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83 posts

Master Geek
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# 38976 6-Aug-2009 23:23
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Attached is a chart I made for comparing how much each network (and postpaid/prepaid) costs for different types of usage, I was rather surprised at some of the results. 

Download the PDF here

If you have suggestions for more scenarios, or better quantities for existing scenarios, I am more than happy to consider them.

Any errors that are noticed, let me know and I will fix them as quickly as possible. If you would like to see the working behind the charts, I have no problem uploading them on request.

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1937 posts

Uber Geek
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  # 243763 7-Aug-2009 06:24
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Cool charts!!

I made a simple comparison table at: http://www.iphonewzealand.co.nz/2009/all/prepay-comparison-table/ but what you've done is cool :)

What I would call "extreme usage patterns" like you have outlined will always yield interesting results. Unfortunately the "grey areas" that many people's usage falls into lead to difficult choices and at the end of the day they could easily pay more in one month that they would on another network through slight usage shifts!

I wasn't clever enough to make an algorithm where you can plug in your call/txt usage and get the cost on each network. Perhaps you are clever enough? :)

Also one thing to bear in mind is that Both Vodafone or Telecom charge a full 30c for international txts and they are never included in txt bundles. On 2 degrees they are only 9c of the country you txt is on their list of 21.

Great work :) I will look in more detail when I am off my iPhone

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  # 243772 7-Aug-2009 07:03
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Just one point I thought of that is too difficult to incorporate into such charts.

Vodafone Supa Prepay offers $2 for 2 hours off peak calling as well as free txt or call weekends when you spend $5 or $10 Mon to Fri.

Your tables show situations where the $10 spend requirement would be met but it is too hard to further determine what proportion of calls would be free (on-net off-peak).

That's why people are calling for simpler to understand pricing structure. I like how 2deg doesn't promote their price rate as being "Fromm 22c per min" in the interests of simpler to understand pricing. They simply state 44c per min which is already cheaper than most networks - then "magic" simply makes it cheaper but it is a "bonus" rather than a 22c rate being promoted to give the perception of being even cheaper.

 
 
 
 




83 posts

Master Geek
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  # 243800 7-Aug-2009 08:42
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I had already thought about making a website with a best plan calculator, the two things that are holding me back are lack of ability with PHP/ASP/.NET, and the insane number of plans that Vodafone have. Maybe it's something I will start putting together in my free time, but it'll take a while.

With the $2 for 2 hours off-peak thing on Supa Prepay, I think it is probably one of those things (like free TXT weekends from a couple of years ago) that you only use them because they are there, not because you would normally call during those hours.

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  # 243803 7-Aug-2009 08:51
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Agree with you about the number of plans/permutations. I tried to start something in Excel (I don't have other skills) and gave up due to complications.

But your comments about $2/2hrs and free weekends are not correct unless you presume that all calling usage on your plans is performed Monday to Friday 7am to 7pm.

I find it hard to believe that even heavy business users would not use their phones off-peak. They won't just find someone to call for free "just because it is there".

The consequences are that:

1. Any calls made off-peak on-net get "capped" after 2 minutes at $2, reducing call costs slightly (let's presume the user isn't out to make a 2 hour call as such, but just happens to make a call at 8pm which they would have made regardless of the capping or not)

2. Any weekend calls and TXTs to other Vodafone mobiles are not charged at all.

The savings vary of course depending on how many calls are made during off-peak hours. I agree that heavy users are likely to be business users that predominantly call during peak-times. But nonetheless some savings are there to be made.

It's a moot point though - anyone with that heavy a usage will be on a Vodafone plan instead of prepay (or NEEDS to be!!).



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Master Geek
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  # 243810 7-Aug-2009 09:08
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I don't think I have ever met a person that calls lots and uses prepay, prepay users almost always SMS thanks to our screwed up pricing.

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  # 243811 7-Aug-2009 09:09
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I just realised that you didn't know about the per minute billing on Vodafone prepay (not on account, although free minutes are always billed per minute I believe on any network).

It probably won't make too much of a difference (Telecom would argue it does though), but then I don't know how you would factor second billing into your tables.

People don't just make "300 x 1 minute calls" and I don't know the average call length. Nor how to best average out the savings on a per second billing regime after the first minute :)

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  # 243813 7-Aug-2009 09:10
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tumnasgt: I don't think I have ever met a person that calls lots and uses prepay, prepay users almost always SMS thanks to our screwed up pricing.

I agree but your charts include the prepaid pricing for such a person ;)

324 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  # 243832 7-Aug-2009 09:49
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Pretty clear from the charts that 2degrees launch is pitched at callers. Article in the Herald today about the investor from Trilogy Partners describing NZ's mobile usage patterns and pricing as stuck in the '80s.

For everyone whinging about the lack of txt plans - thats the point! Cheaper calls and less wearing out your thumbs ...

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  # 243835 7-Aug-2009 09:57
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I for one welcome the lack of TXT plans (for now).

At first I was worried about 2 Degrees uptake given the strong opposition to those writing on the 2D facebook wall at lack of TXT plans.

Then as I read more of the comments here, I realised that these make no money for the networks involved.

IMO the sooner these disappear the better. As it currently stands, "Callers" are paying 89c/min to subsidise the lifestyles of piggy-backing TXTers. I could be wrong in my way of thinking though, and happy to be corrected.

I'd like 2 Degrees to have some sort of TXT plan perhaps, but only at 100/150/250 sort of levels, certainly not in the order of 1000-2000. Not fussed right now though. Data is far more important to me.

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  # 243837 7-Aug-2009 10:18
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nice charts. good work.
Simple, easy to understand.


One possible scenario that i think si definitely worth considering is that for a considerable number of people, only one or two numbers account for a very high proportion of their calling and TXTing. (I think I've seen 80% or so quoted, and anecdotatally, my wife's itemised bill is >90% my number)


I suspect that the $6 unlimited calling plans would make a huge difference to most people, with the probably exception of businesses like tradesmen where they make a lot of calls to lots of numbers.

e.g., if your heavy caller (300 minutes) has a 2 x best mate option (wife and girlfriend :P ), and 150 (75%) of his 200 mob minutes are to those 2 best mates, then those 150 mins will only cost him $12 total on Voda or Telecom (even less with the top up bonuses on Telecom), instead of ~$130 on prepaid or.
Similarly, for the same user, with one best mate, even if the best mate only accounted for 50 of the 200 mob minutes, then XT one rate 250 would only cost $99+$6 = $105, instead of $110 on 2D

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  # 243844 7-Aug-2009 10:35
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Let's face it, they are doing a progressive rollout. Anyone that would launch all plans and options on day one is asking for trouble, just look at how the on-line account management turned out. Once 3G is rolled out, then we can complain about lack of plans and this and that. In the mean time, enjoy any cheap services while they last. And thus one reason why I did not port my number but instead just changed it to be similar to my VF number. Best of both worlds.

Then again, I TXT a couple of times a month and make 1 call a year... For me it is cheaper to have one service provider instead of having to keep 2 accounts active with annual top-ups.




You can never have enough Volvos!


1937 posts

Uber Geek
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  # 243845 7-Aug-2009 10:37
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Haha Niel. That sounds like my kind of usage :p Not through lack of financial means but through lack of refusal to pay the asking price!

324 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  # 243868 7-Aug-2009 11:47
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NonprayingMantis: nice charts. good work.
Simple, easy to understand.


One possible scenario that i think si definitely worth considering is that for a considerable number of people, only one or two numbers account for a very high proportion of their calling and TXTing. (I think I've seen 80% or so quoted, and anecdotatally, my wife's itemised bill is >90% my number)


I suspect that the $6 unlimited calling plans would make a huge difference to most people, with the probably exception of businesses like tradesmen where they make a lot of calls to lots of numbers.

e.g., if your heavy caller (300 minutes) has a 2 x best mate option (wife and girlfriend :P ), and 150 (75%) of his 200 mob minutes are to those 2 best mates, then those 150 mins will only cost him $12 total on Voda or Telecom (even less with the top up bonuses on Telecom), instead of ~$130 on prepaid or.
Similarly, for the same user, with one best mate, even if the best mate only accounted for 50 of the 200 mob minutes, then XT one rate 250 would only cost $99+$6 = $105, instead of $110 on 2D


You see I come at this the other way.

If they ever go down the path of best-mates, txt plans, on-net calling etc, then all that occurs is the more casual user ends up paying.  Before long there is plan proliferation, consumer confusion (as many end up on the wrong plan), and then they're nothing more than a Vf ....

I hope they retain the focus on cheaper calling for everyone, regardless on usage pattern, and likewise when they move to 3G, one rate for data (obviously cheaper than the current going-rate).

I despise the current business models ...

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Uber Geek
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  # 243875 7-Aug-2009 11:57
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walt12:
NonprayingMantis: nice charts. good work.
Simple, easy to understand.


One possible scenario that i think si definitely worth considering is that for a considerable number of people, only one or two numbers account for a very high proportion of their calling and TXTing. (I think I've seen 80% or so quoted, and anecdotatally, my wife's itemised bill is >90% my number)


I suspect that the $6 unlimited calling plans would make a huge difference to most people, with the probably exception of businesses like tradesmen where they make a lot of calls to lots of numbers.

e.g., if your heavy caller (300 minutes) has a 2 x best mate option (wife and girlfriend :P ), and 150 (75%) of his 200 mob minutes are to those 2 best mates, then those 150 mins will only cost him $12 total on Voda or Telecom (even less with the top up bonuses on Telecom), instead of ~$130 on prepaid or.
Similarly, for the same user, with one best mate, even if the best mate only accounted for 50 of the 200 mob minutes, then XT one rate 250 would only cost $99+$6 = $105, instead of $110 on 2D


You see I come at this the other way.

If they ever go down the path of best-mates, txt plans, on-net calling etc, then all that occurs is the more casual user ends up paying.  Before long there is plan proliferation, consumer confusion (as many end up on the wrong plan), and then they're nothing more than a Vf ....

I hope they retain the focus on cheaper calling for everyone, regardless on usage pattern, and likewise when they move to 3G, one rate for data (obviously cheaper than the current going-rate).

I despise the current business models ...


I'm not making any value judgement about whether their pricing is good or bad for the market,  but the fact is if you fit the profile where a large proportion of your calling only going to one or two numbers (which I suspect most people do, and did before the best mate offerings came out) then you will probably be better off price wise on Telecom or Voda.  You only have to call your friend for more than ~13 mins/month (26 mins if you get the magic topup) at 2D pricing to make the voda or XT offer better value for those calls.
If your calling pattern is more widely spread, or very low in total, then you will probably better off price wise on 2D.

324 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  # 243877 7-Aug-2009 11:59
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NonprayingMantis:
walt12:
NonprayingMantis: nice charts. good work.
Simple, easy to understand.


One possible scenario that i think si definitely worth considering is that for a considerable number of people, only one or two numbers account for a very high proportion of their calling and TXTing. (I think I've seen 80% or so quoted, and anecdotatally, my wife's itemised bill is >90% my number)


I suspect that the $6 unlimited calling plans would make a huge difference to most people, with the probably exception of businesses like tradesmen where they make a lot of calls to lots of numbers.

e.g., if your heavy caller (300 minutes) has a 2 x best mate option (wife and girlfriend :P ), and 150 (75%) of his 200 mob minutes are to those 2 best mates, then those 150 mins will only cost him $12 total on Voda or Telecom (even less with the top up bonuses on Telecom), instead of ~$130 on prepaid or.
Similarly, for the same user, with one best mate, even if the best mate only accounted for 50 of the 200 mob minutes, then XT one rate 250 would only cost $99+$6 = $105, instead of $110 on 2D


You see I come at this the other way.

If they ever go down the path of best-mates, txt plans, on-net calling etc, then all that occurs is the more casual user ends up paying.  Before long there is plan proliferation, consumer confusion (as many end up on the wrong plan), and then they're nothing more than a Vf ....

I hope they retain the focus on cheaper calling for everyone, regardless on usage pattern, and likewise when they move to 3G, one rate for data (obviously cheaper than the current going-rate).

I despise the current business models ...


I'm not making any value judgement about whether their pricing is good or bad for the market,  but the fact is if you fit the profile where a large proportion of your calling only going to one or two numbers (which I suspect most people do, and did before the best mate offerings came out) then you will probably be better off price wise on Telecom or Voda.  You only have to call your friend for more than ~13 mins/month (26 mins if you get the magic topup) at 2D pricing to make the voda or XT offer better value for those calls.
If your calling pattern is more widely spread, or very low in total, then you will probably better off price wise on 2D.


Agreed, and isn't it nice to have a choice?

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