From the horse’s mouth
I have done some previous coverage about shared data plans popping up in other countries like the USA and France. These provide a common data-allowance pool amongst a group of devices you or, in some cases with “family plans”, your family owns.
Now Telstra has jumped on the bandwagon with a shared data option which costs AUD$20 per month for each device. At the moment they are offering 1Gb extra of data to plans operated by early adopters as an incentive to take up this service across the multiple devices.
This is available to people who are contracted with the “Every Day Connect” mobile-service plans whether these are on a “bring-your-own-device” basis or part of a subsidised-handset contract. Here, I would see these of value with the Every Day Connect 80 plan or plans above that plan and with more than 2 devices beyond the regular handset.
I find that the tariff chart for this service will need some work to make it more acceptable by most customers. For example, Telstra could offer more of the high-capacity plans with perhaps high-capacity voice and text service in conjunction with the data sharing as well as post a simple tariff per device per month. They could offer their “Mi-Fi” devices and USB modems or the tablets that they sell for a subsidised cost to customers who integrate them in to a data-share plan/
But as I have seen with Telstra, these kind of services are charged in a way to prop up their role as a universal telephony service provider. They could easily provide services like these at better prices if Australia adopted a universal-service-fund which all carriers had to put money to and this was used to fund the basic telephone service, the public payphones, the Triple-Zero emergency call service and similar essential services.