A Friday challenge for Vodafone NZ, Telecom NZ and 2degrees Mobile

by kai on 17/09/2010

New Zealand is a small country in the South Pacific. We’re far away from the rest of the world, have a quite large landmass (about the size of Germany) and very few people to fill it with (about 4.5 million compared to Germany’s 80 million). This setting creates an interesting scenario for a bunch of industries, among them the telecommunications sector.

One of the most expensive services in New Zealand (compared to pricing in other countries as well as the average income and cost of living) is using a mobile phone and in particularly data on a mobile phone. At this stage New Zealanders can use three mobile networks, provided by Vodafone NZ, Telecom NZ and 2degrees mobile. There are also a few virtual network operators like Orcon, Compass Communications and others who pretty much re-bundle offerings from one of the three large players under their own brand – I’ll keep them at the side at this stage.

2degrees mobile is the newest competitor and have so far just offered a prepaid service as well as mobile data bundles attached to said prepaid service. Both Vodafone and Telecom offer a full set of services for personal/business purposes, prepaid/postpaid, a variety of plans with lots of (complicated) rules to get in and out of those offerings.

Today 2degrees mobile have launched their really interesting Pay Monthly offering. This morning I had a quick look at it and was tweeting:

@2degreesmobile Pay monthly is charming. 39$ for 120 mins/600txt plus 20$ for 512/1GB data is much cheaper than @vodafoneNZ and @TelecomNZ

I got some interesting responses from both @2degreesmobile as well as @vodafoneNZ which led into an brief pinging back and forth of further tweets. @vodafoneNZ‘s main argument was that my tweet is a somewhat distorted view on things because it doesn’t inlcude a whole bunch of package deals they offer, e.g. bestmate, TXT2000 etc. There’s some truth to that and I do acknowledge that different people have different requirements. So – how about a challenge for the three incumbents – here’s a scenario with some realistic and reasonably loose defined parameters, come up with a good as well as cheap solution.


Needed is a combination of voice, TXT and data. PXT is nice to have, but not essential. The user has one person on the same network (but said person would be willing to move network with our user) they talk to quite often, about 30 minutes per month. They also regularly send TXTs to each other, about 50 per month. Both pre-paid and post-paid offerings would be fine. No or very short-term (0-3 months) preferred, 12 months doable in case of a decent incentive and a 24 months commitment would have to provide some real big incentives and reasonable break fees (if needed).

Here are some more details:

Voice: 60-120 minutes per month across all networks and landlines in NZ. There’s no need for cheaper or free minutes on weekends or to a specific mobile network. If those are part of a good package deal it’s ok though. The 60-120 minutes already include the 30 minutes to that “special person” from above.

Note: 2degrees has an interesting new concept of “rollover” unused minutes into the next month. That’s fine but shouldn’t play into this, otherwise it’d be an obvious decision for one network.

TXT: Our user normally sends a maximum of 100 TXTs per month across all mobile networks, those include the 50 to the “special person”. In the odd month is might be 150 but many more would be extremely rare.

Data: The user needs a decent amount of mobile data – 500+ MB is considered decent enough. There’s no point in 50/100 MB packages or alike; the user also doesn’t need 2 or 3 GB of data for significant amounts of extra money (if they come part of a package deal that’s otherwise competitive it’s not a show-stopper).

Note: speed is not a concern, e.g. we assume the user doesn’t care about the fact that some mobile networks in NZ might offer better 3G speeds than others.


What I’d like to see from any of the network operators who’re interesting in taking this challenge, is to present me up to three options (I acknowledge that each carrier has their own model of packaging and bundling things – so a bit of flexibility might be needed). Treat this as if I was a customer willing to join your network and potentially leave up to about NZ$1,500-2,000 in your accounts during the next 2 years. If you like, present an option for each no-term, 12 months and 24 months. Or – maybe each of your three offerings is tailored towards voice, txt and data to cater for slightly different user types. Be creative.

Either post into the comments, or ping me an email to kai@(thisdomain) or get in touch with me via Twitter. I look forward to hearing from you. Deadline is close of business today – let’s say 5:30 pm. I’ll write a few more posts about the offered solutions early next week.

2degrees Mobile September 17, 2010 at 12:52 pm

Hello Kai (aka Agent K).

This is pretty simple for us (and we don’t like to make things complicated for our customers anyway!)

We’ve given you two options. One for a person who prefers Prepay and one who’d like to pay later (Pay Monthly).

OPTION 1 – Pay Monthly
1)120 minutes to anyone, anytime and anywhere in NZ
2)600 text to any network, anytime in NZ
3)512MB data
TOTAL: $59.00
(Note this is the purchase of a new 2degrees Pay Monthly no contract, no term plan for $39.00 and a 512MB data pack for $20. Two more important things to note, with Pay Monthly you get to carryover any unused minutes you might have at the end of the month, every month for a year and the 512MB data pack is currently being upsized to 1GB and does only work in our mobile broadband zones).

OPTION 2 – Prepay
1) 100 minutes to anyone, anytime and anywhere in NZ
2) 300 text to any network, anytime in NZ
3) 512MB data.
TOTAL: $50.00
(Note this based on pre-pay top up where if you top up your account with $30 you get 300 FREE text. With your $30 top up purchase an Everyone100 Talk Pack for $30 and then a 512MB data pack (as per the details above) for $20.

The team at 2degrees

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