Tuesday, 05 September 2017 08:13

Mobile provider OVO bids to provide an NBN alternative Featured


Australia's fixed broadband speeds never do the nation proud. Mobile speeds, however, are among the best. But the one thing that prevents people depending on mobile accounts for their Internet use is data quotas. Mobile provider OVO is trying to remedy this.

To this end, OVO has come up with a pre-paid plan that offers 100GB for $100 a month, a data allocation that could well meet the data needs of some Internet users.

OVO chief executive Matt Jones (below, right) told iTWire that the new plan was in keeping with those offered by the company this year: in March, there was a plan offering 30GB, then in June came a 50GB plan.

He said OVO was driven to create the plan because of the disappointment that people had experienced with the NBN. "We expected a Rolls-Royce, what we have got is a rusty bicycle," Jones said.

OVO has a free geo-based speed test service set up at notbloodynecessary.com so prospective users can see what speeds they are actually getting before they decide on a switch.

matt jonesAn OVO statement pointed out that its newest plan offered the largest pre-paid mobile data allowance at a low per-gigabit price for mobile broadband.

"As a 4G mobile broadband plan, it could also offer superior speed and reliability compared to fixed broadband for many households. It is portable, can be activated in hours of receiving the SIM, doesn't require weeks or months of waiting to get connected and is connection fee-free, with no lock-in contracts," the statement claimed.

Said Jones: "Despite the billions being spent on upgrading Australia's fixed broadband infrastructure, it remains slow and expensive by international standards. And I speak as one of the many, many Australians who are sick of hearing about why that is and who's to blame − we just want it to work, where and when we want it. 

"As a mobile company, we're in a position where we can do something about that, and we have. We're offering something that really does prove that fixed broadband, for a significant number of people in this country, is Not Bloody Necessary." 

Jones said the speed, reliability, ready availability and portability of mobile broadband were all advantages, "particularly compared to fixed broadband that is plagued with connection delays and impacted by weather and the quality of the connection to the home. And for the majority of Australian households that will consume less than 100GB of data a month, it's an immediate fix to the constant buffering and drop-outs experienced when we all sit down of an evening to stream the latest episode of our favourite TV show". 

"Up to now, the two things that were preventing mobile broadband being an attractive alternative to fixed were price and data allowances.  With the introduction of our 100GB prepaid mobile data plan for $100 per 30 days, we've eliminated both of those problems."

Jones said providing a means for fixed broadband users to test their bandwidth was so everyone could make sure that mobile broadband would provide a viable alternative. 

"Mobile data coverage is great for more than 95% of Australia's population, but the first step in making a switch is making sure you're one of that number. We've set up notbloodynecessary.com to help people make an informed choice, and share their experiences to help their neighbours do the same," he said. 

"A big reason for that is that in our experience, most people simply don't know what their options are and they are all wondering is it me, or is everyone having such big issue with their fixed Internet? With notbloodynecessary.com, they can quickly find out if their fixed broadband speed is better or worse than what else is available."

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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