Home Industry Telecoms & NBN Lebara lets customers earn more credit or data by viewing ads

Earning extra credit or data by watching ads is claimed as world-first homegrown technology, used by Lebara, built by Melbourne-based Unlockd and dubbed Lebara Plus.

Mobile virtual network operator Lebara says that, for the first time, Australians will be able to top up their mobile phone credit and data without paying extra.

Not only is it a first, it is thanks to homegrown technology that is also being adopted by the world’s top telcos - not just Lebara in Australia.

Lebara points to mobile data usage growing by 70% annually, which is thus leading to more and more customers ‘having to top up before their monthly plan renews.’

So, in a clear effort to differentiate from all the other MVNOs out there, Lebara has introduced ‘Lebara Plus,’ which lets its customers ‘earn extra credit or 2GB of data, worth up to $20, by choosing to periodically view advertisements and special deals when they unlock their phone.’

The company’s commercial director, Michael Baxter said: “Many Lebara customers, who are heavy data users, will typically top up their data allowance half-way through the month,” said Lebara Mobile Australia commercial director Michael Baxter.

“Lebara Plus will give our customers in Australia the option of earning free credit or data, in return for targeted advertising.”

Thus far, the advertising invasion is limited to Android users, which will either give iPhone users a sigh of relief, or will cause some to wonder why they can’t join the ad-driven credit party.

With Lebara Plus, Android users will be able to ‘add extra credit or 2GB of data to their account for free by viewing ads and special deals about every third time they unlock their handset.’

There is no minimum time limit for viewing the ads and they can be closed immediately.

Lebara says that Android users account for 65% of its customers and 84% of smartphone users globally, and points to Telsyte research which states that ‘Android smartphone sales in Australia have overtaken those of the iPhone in the first half of the year and are expected to rise.’

So, where has this technology come from, which some will equate to a technological telephonic terror on par with the Death Star, and which others will see as a nirvana of customer and advertising engagement that delivers extra customer loyalty?

The technology has been created by Melbourne company Unlockd, which is backed by some of Australia’s leading business pioneers including Matt Rockman (Seek.com), Andrew Walsh (Hitwise) and Gabby and Hezi Leibovich (Catch of the Day).

The claimed ‘world-first ad technology’ will also be launched in the US early in 2016 by a major national phone carrier - but which carrier this is has been kept secret for now.

Unlockd CEO, Matt Berriman said: “We are excited to help Lebara Mobile blaze a trail for Australian phone companies and help consumers get more out of their mobile plans.

“Australian customers have the first chance to use this technology, but by next year it will be available around the globe.”

The story in numbers:

  • Mobile phone data usage is growing 70 per cent every year
  • 1 in 5 Lebara users currently buys extra data on top of their monthly plan
  • An extra 1GB of data typically costs $10 with most plans
  • Lebara Plus will give users extra credit or an extra 2GB of data
  • Ads will be displayed at a rate of about 1 in 3 unlocks, based on usage trends

Eligibility details

  • Lebara Plus can be used by customers who spend $20 or more per month to earn 2GB of extra data from October 27
  • Lebara Plus can be used to earn extra credit from November 9
  • The Lebara Plus credit or data boost will be available to each user once per month

More details on the Unlockd company can be seen in this iTWire article entitled: 'Big hitter investors get behind Unlockd launch of 'revolutionary' smartphone tech.'

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

 

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