Two Hundred dollars, that's how much it would cost me to get unlimited email and web browsing onto my ($50) voice plan for my Blackberry. Crazy huh!? Last week I was on the phone to a sales rep for Vodafone discussing about what (very limited) options I have when it came to adding a data plan to my existing voice service. Turns out that to have email delivered to the Blackberry it'll be at least $30 per month for a lousy 1Mb, that's right, 1,024 Kilobytes of data. The only other plan is a $50 per month unlimited plan, although the fine print says that there's a "fair use" policy if you exceed 1Gb. Naturally the choice was simple, I went for the $50 plan.
So that's email covered, onto web browsing. Here, there were a few more options, but even though the quote for an unlimited plan was $99 there was a gotcha. This plan is only for what they call "data cards", meaning that you use it in conjunction with your laptop computer, not for use with a Blackberry or for that matter any other PDA device. Of course I realise this only after I got off the phone, but nevertheless. This now means that the Data 100 plan which as you can guess includes 100Mb of GPRS goodness is the closest I can get to an unlimited data plan. Excess usage is charged at $0.30 per megabyte.
In Australia, where we are generally early adopters of technology, the carriers really need to look into their pricing for Internet access through devices and adjust to the world standards, or risk being left behind in telecoms.