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New mobile provider Gomo has 18GB for $1. What’s the catch?

Optus's new virtual telco Gomo has launched with an attention-grabbing deal, providing 18GB of data plus calls for only $1. It sounds too good to be true – but is it?

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Optus announced that it was going to launch Gomo, a brand the Singtel-owned company already uses in South East Asia, into the Australian market back on 2 November. That was the same time frame in which it also announced it was buying out popular MVNO amaysim for a cool $250 million, although it won't conclude that deal until early next year.

It's certainly not waiting around to launch Gomo, which is now available in Australia, targeting value-conscious customers – exceptionally value-conscious customers as it turns out, with Gomo promising a prepaid deal that costs only $1 but comes with an 18GB data allowance.

$1 is insanely cheap – what's the catch?

You're right – there's simply nothing like Gomo's $1 deal in the market right now in pure data terms. That's an astonishing 0.005c per MB of data, which is extraordinary value – for a little while.

There are two catches to be aware of with Gomo's deal:

  • The offer is limited to the first 5,000 customers who sign up for a Gomo SIM
  • It's limited to the first monthly recharge only

After that first $1 taste, the next month will cost you $25.

However, Gomo is also sweetening the deal further if you're interested in a longer term prepaid deal, offering three "free" months of Gomo mobile access if you prepay for three months upfront. That would equate to a 6-month plan for either $51 (if you're a lucky early subscriber) or $75 if you're not.

What do I get with the Gomo plan?

Whether you're able to score it for $1 or $25, the inclusions remain the same. You get standard unlimited national calls and texts for a 30-day period, along with 18GB of data to use during that period. If you do recharge, unused data is rolled over on an ongoing basis, up to a maximum of 200GB of banked data. If you do run out of data during your month, you can optionally pay $5 for a 5GB data boost.

Gomo Mobile's plan also includes unlimited standard international calls to Canada, China, France, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United States. There's no provision for calling other destinations, and international roaming is not supported.

How does the Gomo Mobile plan compare?

There's really nothing like its $1 deal right now, and if you were happy to jump in and out of a provider, it'd be an obvious recommendation.

Gomo's 3-month bonus deal means that it's worth comparing both its regular $25 plan and that effective $75-for-6-months option as well.

For the single month, there are quite a few good value prepaid deals around right now that outdo Gomo. As an example, amaysim's current 50GB deal costs $30 per month, with the first month charged at only $9. While both of those figures are a little higher than $1/$25, you're getting a lot more data and calling inclusions to 28 countries compared to Gomo's 15.

If you wanted to go truly nuts with data usage, you could consider freshly launched "green" telco Felix, which offers "endless data" for $35, albeit significantly speed capped.

That three-month prepaid deal that ends up with an effective six months of access is actually rather good. It might seem like a lot to pay for upfront, but if you break it down, you're only paying $12.50 for 18GB of data each month and you'll only need to make one payment every half year.

If that approach appeals, you should also consider the wider variety of 365-day prepaid plans as well, which will save you money for paying for your long-term usage upfront.

Looking for a new mobile plan? Compare mobile plans from 40+ providers to find a better deal today.

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