Skinny has jumped on board the "endless" mobile data bandwagon, offering the cheapest plan so far.
The Spark-owned budget brand is offering a $36 endless data plan that gives full-speed service until you hit 4.5 gigabytes of data - roughly one high-def Netflix movie - after which speed is reduced to a maximum 1.2 megabits per second (enough for standard definition video and basic surfing, but not HD or some online gaming or video chat).
Your $36 doesn't quite get you a month. Skinny offers 28-day plans.
Like rivals' "endless" data plans, unlimited calls and texts are included.
Notably, Skinny's "endless" data plans include hotspotting, such as sharing a phone's internet connection with another device, such as a laptop, or streaming video to a TV.
Parent Spark excluded hotspotting when it launched its "endless" data plans this week (starting from $40 a month for 3GB at full speed), although it did offer it as a $10 a month add-on.
Vodafone was the first to offer "endless" data across all levels of plans in February, starting from $40 a month for 4GB at full tilt. Hotspotting was included, as was an option to buy more data at full-speed, which has not been matched by Spark or Skinny so far. Speed is throttled to 1.2 megabits a second or standard definition video-only level once you hit your data limit.
2degrees has yet to join Spark and Vodafone in introducing across-the-board endless data plans, but does have an $85 "unlimited" data plan that gives you 40GB before throttling to 1mbit/s. It includes hotspotting, though subject to speed limits if there is network congestion. "Unlimited" data plans for power users were the rage last year.
In the fixed-line market, all the major players have introduced unlimited data at no extra cost as a Covid-19 relief measure.
Vodafone's endless mobile data pricing
For $40 a month, you get 4GB of data at maximum speed, or around enough to stream one high def movie before the throttling kicks in.
$60 buys you 12GB of data at maximum speed.
$80 gets you 40GB at full speed and $100 buys you 100GB at full speed.
If you bust your data limit and don't want to be throttled, you can buy another 1GB at full speed for $7 or 5GB for $25.
Spark's endless mobile data pricing
Spark's Endless Pay Monthly Mobile plans start at $39.99 a month for 3GB of data (roughly, one Netflix movie in high def) at maximum speed; $59.99 for 10GB at max speed and $79.99 for 40GB at max speed.
The latter includes Spotify Premium, and the two lower-cost plans offer the option to add Spotify Premium at half price.
Up to four people can join a $99 per month plan with 40GB of data at max speed per person in addition to a subscription to Spotify Premium.
A pre-paid endless data plan costs $79 per four weeks for 40GB at max speed.
Spark has no option to buy extra data at full speed.
Skinny's endless mobile data pricing
For $36 a month - or at least 28 days, like all Skinny plans - you get 4.5GB of data at full speed.
$46 a month gets you 12GB of data at full whack.
And $70 per month buys 40GB at full tilt.
A $20 weekly plan provides 10GB of data at full speed.
There is no option to buy extra data at full speed directly, but a rep for Skinny said its "data binge" service, which allows unlimited data for a set period, for example, $4 for 12 hours, could be used to access extra data.