Telstra has finally announced plans to release the Apple iPhone 3G for the Australian market. The company's partnership with Apple will bring the new phone to 9 million potential customers.
After much speculation, the company issued a press release yesterday stating that it will release the iPhone on 11 July.
The iPhone will be launched on Telstra's Next G HSDPA network, taking advantage of the second-generation iPhone's 3G capabilities.
The company's announcement means that the phone will now be available on three carriers in Australia when the iPhone 3G is officially released worldwide on 11 July. Until now, only Vodafone and Optus have revealed plans to release the phone locally. 3 Mobile is currently petitioning Apple in order to gain the right to release the phone.
Telstra also announced three pricing plans that will be available on its network. A $30 monthly plan is its lowest-priced plan, with an upfront cost of $279 for the 8GB iPhone 3G and $399 for the 16GB model. An $80 monthly plan is also available, with no upfront cost for the 8GB model (no pricing for the 16GB model has been revealed for this plan). The most expensive plan involves a $100/month cost with no upfront charge for the 8GB or 16GB phones. All three plans are based on a 24-month contract.
"Australians are very excited about iPhone 3G", said David Moffatt, Telstra's consumer group managing director. "With iPhone 3G on the country's largest and fastest 3G network, providing coverage to 99 per cent of the population, more Australians will enjoy the iPhone 3G experience in even more places."
Telstra's NextG network currently provides a theoretical 14.4Mbps bandwidth over an 850MHz frequency band, making it the fastest 3G network in Australia. It is currently the only network that uses this band in Australia.
HSDPA speeds are also available using the iPhone 3G's 1800MHz and 2100MHz frequency bands, but this comes at the cost of decreased network coverage.
Customers can register interest at Telstra's website, or call 1800 iPhone.