Optus’ revamped $10 roaming plan: adds more data, more countries

Optus will retire its $10/day Travel Packs in place of new Roaming Passes, while also changing roaming inclusions in 20 countries

From 2 March 2020 Optus Travel Packs and Travel Data Packs will no longer be available to purchase and will be replaced with a new roaming product called Optus Roaming Pass.

roaming alert

 

Optus Travel Packs and Travel Data Packs will continue to be supported until they expire, after which customers will be able to select the new Optus Roaming Pass for use, otherwise standard roaming rates will apply.

Optus Roaming Pass replaces Optus Travel Pack

From March 2 2020, Optus Travel Packs will no longer be sold, with the company moving from the current opt-in system on a per-trip basis to a ‘set and forget’ scheme, triggering an automatic daily charge when a device is used overseas in a supported country.

The new Optus Roaming Pass will retain the $10/day price tag of the outgoing Optus Travel Pack – or more precisely, a $10 charge per 24-hour period, not necessarily aligning with each calendar day – with a more generous data allowance of 1GB per 24-hour window.

Here’s how the two compare:

Optus Travel Pack
(old)

Optus Roaming Pass
(new)

Talk

Unlimited standard calls

Unlimited standard calls

Text

Unlimited standard SMS

Unlimited standard SMS

Data

100MB per day (200MB/day on data-only services).

1GB or 24 hours, whichever comes first.

Data
expiry

Cumulative: a seven-day trip gives 700MB, which can be used on any day.

Data expires with each 24-hour window: unused data doesn’t carry over.

Excess
data

Billed at $1/MB
($1,024 per GB).

If 1GB is used earlier than 24 hours, a new $10 Roaming Pass is billed, and the 24-hour timer reset ($10 per GB).

Notably, while unused data doesn’t carry over from one day to the next on the Optus Roaming Pass – as is the case with the Optus Travel Pack – the base data allowance is 10 times more generous, without an increase in price.

Heavy data users will also avoid hefty roaming rates if exceeding their allowance. Instead of being stung an extra $1,024 per GB of data as occurs when surpassing the Optus Travel Pack limit, the depleted Roaming Pass immediately expires. The customer is charged for a new $10 pass with a fresh 1GB of data, and a new 24-hour window begins.

Once introduced in March, customers will need to opt-in to the Optus Roaming Pass system via the company’s website (or by calling 13 33 43, for business customers). Once enabled, there’s then no need to opt-in with every trip: Roaming Pass rates will automatically apply in eligible Zone 1 countries, detailed below.

Roaming Passes are activated when a customer makes or receives a call, sends an SMS, or accesses data in a Zone 1 country.

Changes to Optus Zone 1, Zone 2 roaming countries

Optus categorises each country as either ‘Zone 1’ or ‘Zone 2’ for roaming purposes.

Zone 1 is most advantageous: it’s where those Optus Travel Packs and the new Optus Roaming Passes can be used, as well as being the countries in which Optus’ roaming-inclusive plans can be utilised at no extra cost.

Zone 2 is instead assigned to all other countries where Optus roaming is available, where all customers – regardless of plan, or purchase of an Optus Travel pack or Optus Roaming Pass – are charged at much higher rates for calls, SMS and data.

In March, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Israel, Kuwait, Mexico, Palestine, Panama, South Africa and Vietnam will all move from Zone 2 into Zone 1: slashing the cost of roaming in these destinations.

However, Afghanistan, Brunei, Gibraltar, Kiribati, Laos, Mongolia, Nepal and Uzbekistan will become ‘Zone 2’ countries, resulting in higher roaming charges.

For customers using Optus Travel Packs and Optus Roaming Passes – including those on plans which currently include a fixed number of Optus Travel Packs each month as part of the monthly plan price – this switcheroo takes effect on March 2 2020.

Those with general Zone 1 roaming included as part of the plan itself, such as customers on the newly-launched Optus One flagship plan, will instead see these countries change zones from March 15 2020.

If your account number does not start with a 62, these changes do not apply to you. You will still be able to purchase Optus Travel Packs and Travel Data Packs and will not be able to purchase Optus Roaming Pass.

Optus Roaming Pass is only available in selected destinations (subject to change). To use Optus Roaming Pass from 2 March 2020 in eligible destinations, check your account number and international roaming settings via My Account or My Optus App (or call 133 343 if you are an Optus business customer). For more information optus.com.au/roamupdate

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