The latest shot in Australia's mobile price war has been fired - and it's not good for Telstra and Optus.
Mobile telco VHA has more than doubled the data download quota included with most of its mobile phone capped plans offered by both its Vodafone and 3 brands by boosting limits by a gigabyte or more in some cases.
For example, customers on VHA's $29 consumer capped plan used to have just 50MB of quota included. Now they get 200MB. Those on a $49 plan now get 1.5GB, up from 50MB, while those on the $59 and $79 plans now receive 2G of quota - up from 750MB and 1GB, respectively. It's a similar case when it comes to VHA's business, combo, unlimited and month to month (SIM-only) plans.
"Vodafone and 3 customers now get a whole lot more for their money," VHA director of marketing, John Casey, said. "Our customers affinity with mobile Internet and social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter is growing day-by-day, so we're meeting that demand by increasing the data in our caps."
Casey said Apple's iPhone 4 device was "very hot right now", and described the rival Android mobile operating system as "the next big thing in mobile phones".
VHA will also offer a promotional $59 plan included an iPhone 4 or Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 handset for nothing up-front. The plan is effectively a $10 per month discount off the $69 plan as a special offer.
VHA's research shows that consumers are increasingly using mobile internet and 3G services. For example, as of June 30, 2.3 million Australians were using mobile broadband or 3G services on their handsets, up 150.2 percent on June 2009.
The news comes as last week the Australian Communications and Media Authority released a report which it said showed that smartphones were expected to drive "significant future growth" in mobile communications and unlock "major opportunities" in Australia's digital economy.
"Digital technologies are really starting to have an enormous effect on the interactivity of individuals and organisations that now communicate using multiple forms of media in environments that are mobile, fast, and virtual," ACMA chairman, Chris Chapman, said at the time.