New Zealand is always pretty pricey for telecommunications, particular mobile services including data, something I’ve mentioned before when detailing my move from Vodafone to 2degrees mobile.
Whilst data has slowly been getting cheaper, there’s been an emerging problem of people owning multiple 3G capable devices, such as a mobile phone, tablet and a laptop and wanting to get them all online, but not wanting to pay an expensive data plan for each device.
I personally ended up just using tethering on my phone to connect my laptop, even though my laptop has a built-in 3G modem, simply due to the high cost of maybe once-a-week usage of my laptop not being enough to justify having a separate plan, particularly when only needing a few hundred MB at most.
However 2degrees have now just announced new shared data plans, where you pay an extra $5 a month, plus $1 per device to be able to share the data plan from another account (for up to 5 devices).
This is pretty compelling, I can go buy a bunch of prepaid SIMs for my laptop, spare phones, USB 3G stick and be able to use them all with my shared data at a fraction of the cost compared to doing so on Telecom or Vodafone, whom are going to need to up their game if they want to retain multi-device users.
2degrees certainly aren’t sitting still – in the past week they’ve announced both this shared data service as well as their Touch2Pay arrangement with Snapper, to allow the use of smartphones with NFC for payment on the Snapper network (used for Wellington and Auckland buses), future is looking bright for them.