Wednesday, 07 February 2018 03:12

OVO brings more data for the money in competitive MVNO market

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Competition is strong in the MVNO space, with Kogan Mobile an especially competitive rival to all, but with innovative inclusions able to make one network more valuable than the other on more than just price, customers in the know are always the beneficiaries.

On top of offering plans with unlimited voice and text to Australian numbers, OVO is offering brand new data inclusions on the Large $34.95 plan increased from 8GB to 10GB per 30 days, and the Extra Large $49.95 plan from 14GB to 19GB per month, among a range of exclusive, data-free video content and data-free FM radio streaming.

Also, those on OVO's Data SIM "Mega plan" who were paying $79.95 for 70GB over 30 days, are now being "automatically migrated" to OVO's great "100GB for $69.95 prepaid mobile broadband plan", if they hadn't already changed of their own accord when the newly lowered $69.95 price for 100GB was originally announced in late September last year.

The data-free live radio is from The Hit Network and Triple M, while unlimited data-free motorsport on Ovo's app includes the 400 Thunder Professional Drag Racing Series, Formula Drift and World Superbikes, while you can also enjoy data-free sport from Gymnastics Australia and Water Polo Australia with more sporting partners promised to come "soon".

In addition, all of OVO Mobile plans come with a free Family Zone cyber safety account which is great for keeping your kids safe online, which is a great inclusion to keep the mobile devices you allow your children to use safe from age-inappropriate content.

The extra content would be especially of interest to fans of those sports and events, but for everyone else, we also look at the amount of data and anything else that is offered to compete against plans by Amaysim, Vaya, Kogan Mobile, Coles Mobile, Woolworths Mobile, Aldi Mobile and many others including the major telcos themselves and their own sub-brands like Boost, Virgin Mobile, Belong and others also trying to attract the same customers with their own data and content inclusions, too.

So the Large $34.95 plan now delivers 10GB of data instead of 8GB, over a 30-day period, with unlimited talk and text in Australia and 50 international minutes. It also won Money Magazine 2017's Winner: Best Value Mobile Plan – High Usage award.

The Extra Large $49.95 plan now offers 19GB and 500 minutes of calls to selected international countries, with "WhatPhone Awards" awarding its "2017 Best plans and 2017 Best plans with Entertainment" awards, so how do they both compare with others?

For $30 over 28 days, Amaysim gives 5GB and unlimited standard calls to 10 countries, Vaya gives 10GB for $36, Kogan Mobile normally charges $29.90 for 6GB and $36.90 for 16GB.

Aldi Mobile charges $35 for 9GB over 30 days, but also offers data rollover for unused data, with data rollover and even data gifting something Belong differentiates itself with.

It's a similar story with the $49.95 price range. Kogan Mobile gives 23GB for $49.95, at the normal price for a single month, cheaper per month if you pre-pay for 90 or 365 days in advance, but no international calls or content offerings.

Amaysim gives 20GB for $50, and while it's only for 28 days, you do get lots of international calls included, too.

Coles gives 10GB for $40, but offers 35 day expiry and up to 250 standard international minutes, but no content deals.

So, there's more competition than there has ever been, while we've seen more focused content than ever before, too, to especially appeal to the fans of the content on offer.

Talking about the increased data allocations in the updated Large and Extra Large plans, OVO CEO Matt Jones said: "This is all part of our Fans First Promise, which includes regularly increasing the value of our plans and then automatically passing this onto our existing customers − not just creating special offers that are only available to new customers.

"It’s about giving the fans what they want. When we ask our subscribers what they'd like more of, the most common response by far is data. When we saw the opportunity to give them more data at no extra cost, we took it.

"Subscribers to these plans don't need to do anything to get access to these automatic data cap increases. They'll simply show up the next time they recharge their prepaid accounts."

Thus, the cycle of competition continues, but with 19+ GB size plans on offer at the $49.95 price point, and good plans below that in lower priced increments, mobile users have ever greater amounts of wireless 3G and 4G LTE data available to them than ever before, when they're in between Wi-Fi hotspots at home, work and various places when out and about.

More data on your plan means greater flexibility when out and about, and better security when you're on your own network rather than sharing some public Wi-Fi hotspot with hundreds of other users or more on the network at the same time.

So, with plenty of choice, choose wisely, and with number portability and pre-paid MVNO plans making it easy to switch as takes your fancy, it's never been easier or better to find an MVNO provider or telco that's right for you, and has the inclusions that make the biggest difference to you.

Enjoy, and know that our golden age of super affordable telecommunications and data is only getting better with 5G, faster Wi-Fi standards and more bringing an ever faster future over the next few years to us all.

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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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