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Amaysim aims to 'Steven Bradbury' the competition with new 4G plans

Adam Bender | March 26, 2015
Amaysim is gambling that it's better to be late to the 4G mobile party with strong plans than arrive early with weak ones, according to Julian Ogrin, CEO of the mobile virtual network operator (MVNO).

Also available is a "flexi" plan for $19.90 a month with 500MB, with users charged 9 cents per minute for calls and 9 cents per text message. An "As You Go" plan costs 7.2 cents per MB, 12 cents per minute and 12 cents per SMS.

The latter plan used to cost 5 cents per MB, but Amaysim used to round up to the nearest MB. With the new plans, Amaysim has changed how it bills data — moving from a per MB system to a per KB system that should provide more precise bills for users since their usage won't be rounded up to the nearest MB.

This follows a trend of telcos moving to KB pricing after complaints by customers and consumer advocates.

"We always want to listen to our customers and listen to the market, and our customers were very much saying that when you move to 4G, we want the kilobyte routing," said Ogrin.

Amaysim deleted its existing $44.90 3G plan offering 5GB and unlimited voice and SMS, but existing customers will be grandfathered in for as long as they want, said Ogrin. However, these customers will still only get 3G service and be charged on a per MB basis.

Amaysim plans to offer two data top-up plans. In the coming month, it will offer a 1GB data pack for $9.90 that is valid for 30 days from purchase. Soon after, Amaysim plans to release a 300MB data pack for $4.90.

Existing customers do not need to order a new SIM card to access the 4G network.

Like other MVNOs on the Optus network, Amaysim will have full 4G access and benefit from Optus network upgrades as they occur.

US expansion scuttled

Amaysim is no longer considering expansion into the US, Ogrin said.

In late 2013, the company revealed it was exploring the American market. However, Ogrin said the company decided it would be too difficult to break in and has decided to focus on Australia instead.

"What's going on in the US with T-Mobile really shaking it up and then you have Verizon and AT&T responding, that's an enormous deep pockets price war. You don't want to launch a business ... It's like walking into a hurricane."

Amaysim will focus for the next two to three years on capturing the bring-your-own SIM card market in Australia, he said.

The company has explored the possibility of offering fixed broadband services, but has no near-term plans to release fixed plans, said Ogrin.

The National Broadband Network (NBN) could allow companies that hadn't sold fixed services before to enter the market. But Ogrin said that option is a long way off.

"The NBN, as an example, still has a way to go before it becomes a real commercial platform."

 

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