Prices cut in mobile data plans
A value war has broken out at the top end of the mobile data market.
Spark last week slashed the cost of its high-end mobile plans and offered unlimited data for less than $20 a week.
Now Vodafone has released its own range of plans with more data. It is offering a Red+ Essentials plan for $79.99 a month with 22GB of data, or 10GB for $59.99.
2degrees has also boosted its latest mobile plan line-up to offer 25GB for $70 without hot spot or speed restrictions. The company’s unlimited plan is $129 a month.
Consumer NZ writer Hadyn Green said phone users in New Zealand and around the world were using much more data on their mobile phones.
‘‘We don’t need more minutes, we just want data because everyone is using social media, taking photos and sending them to their friends.’’
Services such as iMessage and FaceTime also reroute traditional phone services to use data instead.
But Green said telcos had struggled to offer that because although texts and talk minutes were cheap to provide, data cost more.
He said Spark had been able to find a way around it and its competitors had responded.
But it was unclear how many people needed mobile data plans that big. ‘‘I’m a pretty heavy user but I very rarely hit 1GB a month.’’
He said many heavy mobile data users also tended to have access to wifi networks.
Users might only need a large data allowance if they were using their phones to stream movies on other devices, which Spark does not officially allow.
He said $80 a month was still a high mobile phone bill, especially if it was not a business account.
Spark offers a $19 plan with 750MB of data, 200 minutes and unlimited texts.