Optus has given no indication of expected uptake of the 3G Home Zone - it had about 200 users on the commercial pilot, but unless coverage in the home is particularly poor it seems unlikely that many customers will be attracted to the service, at $15 per month on a two year contract - which will not be synchronised with their existing Optus contract.
Included call value on higher priced plans is becoming increasingly generous as competition intensifies (Optus MVNO Amaysim for example offer unlimited calls for $39.90 per month) so for customers on $59 and above plans the unlimited call offer might not have great appeal.
Optus however has made clear that what is on offer today is very much a first cut at the service and changes are in the pipeline. For example the unlimited call offer is billed as a limited time offer to 31 August but Optus has indicated that it will be replaced with something at least equally attractive.
One of the most appealing features of the unit for customers, if the in-home tariffing is sufficiently attractive, could be that it removes the price barrier to using the mobile phone. For most people their mobile device has all their contact information is likely to be their preferred option for making calls - all other things being equal.
And while the initial pricing offers no concessions for multiple users this is likely to come, enabling Optus, potentially, to persuade entire households to churn to the Optus network.
However there is another perhaps more significant benefit for Optus: every femtocell installed takes traffic off the main Optus network freeing up capacity for other users and delaying the need to upgrade.
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