Data sharing plans explained

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New data sharing plans will allow you to share mobile data between your devices, and can help to avoid bill-shock. But are they really worth it?

Q. Hi Ryan,

My wife and I both have iPads and use them for different purposes. My wife uses her iPad a lot more outside of our WiFi enabled house and therefore uses a significant amount more data than I do. I heard recently from a friend that I may be able to combine our data plans together to reduce our overall costs, can you explain if this is true and if so, what the savings may be?

Many thanks, 
Jim

A. Hi Jim, the plans that your friend told you about are known as ‘data sharing plans’. They have become available mostly within the last year and enable you to have more than one SIM card connected to a plan, so you can use your mobile data across multiple devices.

Telstra, Optus and Vodafone have all released their own versions of this plan and if you’re looking to take out one of these plans, here are some key points from each provider to consider.

Telstra 

  • To share your data between devices on a Telstra plan, you’ll need to have a mobile plan with them already.
  • There is a $10 monthly fee for each additional SIM card you would like.
  • Excess charges are 3c per MB ($30 per GB).
  • Data can be shared between a maximum of five devices.
  • 24 month lock-in contract.

Optus

  • Available only with Optus My Plan Plus.
  • One-off fee of $5 for each additional device you add to your plan.
  • Excess charges are $10 per GB.
  • Data can be shared between a maximum of five devices.
  • No lock-in contract.
     

Vodafone

  • Plans are only available to businesses with registered ABN numbers.

You might find that the cost of swapping providers or swapping to a different plan will end up costing you more than you’re likely to save. However, if you’re already on a compatible plan, data sharing could save you quite a bit. 

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Written by ryanbo

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