Vodafone's 35-day pre-paid plans are arguably the very best around, bucking the 28-day expiry trend that creates a "13th-month" within a 364-day period, as 13 times 28 only equals 364 days, which isn't even a full year!
If you take 35-day billing periods and multiply them by 10.43 months, you get 365.05 days, so this has been a great competitive move by Vodafone in the past, and it continues so today.
Then we get to Vodafone's new pre-paid plans, which you can see here, but which offer 6GB and unlimited national calls and text for $30, 17GB and unlimited national calls and text with 500 minutes of calls to Zone 1 countries and 100 minutes to Zone 2 countries for $40, and an impressive 30GB with unlimited national calls and text, 1000 minutes of international calls to Zone 1 countries and 150 minutes to zone 2 for $50.
Optus does have 10GB of streaming data for Netflix, Stan and iView, but its plans are 28 days, with $50 for 25GB, $40 for 15GB and $30 for 5GB.
Optus has unlimited international calls to 14 countries on its two highest plans, which might appeal, but with Viber, Skype and whatever else, this is less of a deal that it was in the past, which helps Kogan Mobile, too.
Amaysim's $50 plan only gives 20GB, and its other plans aren't as competitive as Vodafone's, although it too offers unlimited international calls to 10 countries.
Then there's Telstra, whose $50 plan gives a paltry 7.5GB of data.
As usual, Telstra is the most expensive, but there are reasons why some of its customers would choose its services, so see the prices for yourself and make your own decisions.
All of that said, Vodafone's 365-day plans are nowhere near as competitive as Amaysim's very simple and excellent "as you go" plan which also has a 365-day expiry, with Amaysim's prices cheaper for calls and text, so skip Vodafone if you need a 365-day plan and go straight to Amaysim, but for pre-paid plans, you'll need a specific need for an Optus inclusion, Telstra coverage or some other reason to not just go with Vodafone for this plan type.
Vodafone's chief commercial officer Ben McIntosh has published an excellent blog post here on Vodafone's plan changes, and he said in a statement: "We’ve looked at what our customers use most and we’ve simplified our pre-paid plans to include more data and international call minutes to more destinations than ever before.
"India, New Zealand and China are the three most called destinations using Vodafone’s pre-paid international minutes. From today we’ve upped the inclusions and customers will now have up to 2000 included minutes to call these countries.
"We also know that Lebanon, Sri Lanka, Belgium and the Czech Republic are among the most called countries by our pre-paid customers, and so we’ve added these countries to our zone two international minutes.
"We’ve got the formula right – over 90 international calling destinations, generous data inclusions and our signature 35-day expiry. There’s never been a better time to shop around."
So, thank God for competition, and thank you to Vodafone for shaking up the market yet again!