made clear it did not consider a compelling case had been made for regulating third-party access to the service”. Other ISPs don’t think so, even though I have to side with Telstra on this one. They are in the money making business for their shareholders. If these networks were to be available for the people, then the government of the day should NOT have sold off Telstra, but left it as a public utility.
Bottom line: Despite this new capacity and services, cheap, fast broadband is still unobtainium in Australia if you don’t live in a Metropolitan location.
Australia is a mixed bag at Broadband. In some ways we resemble the US, and in no way do we resemble the Japan style FTTN networks (yet). But the infrastructure is starting to be there. What sucks is that sometimes to get the 30 Mbps connections you have to pay quite a bit for it (AUD$90/bundled per month for 25GB, Bigpond Cable). Yes I’m only with Bigpond cable as no ADSL service exists in my area that comes close to that speed. Damn counted uploads and data shaping.
But at least unlike some countries, we do seem to have decent peering links to EU and the US. I have actually achieved 3 MBytes/sec (24Mbps) transfer on a regional transfer and about 1MBytes/sec (8Mbps) using international servers.
Why do I mention this? I just watched Walt Mossberg talk about the bad state of Broadband and the lack of integration of the online world with big TVs (watch below, 8 mins).
Lastly Australia gets, as no doubt does the rest of the world, a time lag factor of everything latest and greatest. No iPhone yet, no iTMS TV/Movie store, no local Amazon style service (some come close), up to 1 year delay on airing TV series (though it is improving recently); and so on.
The tyranny of distance, and small population on a great land mass, is at play.
Oh yes, and the iPhone rumour gets another bump – woot 3G iPhone in June, well in the US. No doubt another 6 months will pass before Australia gets it. Lets hope it is not locked to Telstra. I don’t want to have to pay for my 3G data on top of the expensive plan AND the phone. I want it bundled, and not a pitiful 5 Megabytes worth. I have a $500 cap on Vodafone for now, including all my 3G data usage at $1 per 5 mins (part of the $500 cap).
If the iPhone ends up locked to Telstra, I’ll be singing Elvis.