Telstra's Data Share packages: Are they good value?

Telstra’s latest offering is a data-only plan that allows you to “share” data on a single bill with multiple SIMs on offer.
Telstra’s just announced Every Day Connect Data Share Packages that allow customers with multiple SIM-ready devices to work from a single pool of data across all those devices. Sort of like a Wi-Fi hotspot, but instead of sharing from a device, you’re accessing a store of data from each and every device.
Here’s the all-singing, all dancing video ad
But how does it stack up in terms of value? The baseline pack runs to $80/month, which breaks down to a $60/month plan plus $10/month sharing fee and $10/month for an additional SIM, with 1.1GB of data and $600 “worth” of calls and SMS included. As an early signup bonus, Telstra will add an additional 1GB of data for the first twelve months if you sign up by the end of the year.
What can you get from the competing carriers (or Telstra itself) for $80/month? I’ve gone with SIM-only plans for this comparison, because essentially that’s what these plans are; the numbers would be different if you needed a handset as well.
Carrier“,”Plan Name“,”Monthly Cost“,”Included Calls“,”Included Texts“,”Included Data“,”Minimum 24 month cost
Telstra“,”Every Day Connect Data Share “,$80.00,”$600 “worth” shared with Texts”,”$600 “worth” shared with calls”,”1.1GB (plus 1GB for the first 12 months)”,”$1,920.00″
Telstra“,”L Plan”,$80.00,”$900 “worth””,”Unlimited”,”2GB”,”$1,920.00″
Optus“,”MySIM Plan”,$60.00,”Unlimited National”,”Unlimited National”,”2GB”,”$1,440.00″
Vodafone“,”$85 Red”,$85.00,”Unlimited National plus $100 “worth” of international and other call services”,”Unlimited National”,”5GB”,”$2,040.00″
You can get the Telstra Every Day Connect plans on 12 month contracts, and there are cheaper Optus and Vodafone offerings to buy as well, but I’ve tried to keep things as close as possible on price grounds to provide the best balanced view. Interestingly, though, there was no Optus SIM-only offering above a $60 price point that I could find.
So is it worth it? I’d have to lean towards saying no.
Other carriers offer more data — and this is a terribly data-centric kind of deal — if that’s what you’re after, and if you’re concerned about network quality or you’re in a Telstra-only regional area, even Telstra’s own offerings at the same kind of price points give you more data, calls and texts.
Admittedly, there you’ve got to do a little hotspot sharing, but the flipside of that is that you could drop down contract levels a bit, save yourself the $10/month SIM fee and buy an extended battery pack to keep your sharing device — be it an actual hotspot or a sharing tablet or phone — running even longer.

2 thoughts on “Telstra's Data Share packages: Are they good value?”

  1. This is disappointing. I currently have separate data plans for my iPhone and my iPad, and I have longed to be able to share data between them, so that both devices were drawing from a common “pool” rather than keeping track of two separate quotas. I hate having to remember which device I’m allowed to click a YouTube link on towards the end of the billing cycle. But 1.1 GB between two devices is nowhere near what I need.

    1. That is the baseline pack; as I understand it, you can apply it to other Telstra plans; you’ll just pay a $20 premium ($10 sharing charge, $10 SIM charge) on top of the plan itself. Which doesn’t seem like great value, unless Telstra plans to block tethering. If they do that…

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