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Telstra and iPhone

I had an amusing day on Sunday. I went into a Telstra store on the weekend and asked about an iPhone. I had briefly read up on their plans, so I knew they were terrible, but it's often useful to chat to a real person. So I walked into the store and a guy asked if he could help. I got distracted at first because the guy's name was Brent (I don't meet too many Brents).

When I finally stopped being distracted, I found myself with a brochure that listed their plans. I found out I could mix and match plan features if I wanted, and he pointed out one plan that came with a $29 data bundle. I asked how much data that gets me. He said 80MB. I laughed. Hard. So I asked if there were any reasonable plans. He explained that their largest data bundle was 3GB. I asked how much that would cost me. He said $119. I laughed. Harder.

He then explained that the data bundles give me free Wi-Fi at Telstra Hot Spots and that if I wanted to browse, I should try to limit it to the Wi-Fi hotspots as much as possible.

Let's think about this for a minute ... here is a network provider trying to push data users away from their 3G infrastructure to Wi-Fi hotspots by overcharging for 3G data usage. This gives me the impression that Telstra's vaunted new NextG network has so little capacity that they have to compensate by deploying Wi-Fi hotspots.

There are going to be a lot of very surprised iPhone users out there when they see their first bill. Although I feel sorry for the poor suckers who get roped into a Telstra plan, it made my day to watch someone try to sell the absurd plans Telstra has on offer.

As for me, I think I'll just wait for 3 to start selling the iPhone. Optus' plans don't look too bad, but I'm currently on 3's $40 X-series plan which gives me 2GB. Not great, but it's far better than anything else.