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Business deals for mobiles - Part One (Optus) Business deals for mobiles - Part I (Optus)

29 October 2002
Written by Richard Browning


Getting the Business Edge!

The Optus “Business Edge” plans are quite versatile when it comes to business users, as they would have to be! They may have to cater for small businesses with only one phone who may work long hours - but at the same time incorporate big business conglomerates that need hundreds of phones working round-the-clock, 24 hours a day. As a result, there are a lot of choices when deciding on a suitable business plan for you.

How Long?

The first of these decisions is your contract term. Optus offer three options: 24 months, 12 months or “Month-to-Month” (monthly). Call rates are the same for the 12, 24 month and month-to-month plans, but there are less special offer if you decide to go “Month-to-Month” (see later in article for details). So this decision should be based on whether you are happy to be locked in to the same network with the same rates, fees and charges for two whole years - or whether you would prefer more freedom with a one-year or “Month-to-Month” contract.

Handset: BYO or pick from a list?

The next choice to make is regarding where your handset(s) is/are coming from. There are two options as far as this is concerned, with the first being to “bring your own” (BYO) phone handset.

With Optus, if you BYO and sign up for a 12-month contract, you have the option of receiving a “Business Bonus” credit. This provides you with a once-off credit on your account, reducing your total mobile bill. The amount of this bonus is dependant on which monthly commitment you choose (see table below):

Business
Edge Plan
33 44 55 77 99 150 250 400
Business
Bonus
$130 $160 $180 $205 $240 $295 $360 $470

The other option is to subsidise the price of your mobile handset with your monthly contract payments. This means that as you pay your monthly charges on the plan, part of that payment actually pays off the handset purchase. Therefore, by spreading the cost of the handset over 12 or 24 months, you won’t have to pay as much upfront. Unfortunately, this is not available on the “Month-to-Month” plan.

Optus has a very good site for sorting out how much this will cost you. Go to http://optusdirect.optus.com.au/shop/phonecatalogue and select the phone you want. Then click on the “rate plans” button and choose “Optus Business Edge plans” to see the plans and how much your selected phone will set you back on each.

Special note on “Month-to-Month”

By going “Month-to-Month”, this means you don’t have to be locked into a contract. The options for monthly access fees are very much the same as the contracted plans, as well as the included monthly credit and call rates.

But some of the drawbacks in going “Month-To-Month” include less special offers and deals. For instance, you would not be able to share included monthly credit between your fleet, and you would not receive ‘yes’ Business Link or ‘yes’ Business Mobile.

Bonus offers

This is where the main competition between carriers exists: who can give the most convenience and/or special offers to their customers and win their support for life. Optus has quite a few bonus offers, including:

  • Sharing of monthly included calls
  • Cheaper calls between users in the same account (‘yes’ Business Fleet)
  • Special mobile or fixed line call rates

Sharing of monthly included calls

The first is the sharing of included call credits. On your own phone, your included credit can be used for any type of call, message or usage charge (that is - voice, SMS, WAP and messaging). With other phones on your account, the included credit also gets shared.

For example, in a small business with three Optus mobile plans each with an included credit of $55 - if one mobile has a very busy month and makes $125 worth of calls and messages while the other two phones only made $20 each, all the charges are still covered by the included credit. If sharing of included credit was not on offer, the first mobile would have had to pay an extra $70 ($125 used - $55 credit = $70 of payable charges) while the other two would have $35 of credit each to spare ($55 credit - $20 used = $35 credit remaining).

Cheaper calls between users in the same account (‘yes’ Business Fleet)

The next bonus on offer is ‘yes’ Business Fleet. Between 7am and 7pm (defined as “Business Hours” according to Optus), seven days a week within Australia, Optus Business customers can call other Optus Mobile Digital phones on the same account for 10 cents for the first 5 minutes with no flagfall. This applies to all “Business Edge” plans. This means very cheap calls within the business in business hours, even cheaper than the cost of a local call.

Special mobile or fixed line call rates

Whether your make more calls to mobile phones or fixed land lines, Optus gives you the freedom to choose one of these options on signing up on their “Business Edge” plans:

  • ‘yes’ Business Mobile - where calls to any Australian mobile network during Business Hours is just 10 cents per 30 seconds plus flagfall (up to 18.7 cents). This option is good if most people in your phonebook have a mobile phone handy!
  • ‘yes’ Business Link - where calls to any fixed line phone within Australia are charged at 10 cents per 30 seconds plus flagfall (up to 18.7 cents). This option is useful if most of most of the people you call are using fixed office or home phones, or interstate land-line phones.

 

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