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Optus Launch Unlimited National Calls For Just $5*

Optus Launch Unlimited National Calls For Just $5*

That takes in a few landmark items, like the introduction of dial phones (rather than winding a handle to alert the operator); direct dial long-distance calls; arrival of the mobile handset; and VoIP. What could it be?

Turned out to be the same femtocell service Optus introduced on a trial basis in April but now branded Optus Home Zone. (Femtocells are miniature mobile phone base stations that users can mount in their living rooms or other awkward spots in large buildings whose walls can be hard for 3G signals to penetrate: they need to connect to an existing ADSL service).

However there’s a major difference. Postpaid customers with a $59/month* service who sign up in August pay just $5 a month extra for the device – and score unlimited national calls. But after that opening deal finishes, the price will be $25 a month.

Up to 12 users can register to use the cell, which spreads a strong signal up to 30m; four can use it at one time – but only one handset gets the unlimited calls, Optus consumer MD Michael Smith told reptiles gathered at Neil Perry’s Rockpool nosh-shop.

The cell can be linked to any service provider’s fixed broadband service, Optus says. Up to five bars of mobile coverage for the four users is promised. Small business users are welcome.

The gathered journos – refreshed by Neil Perry’s mulloway with parsnips, belly pork with smoked eggplant, and a dessert that included a mysterious green substance called “organic schulz quark” – left clutching loaner femtocells, which – pulled from their box – resemble nothing so much small white handbags with gold trim.