Tablet explosion spurs fatter Vodafone data plans

Australians lap up tablets, but will they bring them to work?

As businesses consider bring-your-own-device (BYOD) strategies, Vodafone Hutchison Australia has announced beefier tablet plans that provide more data for the money.

The 4G plans from Vodafone start at $20 for 2.5GB of data on 24-month or month-to-month schemes. Customers seeking more data per month can also buy 4GB for $30 or 8GB for $45. Vodafone also sells data add-ons ranging from $10 to $30 for customers running low on data in a given month.

Customers can either purchase a tablet from Vodafone or use their existing tablets and take up a new plan.

Vodafone's chief marketing officer, Kim Clarke, said the new plans respond to “massive growth” in tablet sales.

“Some 4.4 million people already access the internet using a tablet and that number is increasing at an astonishing rate,” said Clarke. “People love the convenience of tablets and being able to access information, anywhere, any time. We want to make sure our tablet and data plans are affordable.”

Telecom analysts at Telsyte recently reported a spike in tablet purchases in 2012, finding that 2.4 million tablets had been sold in Australia last year. More than 5 million consumers owned tablets at the end of last year and the number is expected to grow by 50 per cent this year, the research firm said.

The effect that increasing tablet adoption will have on businesses is less certain. While companies are increasingly adopting bring-your-own-device (BYOD) strategies, Telsyte found that most consumers primarily use their tablets at home.

Even so, Telsyte analyst Foad Fadaghi said “a large number of respondents” who work “use their media tablets for work-related email, similar to the rate of use of work email on personal smartphones".

Follow Adam Bender on Twitter: @WatchAdam

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