Telstra gets the iPhone

Apple 3G iPhone will be offered by the telco giant on $30, $80 and $100 monthly plans from July 11

Telstra has become the third Australian telco granted access to Apple's highly anticipated iPhone 3G.

The iPhone will run across Telstra's high-speed Next G network, which provides about 9.3 million mobile services and 3.3 million 3G services.

Telstra's Next G iPhone 3G plans will start at $30 per month with an upfront cost of $279 for the 8GB iPhone 3G and $399 for the 16GB device. Customers that opt for an $80 per month plan will receive the 8GB device for free. Both models will be available free to customers that opt for plans starting from $100 per month. All plans are based on a 24-month contract and include free Wi-Fi access.

Telstra spokesperson, Peter Taylor, said the devices would be bundled with Telstra's Whereis and Yellow application, which is similar to the Yellow Pages, but for mobile phone devices. More applications would be announced closer to the launch date, he said.

Vodafone was the first telco to announce it will be offering the iPhone last month. A week later, Optus became the second telco to offer the device. The iPhone will be available from all operators on July 11.

Both Vodafone and Optus plan to offer the device on pre-paid and contract plans. Further details have not yet been disclosed. Australia will be the first country in the world to have three telco carriers for the 3G iPhone.

The iPhone 3G features 3G networking capabilities, built-in GPS and iPhone 2.0 software that offers support for Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync and can run third party applications.

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