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Optus is making a play for Australia’s frequent flyers and globetrotters with the debut of $5 per day global roaming.
Yes, that’s the same price as Vodafone’s long-standing signature roaming deal – but there are some significant differences between the Optus and Vodafone offerings.
Meanwhile, the two telcos continue to run roaming rings around Telstra, whose ‘Day Pass’ add-on costs $10 per day for a paltry 1GB of data.
Optus’ launch of $5 overseas roaming also comes as rival Vodafone gets ready to increase the cost of most post-paid plans by $5 per month as of April.
Here’s what you need to know about the new Optus $5 roaming deal.
As the branding indicates, Optus now offers overseas roaming for a flat rate of $5 per day in the 102 countries which make up Optus’ list of ‘Zone 1 Destinations’ (this is just shy of the 109 destinations covered by Vodafone’s $5 per day roaming).
That $5 per day gives you a whole 5GB of data to chew through – and that’s almost certainly enough for all your email, browsing, navigational, streaming and hot-spotting needs. This 5GB is a dedicated roaming allowance which comes on top of your Australian plan, whereas Vodafone’s roaming. plans draw from the single ‘unified’ data allowance of your plan in Australia.
However, if you happen to blow past that 5GB limit in 24 hours, Optus will automatically activate another $5/5GB add-on.
Unused data doesn’t roll over from one day to the next: if you pay $5 but use only 1GB of data, that other 4GB is wiped as midnight and you start afresh with another 5GB for another $5 the following day.
Optus’ $5 per day roaming plans also include phone calls and text messages within your roaming country as well as calls and messages back to Australia.
An Optus spokesperson has confirmed to Executive Traveller there’s only one $5 charge per 24 hour period even if you visit more than one Zone 1 country.
This is of course commonplace in Europe and Asia – so if you’re based in London but pop across the channel to Paris and then over to Switzerland or Belgium on the same day, for instance, you’ll be on the same $5/5GB roaming plan all the way through.
While the $5 roaming plans of Optus and Vodafone largely cover the same countries, one exception in Optus’ favour is the UAE: you can enjoy 5GB roaming plus calls and text in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and the rest of the Gulf country for $5 per day with Optus, while under Vodafone it’s a ‘Pay As You Go Roaming’ country with data charged at $1 per minute and $1 per 60 seconds to make and receive calls.
While Optus’ $5 global roaming isn’t available on every Optus plan, it’s included in the most popular set of planes including the core Optus Choice Plus plans along with Optus Plus Family, Optus Plus Kids, Optus Plus Promo and the Optus Qantas SIM-Only plans.
(If you’re unsure if your plan supports $5 roaming, open the My Optus app, click the Service and under Add-ons, looks for the $5 Roaming option.)
For more details on Optus $5 global roaming, click through to optus.com.au/mobile/plans/international-roaming.