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Vodafone hosted a media briefing this morning at Sydney Tower to announce its new Vodafone Shared plans and a partnership with Australian video on demand streaming service, Stan.

Speculation about the return of shared data plans has been around in the market for a few weeks now, but Vodafone’s new plans allow subscribers to share everything on their plan – data, domestic and international voice and SMS allowances and their first-2-months Data Workout. $5/day Red Roaming is also available to Shared Plans, but you’ll be paying $5 per day for each device/person.

Sharing is Caring

While families are the obvious target market for shared plans, Vodafone’s also quoting research from ACMA that shows almost 70% of Australian adults use 3 or more devices to connect to the Internet. Those devices could include a tablet, laptop and phone though device breakdown of course varies from person to person.

To use Vodafone Shared, customers start with an existing Red Plan and add on a Shared Plan. For phones, those are priced at $30/$40/$50 per month and add 1, 2 and 3GB data to your plan while tablets cost $10 or $30 per month and add 1 or 3GB. The additional data can be spread amongst all the devices on the plan – Red plans already have infinite Australian calls and texts, so there’s no need to add on to that allowance, while the holders of $50 Shared Plan also get 300 minutes of international calls. Only one member of a household needs to be on a Red plan, and everyone can benefit from it.

There’s also a $70/month plan that goes onto a 24-month contract which includes the same offering as the $50/month plan and includes Vodafone’s premium content allowances – currently a 12-month subscription to Spotify, SMH or The Age.

Vodafone’s keen to point out the savings of connecting a family to this plan over competitors in the market, and it’s hard to argue. Both Telstra and Optus allow data sharing, but don’t allow you to share your entire plan with the other SIMs. Optus charges a once-off $5 setup fee to share data across up to 5 additional SIMs, while Telstra charges $10/month for the additional SIM card (again, you can add up to 5) and adds 100MB of extra data. Vodafone’s offering a monthly price of $10 and giving you an extra 1GB data for your trouble (or 4GB extra for $30/month). Value might depend on how much of the original inclusions of your plan you use. Of course, you can still tether.

Better Call Vodafone

Vodafone also announced a content partnership with Stan. While it was heavily implied that the Stan offering would be similar to the carrier’s deal with Spotify and Fairfax (where fixed-term subscriptions are included at certain plan levels), no specifics were announced – we’ll expect to see more about this in the coming weeks.

Do you have a need for shared data, calls or texts between your devices? Do Vodafone’s new sharing plans appeal to you, or your family? Tell us in the comments.

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Before discovering the Nexus One, Jason thought he didn't need a smartphone. Now he can't bear to be without his Android phone. Jason hails from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane depending on his mood and how detailed a history you'd like. A web developer by day with an interest in consumer gadgets and electronics, he also enjoys reading comics and has a worryingly large collection of Transformers figures. He'd like to think he's a gamer, but his Wii has been in a box since he moved to Sydney, and his PlayStation Vita collection is quite lacking. Most mornings you'll find him tilting at various windmills on Twitter - follow @JM77 and say hi!
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Link to the plans please?