Optus launches new 250GB Family Plan for mobile

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If you’ve been searching for a simple mobile solution for the whole family, Optus has come to the rescue.

The telco has launched a brand new Family Plan, featuring four SIMs and a range of child-friendly safety features (plus 250GB of mobile data!) for $149 per month.

Designed for families of four or more, the new Optus postpaid plan includes basics such as unlimited talk & text, a shareable data allowance, and entertainment extras such as free Optus Sport.

Optus Family Plan: what’s included

For $149 per month  – that’s $37.25 per SIM – the Optus Family Plan includes four SIM cards, plus the following monthly inclusions:

  • Unlimited standard national talk and text in Australia
  • 250GB of high-speed data to share between members
  • Subscription to the McAfee Safe Family App
  • Subscription to Optus Sport

Each plan includes one primary line (owned by the account holder), plus three kid-friendly additional services. The monthly 250GB data allowance is pooled and shared between all members, but parents can  keep track of their child’s usage via the included McAfee Safe Family feature.

Normally priced at $8.99 per month, the McAfee Safe Family App has a range of parental control features designed to help children navigate the cyber world safely and securely. Parents can monitor their child’s online activity, including blocking websites or apps and setting screen time limits. The app also includes live tracking and location alerts via GPS, so you can keep an eye on your child’s real-world location when out and about.

For larger families, there’s also the option to add extra lines to your Family Plan. You can add up to four additional SIMs for an extra $29 per month each, but keep in mind you’ll still be sharing the same 250GB data pool, and extra lines won’t get the included Optus Sport. However, each line will come with unlimited standard national talk and text in Australia.

While the Optus Family Plan doesn’t include international extras, such as overseas calls or data roaming, these can be added and removed at any time via the My Optus App. Parents should also note that additional data usage over the 250GB allowance will be charged at a rate of $10 per gigabyte, but Optus does send text alerts to indicate when you’ve reached 50%, 85% and 100% of your plan’s shared data allowance.

Can I add phones to my Optus plan?

While the plan is offered as SIM-only, you’re free to add any smartphone on Optus’ 12, 24, or 36-month device payment plans if you’d prefer not to bring your own unlocked phone.

Optus is pitching the plan as a great ‘first mobile’ option for kids and teens, and has launched a First Phone Experience toolkit for parents that includes a First Phone Licence and First Phone Agreement. Essentially, it’s way for parents to set guidelines for children when it comes to device use, including using social media, balancing screen time with other activities, and being responsible for their smartphone.

If you do want to add devices to a Family Plan, Optus offers a range of good phones at various price points, including models from Apple, Samsung, OPPO, Huawei, and Google. Select the phone or phones you’d like to add, nominate your repayment period, and you’re good to go.

Finally, as all Optus postpaid plans are now month-to-month only, there’s no long-term commitment or lock-in contracts. You’re free to cancel or change your plan at any time with no early termination fees, but you will need to pay off the remaining balance of any devices you’ve bought on a payment plan.

Is the Optus Family Plan a good deal?

Optus’ new Family Plan is offered alongside the telco’s existing range of postpaid SIM-only options. These current plans are listed below, to give you an idea of how a family deal might compare to purchasing separate single-line plans.

The following table includes all Optus SIM-only plans published on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost from lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our comparison tool to see a range of plans for other devices and from other providers.

Compared to purchasing four separate Optus SIM plans, the Family Plan deal will definitely save you money. For example, if you were to add four Medium SIM-only plans to your account, each featuring 60GB of data per month (or 240GB combined), you’d pay $196 each month in total (or $49 per plan). Go for a Family Plan, however, and you’ll pay $47 per month less in total – that’s a huge saving of $564 over 12 months, plus you’ll get slightly more monthly data.

Of course, if you don’t need hundreds of gigabytes of data each month for your family, you may want to opt for a smaller plan for your children. Younger kids may not need that much data compared to teens or adults, so you could get away with two Medium plans and two Small (featuring 10GB of data each month, and priced at $39). But do the math, and this Optus combo adds up to $176 monthly, or $27 more than the Family Plan – so again, you’d still be paying more for less. Buying four separate plans also means you’ll miss out on the included McAfee Safe Family App, although you can add this to your account for an additional $8.99 per month.

Overall, if you were looking to move to or keep your family on Optus mobile, it’s a pretty competitive deal, and great value when compared to adding four lines to a single account. However, it still never hurts to shop around – you may find four or more plans add up cheaper through a different provider, especially if you tailor each line to each family member’s specific data and usage needs.

There are also several other telcos offering kid-specific phone plans, including OVO Mobile, Woolworths Mobile and Yomojo. More on these plans can be found in our guide to mobile plans for kids and teens.

If you’re looking to see what else is out there, we’ve listed a selection of SIM-only plans in the below table.

Here is a selection of postpaid plans from Canstar Blue’s database with a minimum of 10GB of data, listed in order of standard cost, lowest to highest, then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our comparison tool to see a range of plans from other providers. This table includes products with links to referral partners.

Image: VGstockstudio / Shutterstock

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