Telecom's Freedom Plan - Can anyone compete?

By tonyhughes Hughes, in , posted: 5-Apr-2006 08:19

By now, everyone on the face of my part of the planet should know about Telecom New Zealands Freedom Plan.
A quick rundown, should you not want to follow that nice easy link is this:

Telecom NZ residential landline customers can nominate a few Telecom mobile numbers, and call them virtually unlimited times* for only $10 a month per number. Whats more, this price includes the mobile being able to call the landline too.

* (10,000 minutes a month I beleive, and capped at one hour per individual call - thats over 13 minutes every hour of every day and every night).

Before this, there were possibly an equal number of pros and cons to be on Vodafones mobile network or Telecom network, but surely this has shifted the balance of favour to squarely into Telecoms corner?

How many Vodafone advocates will be unable to ignore the sheer financial windfall that this will create for a lot of people?

How many Telecom customers that might have churned for better handsets or free weekend texting will now stay with the incumbent?

What will Vodafone come up with to counter this? Merely touting their existing strengths may not be enough.

How does Telstra even think about competing with this (in the residential landline market), cheaper tolls?

Those of you overseas might have this deal or similar already (and maybe you have had it for a while, cellphone to cellphone even), but this is big stuff for little ol' New Zealand, and in turbulent times, facing regulation, unbundling, voip, pressure about dsl speeds and caps, Telecom has really pulled a rabbit out of their hat.

I for one will be taking up this service for at least one number, which I will be using for calls I dont currently make, because the level of usage I would want, would cost around $180 to that persons landline, or $600 odd dollars to their cellphone, if I was paying typical per minute rates. Even if calling specials bought the $180 down to $80, Freedom represents huge usage for little money.

Perhaps Vodafone will really put a lot of effort into pitching a one-phone solution this year, and come up with a really good service.

We can only hope.

Oh, and has anybody seen Econet?

Paging Econet Wireless... come in Econet - your time is up....


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Comment by freitasm, on 5-Apr-2006 09:08

Besides the NZ government and the Maori trust which funded Econet, does anyone really believe this operator will ever fly?


Comment by cokemaster, on 5-Apr-2006 09:15

I don't know if any other provider can or will be able to offer this without taking a hit in the pocket (Going over Telecoms network for landlines calls?) As for Econet... the title vaporware suits it - I'll believe it when I see it :)


Comment by antoniosk, on 5-Apr-2006 09:29

It's a great plan. But the rub will be when a SOHO on a residential line - which you can have these days - diverts their landline permanently to their mobile. Telecom know's people will do this - they're not that thick - but there's nothing in their Ts and Cs to say you can't do it. For residential it's a great position - because in reality the vast majority of users will _never_ make that many calls to a nominated mobile number, but Telecom will pocket $10 a month. For the precious few who will use it as a baby monitor, who cares if they do. The majority override the minority - and you can always kick-em off....


Comment by juha, on 5-Apr-2006 09:41

antoniosk: But the rub will be when a SOHO on a residential line - which you can have these days - diverts their landline permanently to their mobile. Telecom know's people will do this - they're not that thick - but there's nothing in their Ts and Cs to say you can't do it.
Well, this is the age of converged telephony after all. Thanks for the tip though :)


Author's note by tonyhughes, on 5-Apr-2006 09:43

hehe... baby monitor... dont go over that one hour cap though!! you could always put your cellphone on auto-answer, call and hang up whenever you like (great for eavesdropping if your phone is on silent...)


Comment by antoniosk, on 5-Apr-2006 14:58

Once upon a time I worked a british phone carrier called one2one (acquired by T-Mobile). They had a marketing proposition which was free calls evenings and weekends - no 'fair use policy'. They also ran 2 for 1 handset deals. People used them as baby monitors, others would setup a call and leave it going BECAUSE THEY COULD. Customers, huh? Some just won't do what the business plan says they will do


Comment by techremarks, on 5-Apr-2006 18:28

Of course no one can compete! Why do you think Telecom is doing this in the first place? :-) (Covered the Telecom strategy in an article on techremarks.) I think we will see more and more bundling like this by Telecom. In essence, they are doing what no one else can.


Comment by sbiddle, on 6-Apr-2006 17:36

QUOTE: It's a great plan. But the rub will be when a SOHO on a residential line - which you can have these days - diverts their landline permanently to their mobile. Telecom know's people will do this - they're not that thick - but there's nothing in their Ts and Cs to say you can't do it. UNQUOTE But this is Telecom's issue with allowing Vodafone access to local PSTN numbers for such a service - for a call to be a local "free" call it has to terminate on a PSTN network - if you leave your mobile on 24/7 it's in breach of Telecom's own T&C's. All Vodafone need to point out to the com com that if it's fine for Telecom to do such a thing then why can't we?


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