[Update: Spin has contacted us to point out they're also offering pay as you go wireless. The Spin Pay as You Go plan costs $4.95 per month with data charged at 3 cents per MB (if you bundle with a phone service) or $9.95 for an unbundled service with data also charged at 3 cents per MB. These are also "no contract" plans.]
Dirt cheap mobile broadband is usually ruled by Three (or the likes of Optus and iPrimus if you're willing to bundle with a phone plan), but the plucky Exetel is shaping up as a nice alternative if these plans below are anything to go by.
After we posted our Internode wireless story yesterday, Exetel contacted us today to let us know about their wireless plans, which are interesting for a few reasons:
- the pay-as-you-go option means you can use just what you need, and not pay for any more. Exetel charges $5.00 per month, plus 1.5 cents per MB up to 1GB.
- quite a few of the Exetel wireless plans have no contract period
Those points aside, Exetel's data quotas are very competitive. For those looking for a tiny download allowance for checking email, Exetel's $17.50 gives you 1GB. This compares well to Three, which charges $15 for 1GB, but with a 10 cents per MB excess fee (versus 5 cents for Exetel), and locks you in for a 24-month contrast (versus no contract with Exetel).
If you're looking at standalone pricing (no bundled phone service) the Exetel plans shape up well against Optus and iPrimus, which have entry level standalone plans at $20+.
Exetel isn't shy about taking on the big players, claiming it has the "lowest costs, at all included download levels". The company has been providing its wireless since September 2008 via a "test marketing trial", for which it now has more than 3,000 users around the country. Exetel uses the Optus mobile network.
The ISP is now preparing to advertise its wireless broadband to rural and regional areas that can't use ADSL.
You can read more about wireless plans in our Broadband Buyer's Guide: Fixed vs Mobile
If you're interested in our speed tests of each Australian wireless broadband provider, see our Mobile Broadband Group Test