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Thursday, July 03, 2008, 05:00 am PT (08:00 am ET)

iPhone 3G plans to start at $18 in Australia

Optus of Australia announced Friday that Australians can sign up for Apple's iPhone 3G on July 11th with plans starting at just $19 ($18 USD), while a second carrier, Telstra, said its own plans will start at $30 ($29 USD).

Optus 'yes' Cap Plans for iPhone 3G

Optus is offering post-paid (with service contract) customers a choice of two different kinds of service plans. 'Yes' Cap plans start at $19 per month for 100MB of data and $50 worth of national calls and text messages based on call fees of of 47 cents per 30 seconds and text message fees of 25 cents each. The carrier also charges a 35 cent setup of "Flagfall" fee to establish each roaming call. Subscribers to the $19 per month plan can pay off a 8GB iPhone for $51 per month with a 12-month commitment or $21 per month with a 24-month commitment. A 16GB iPhone fetches $61 per month with a 12-month commitment and $26 per month with a 24-month commitment.

'Yes' Cap plans scale up to $179 per month for a package that includes 1GB of data and $1500 worth of national calls and text messages based on call fees of of 35 cents per 30 seconds and text message fees of 25 cents each. Again, Flagfall fees apply for initiating roaming calls. Under this plan, an 8GB iPhone is free with a 24-month commitment and costs $23 per month with a 12-month commitment. The 16GB is also free with a 24-month commitment and $33 per month with a 12-month commitment.

Each 'Yes' Cap plan includes two calling offers "Yes" Time and Free For 5. The former offers free 20 minute voice calls to other Optus GSM mobile users in Australia from 8pm to midnight 7 days a week, while the latter offers free 5 minute voice calls to mobiles on the same mobile account all the time.

Note: All prices in Australian dollars, which as of Friday were only 4 percent weaker than American dollars. As such, they have not been converted.

iPhone 3G Plans


Optus 'yes' Plans for iPhone 3G

Alternatively, post-paid customers can choose from non-Cap "Yes" plans that include similar amounts of data each month, lower month spending allowances, but cheaper fees per minute once spending allowances have been reached for the month. For instance, the $19 monthly plan still includes 100MB of data, but only $14 worth of calls and texts. Additional calls cost 46 cents per 30 seconds and the Flagfall fee is only 25 cents per call. Text messages remain 25 cents a piece. Under this plan, a 12-month commitment allows customers to pay off the 8GB iPhone for $49 per month and the 16GB iPhone for month $59. The 8GB iPhone costs $19 per month and the 16GB costs $17 per month with a 24-month commitment.

"Yes" plans scale up to $149 for a package that includes 1GB of data and $144 worth of calls and texts. However, per 30 second call fees fall to just 19 cents under this plan once standard allowances have been reached (compared to 35 cents for the top tier "Yes" Cap plan). Yes plans, however, do not appear to include Voicemail as standard. "Yes" plan subscribers get to choose one of four calling offers: "Yes Time, MyTime (Free 5 minute voice calls to 5 family members or friends), Yes Free Text (100 free text msgs each month), or Yes Text & Talk (22 cents talk or text on any mobile, any time).

iPhone 3G Plans


Yes plans also include rollover, rollback, Free for 5, and International Call Cap (Pay 15 cents per 30 seconds, capped at $3 for all calls up to 10 minutes).

Optus Pre-Paid iPhone 3G pricing

Separately, Optus is offering the 8GB iPhone for $729 without a contract and the 16GB model for $849 without a contract. Pre-Paid plans start at $30 with no data and scale up to $100 with 1GB of data. Unused credits expire at the end of each month.

Customers who connect to Optus Pre-Paid can receive $400 Bonus + 1GB internet browsing with $40 or more on Turbo Cap plans and receive EXTRA BONUS data every time they recharge.

Optus Pre-Paid is also offering a special offer - unlimited mobile internet browsing on Turbo Cap plans until August 31.

iPhone 3G Plans


Telstra iPhone 3G plans

Telstra, another Australian iPhone 3G provider, also announced Friday that iPhone 3G will be available on July 11 with a range of specially designed Next G iPhone 3G plans. The Next G iPhone 3G plans start at $30 per month with an upfront cost of $279 for the 8GB model and $399 for the 16GB model. Customers will receive the 8GB iPhone 3G model at no cost with the $80 plan and either the 8GB or the 16GB model at no cost with plans starting at $100 per month. All plans include free Wi-Fi access at Telstra hotspots and require a 24-month contract.