iPhone 5 Plans For Telstra, Optus, Vodafone Revealed

Summary: Australia's major mobile network operators have unveiled their iPhone 5 plans.

As Apple opened up pre-orders for the new iPhone 5 overnight, Telstra, Optus, Vodafone and Virgin revealed their pricing plans for the latest device from Cupertino. But who has the best deal?

It didn't take long for the carriers to begin offering a range of 24-month plans for the Apple's new 4G iPhone 5, which is due to launch in Australia on Friday September 21. Telstra, Optus and Virgin are gearing up for the first 4G iPhone, while Vodafone is offering the device on its 3G and "3G+" DC-HSPA network, ahead of a 4G launch in 2013.

The Telstra plans come in Small, Medium, Large and Extra Large sizes. Small has AU$600 in talk/MMS, unlimited text and 1GB of data per month, Medium has AU$800 in talk/mms, unlimited text and 1.5GB of data per month, while Large has AU$900 in talk/mms, unlimited text and 2GB of data per month and Extra Large has unlimited talk, text and MMS and 3GB of data per month. 
People who sign up early to the Large or Extra Large plans receive an extra 1GB of data per month for the first 12 months.

Optus has three varieties of plans, starting at AU$30 per month for 200MB of data and AU$200 of calls and texts per month, AU$60 per month for 1.5GB of data and AU$650 worth of calls and texts, AU$80 per month for 2GB and AU$850 worth of calls and texts.

The difference in value comes from handset repayments. The total monthly cost is listed below. 
Vodafone has much more variety of plans, but unlike Telstra and Optus, it does not yet have a 4G network in place. The AU$30 plan comes with 200MB of data, AU$180 worth of calls, texts and voicemail; the AU$40 plan comes with 500MB of data, AU$300 worth of calls, texts and voicemail; the AU$50 plan comes with 750MB of data, AU$500 worth of calls, texts and voicemail; the AU$60 plan comes with 1GB of data, AU$700 worth of calls, texts and voicemail; the AU$80 plan comes with 2GB of data, and infinite worth of calls and texts; the AU$100 plan comes with 3GB of data, and infinite calls and texts. 
Optus subsidiary Virgin has five varieties of iPhone 5 plans, ranging from AU$450 credit per month with 250MB of data, AU$650 credit per month with 500MB of data, AU$400 credit per month with 2GB of data, AU$700 credit per month with 3GB of data or Unlimited with 4GB of data per month. 
While Vodafone has the very cheapest plan at AU$44 per month, it also has very little data, and is running on a network that doesn't yet have 4G capabilities. The best deals appear to lie with Virgin, which offers the most data for the lowest price. Parent company Optus runs in second place, with Vodafone coming third on price. Telstra prices have edged slightly higher on the iPhone 5, but the telco has the advantage over its rivals of having the 4G network in more locations than anyone else right now, and has locked in plans to have the network reaching two-thirds of the population by June 2013.

Optus' 4G network is currently only available in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Newcastle.

Vodafone has confirmed that the new iPhone 5 will be compatible with its 4G network which is due to launch in early 2013. Given these are 24-month contracts, in the grand scheme of things it would be around a six or seven month wait for 4G with Vodafone, and only a quarter of your contract.
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