Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) has dropped the price of its Vodafone branded USB modem based prepaid mobile broadband starter pack from $79 to $49 and has introduced its first pocket 3G WiFi modem.
The USB modem package, which will be available from both Vodafone and 3 stores, comprises the modem and 1GB of data with 30 day expiry. Current prices for additional data, all on 30 day expiry, are $15 for 1.5GB, $29 for 4GB, $39 for 8GB and $49 for 10GB per month. VHA says these prices will apply until 15 September "unless extended."
VHA is targeting the product as a fixed-line replacement saying: "With the average Australian Internet user spending an incredible 37 days per year online, Vodafone's prepaid mobile broadband starter pack presents customers with a great opportunity to cast off the shackles of fixed-line Internet and start using the internet at home, when they're out an about, wherever they have 3G coverage." (The 37 days figure is derived from Nielsen's 2010 Internet & Technology Report that put Australian average weekly Internet usage at 17.6 hours per week.)
VHA has also introduced Pocket WiFi, a portable 3G WiFi modem that uses WiFi that enables up to five users to share one Vodafone or 3 mobile broadband service. It is manufactured by Huawei. It is available outright as the prepaid mobile broadband PocketWiFi starter pack for $119 that includes a prepaid SIM with 1GB of mobile broadband data on Vodafone or 200MB on 3, both with 30 day expiry. It is also available at no charge on some 24-month plans.
The device is exclusive to VHA. A Huawei spokesman told iTWire that it was a more recent model in the e-series range than the one presently sold by Virgin Mobile in Australia.
According to VHA, "What truly sets PocketWiFi apart from other WiFi models is the way it provides customers with visibility about what's happening at any one time. The handy LED display provides information about the signal strength, WiFi status, number of devices connected via WiFi, internet connection status, battery life, Internet session time, session data usage and roaming status."
The rechargeable and removable lithium-ion battery, is claimed to provide up to five hours of usage and can be charged by mains power or USB.