Optus vs Vodafone: Which Is Best For Shared Plans?


WhistleOut
07 April 2015

If you a number of people in your household using smartphones, it might be a good idea to take a look at a plan where you can all use your inclusions together — especially mobile data. Optus and Vodafone offer this option, but which is the best for you and your family?

The concept of sharing mobile phones plans is very new to the Australian market, but it has been a huge hit in other similar countries overseas. In the U.S., shared plans are now so popular the big wireless network operators estimated up to 50 percent of their subscribers are currently on a plan with sharing capabilities.

Shared plans from Optus and Vodafone work a little differently to family plans in the U.S. Rather than having one big plan with multiple users, Optus and Vodafone are effectively stitching together a number of smaller plan options — most of which are available individually.

How it works

As we mentioned above, Optus and Vodafone are basically combining smaller plans into one big plan that everyone makes use of. For example, if Mum and Dad are on plans which include 3GB of data each, and their two children are on plans with 1GB each, the family data pool is 8GB each month.

Optus keep things really simple. There are no special sharing plans and no discounts; customers simply choose the plan levels which are right for them (and new phones if applicable), and Optus will pool everything together and send you a single bill at the end of the month.

Vodafone does offered discounted sharing plans, but the primary account holder must be on a full-priced RED plan before you can add additional lines to the service. The additional lines can be either a RED plan (and can include a phone) or a SIM Only sharing plans. These sharing plans work out to be about $5 per month cheaper than regular Vodafone SIM Only plans, and in some cases sharing plans include more data.

So, which is best?

When you consider that Optus and Vodafone offer unlimited calls and SMS to everyone on a shared plan, what we are effectively comparing is who offering the best deal on combinations of data. To do this, we’ll compare the best price for 8, 10 and 15GB for families with four, five and six members to include in the plan.

All plan combinations will be SIM only, but they should be indicative of who would remain best value if you added new phones into the mix.

Family of 4

8GB

10GB

15GB

Optus

$165 (9.5GB)

3 x $45 SIM Only
1 x $30 SIM Only

$180 (12GB)

4 x $45 SIM Only

$195 (15GB)

3 x $45 SIM Only
1 x $60 SIM Only

Vodafone

$180 (8GB)

1 x $80 RED Plan
1 x $40 SIM Only
2 x $30 SIM Only

$200 (10GB)

1 x $100 RED Plan
1 x $40 SIM Only
2 x $30 SIM Only

$250 (15GB)

1 x $100 RED Plan
3 x $50 SIM Only

Family of 5

8GB 10GB 15GB

Optus

$180 (8GB)

1 x $60 SIM Only
4 x $30 SIM Only

$195 (10.5GB)

1 x $60 SIM Only
1 x $45 SIM Only
3 x $30 SIM Only

$225 (15.5GB)

1 x $60 SIM Only
3 x $45 SIM Only
1 x $30 SIM Only

Vodafone

$180 (8GB)

1 x $80 RED Plan
4 x $30 SIM Only

$220 (10GB)

1 x $100 RED Plan
4 x $30 SIM Only

$270 (15GB)

1 x $100 RED Plan
2 x $50 SIM Only
1 x $40 SIM Only
1 x $30 SIM only

Family of 6

8GB 10GB 15GB

Optus

$210 (8GB)

2 x $45 SIM Only
4 x $30 SIM Only

$225 (11GB)

1 x $60 SIM Only
1 x $45 SIM Only
4 x $30 SIM Only

$255 (16GB)

1 x $60 SIM Only
3 x $45 SIM Only
2 x $30 SIM Only

Vodafone

$210 (9GB)

1 x $70 RED Plan
5 x $30 SIM Only

$230 (11GB)

1 x $70 RED Plan
1 x $40 SIM Only
4 x $30 SIM Only

$290 (15GB)

1 x $100 RED Plan
1 x $50 SIM Only
2 x $40 SIM Only
2 x $30 SIM only

Optus is clearly cheaper... for now

Despite Optus not including any discounts in its Family Sharing pricing (or absence of pricing, there is no charge for combining plans either) the ‘Yes’ telco comes out much cheaper than Vodafone across all plan variations above.

The difference is more pronounced as the data inclusions grow. A family of 4 wanting 15GB of data each month would save $55 per month with Optus — thanks mostly to Vodafone’s forcing one family member onto a more expensive RED plan.

Of course, this pricing reflects each telcos first attempt at a shared plan, and you can be sure that there will be big discounts and incentives on offer soon to entice customers to bring their whole families over to a shared plan.

Family on phones image via Shutterstock


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