Wednesday, July 09, 2008, 04:15 pm PT (07:15 pm ET)
iPhone 3G plans to start at $55 in Austria, $47 in BelgiumT-Mobile Austria will sell the next generation of the iPhone with subsidized pricing depending on the choice of plans, which start at $55 per month. Belgians will have a less expensive $30 rate but, in an unusual twist from local laws, have little option but to buy a pricier unlocked Apple device.
Austria's original provider for iPhone 3G, T-Mobile, plans to effectively carry over its existing plans for the now discontinued original iPhone, albeit with an important change in pricing for the devices.
A standard Classic plan will offer 1,000 minutes of calling time to any mobile network, 3GB of data per month, Visual Voicemail, and free T-Mobile Wi-Fi for a special rate of 35 ($55) per month for the first 10,000 customers. The plan increases to 39 ($61) per month for all other users and charges 15 Euro cents for every extra minute of voice, 25 cents for every extra SMS, and 10 cents for every megabyte past the data limit.
Subscribers buying an iPhone 3G with the Classic plan pay either 149 ($234) for an 8GB model or 229 ($360) for a 16GB version.
Those opting for the Supreme plan get the same amount of minutes, data, and support for voicemail and Wi-Fi, but can make calls at no extra cost to any type of network and receive 1,000 text messages per month. The plan normally costs 55 ($86) per month but is dropping to 45 ($71) per month for any of the first 10,000 users opting for the premium plan.
The iPhone itself costs less with these plans: an 8GB unit is priced at 99 ($156), while the 16GB model sells for 179 ($281).
Mobistar of Belgium
For most iPhone 3G customers in Belgium, who initially have to sign up with Mobistar, the primary obstacle will be the price of the handset.
Legislation in Belgium prevents Mobistar from selling any cellphone locked to its own network. While this gives customers the freedom to switch to another provider or temporarily use prepaid service, it also raises the price, according to the carrier. An 8GB iPhone 3G costs 525 ($826) while choosing a 16GB flagship boosts that price to 615 ($967) — a price that may stand as the most expensive for any carrier.
Its calling plans are also not as broad as in some countries. An entry plan at 30 ($47) gives 180 minutes of calling time and 300 text messages, but just 200MB of data. Picking the mid-range 45 ($71) plan doubles the calling time and text to 360 minutes and 600 messages respectively while supplying 500MB of data every month. The best plan, at 60 ($94) per month, gives 540 minutes for calls and 900 messages but sets a 1GB cap for data.
Passing over any of the limits also incurs overage fees. Calls cost 20 Euro cents per minute over the limit, while text costs 12 cents a message and data is two cents for every additional megabyte.
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