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New mobile operator Yatango has cut a deal with Kogan Mobile to give its customers continuity of service.

When ispONE called in Administrators on Monday afternoon, it took Optus less than an hour to put out a statement offering Kogan Mobile customers a special half price deal.

Now rival MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) Yatango, which uses the Optus network, has gone a step further by cutting a deal with Kogan that makes it very easy for its customers to move.

Under the arrangement, Kogan Mobile customers who sign up to Yatango will be offered a 30-day free trial which will include unlimited voice and texts and 6GB of data. Kogan Mobile customers will be provided a unique coupon code to redeem the free trial through Yatango.

It is an exclusive arrangement. Andy Taylor, founder and CEO of Yatango, told iTWire that Kogan would not be announcing a similar deal with anyone else. “We have worked hard with Kogan Mobile to give their customers a compelling offer to help with the transition.

“We found our philosophy is aligned with Kogan’s – we both want the best deal for the customer.” When iTWire asked him who approached whom, he said “it just sort of happened,” and that the deal was negotiated directly between himself and Kogan Mobile founder Ruslan Kogan.

Under the deal Yatango is offering Kogan Mobile customers one month of access free with no obligations or commitments. During that month, they will get 6GB of data usage and unlimited calls and text.

Details of the deal are at: www.yatangomobile.com.au/kogan-offer/

At the end of the 30-day free trial users will be provided with a summary of their mobile and data usage as well as a recommended personalised plan customised to their specific needs. Taylor said that is Yatango’s differentiator – software that allows users to monitor and tailor their data plans to suit the usage patterns.

“We aren’t trying to compete on price,” he told iTWire. “That has been shown to be unsustainable. But we can compete on value.

“Australian mobile customers need to know that they don’t have to accept the inevitability of overspend or ‘devil in the detail’ of traditional operators. There are other options available that offer greater simplicity, control and transparency,” Taylor said.

“Over 80% of Australians are paying more than they need to for their mobile services each month. We’re about putting a stop to this trend, helping consumers to fight-back and make educated decisions about what they do and don’t need to pay for.

“In light of this week’s news, we encourage Kogan Mobile customers to continue to challenge the status quo and seek out providers that help them to understand their usage - once you understand your usage, you can save money. Our data shows that 90% of customers who switch to Yatango save money.” Taylor said.

Yatango was launched only in February. It recently secured a significant angel round of funding from a number of high net worth individuals. This follows an initial amount raised in a seed round closed in December 2012.

Taylor said the new round of funding will enable Yatango to further invest in R&D and scale its Australian operations, while readying it for international expansion. It believes its business model is applicable to the US and UK markets.

“We’re a tech company, not a telco. We plug the telcos into our system, not the other way round. Out system gives the user transparency – we’re sort of a telco SaaS model. People pay only of what they use. And we have no dependence on any one carrier.”

Taylor said many of the ideas for Yatango came from his marketing work with Kiwi carrier 2degrees, New Zealand’s most successful MVNO.

expansion.

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Graeme Philipson

Graeme Philipson is senior associate editor at iTWire and editor of sister publication CommsWire. He is also founder and Research Director of Connection Research, a market research and analysis firm specialising in the convergence of sustainable, digital and environmental technologies. He has been in the high tech industry for more than 30 years, most of that time as a market researcher, analyst and journalist. He was founding editor of MIS magazine, and is a former editor of Computerworld Australia. He was a research director for Gartner Asia Pacific and research manager for the Yankee Group Australia. He was a long time IT columnist in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, and is a recipient of the Kester Award for lifetime achievement in IT journalism.

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