Telecom soft-launching naked broadband

Telecom Retail CEO Chris Quin

KeallHauled

Chris Keall

Telecom will soft launch a naked broadband service tomorrow.

A hard launch is planned for November (why does all this language sound a little dodgy?)

Telecom has been the only one of the four ISPs not to offer a naked service (that is, broadband over a landline without a traditional home line bundled for voice calls - just the ticket if you're happy making calls over your mobile only, and/or Skype).

Must have a Telecom cellphone
Vodafone offers its cheapest naked broadband landline story to customers who also have their mobile with it.

Telecom goes a step further. Initially its naked service will only be available to customers on its Ultra Mobile cellular plans who also have Ultra VDSL and ADSL 80GB (and above) and landline plans.

The first Telecom naked plans are for copper broadband only. A naked option for UFB fibre will follow in the new year. (Early Telecom UFB customers still have a copper line into their home for voice calls as Telecom is still developing a voice-over-fibre-product.)

"Technical issues" mean naked DSL arrives via a bit of a workaround. A rep explains:

  • With a new Ultra Mobile postpaid mobile plans, customers can now use their landline for broadband, only if it’s on the same account as their mobile. Once they’ve selected from the 80GB, 150GB or 500GB home broadband package, Telecom will then simply disable all inbound and outbound calls from the landline (except 111) and provide a $30 month account credit.
  • ADSL plans & pricing non-discounted here  and Ultra VDSL non-discounted plans & pricing here
  • If the eligible mobile is removed from the account, the credit will be stopped. However the calling bar will remain until customers advise us otherwise.

It's never said it, but the most obvious reason for not supplying a naked broadband service is that it would hasten the demise of Telecom's cash-cow voice business.

Now, with that fast-disappearing anyway, and the competitive landscape changing, Telecom is offering selected customers with larger data caps its new naked service.

More Kiwis going naked - the stats
“The majority of our customers tell us their home landline is still an essential communications tool for connecting with family, friends and business contacts," Telecom CEO Chris Quin says.

"However, there is no doubt that Kiwis are increasingly going mobile..”

When NBR last checked in with IDC early last year (I've got some new figures on the way), the market researcher estimated around 45,000 or 4% of New Zealand households were on naked broadband plans [UPDATE: IDC says there are now 110,000 or 7% of today's broadband population on naked plans).

With CallPlus and Vodafone - who were actively pushing naked DSL - 14% of their customers were on naked plans [UPDATE: Callplus/Slingshot says the figure today is 15%].

That compares to the US, where anywhere from a third to half of households have ditched a traditional landline (depending on which survey you read).

A long time coming, but nice move, Telecom.

ckeall@nbr.co.nz

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11 Comments & Questions

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Any word on whether this would be available for VDSL as well?

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Yes it will be

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Im going naked tomorrow when UFB Fibre is hooked up at home. Had adsl and phone with telecom and now will be saving $43 per month with snap which includes a sip trunk.

The hardest thing in the install process so far was convincing telecom to tranfer my xtra email account on my landline account to my separate Telecom mobile a/c. Otherwise telecom would change $20 per month to keep my xtra email account functioning or disable it. All good in theory see what happens tomorrow.

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No wonder more people are going naked. My home phone rung three times on Monday night at dinner time - two charities and a survey - doesn't happen on my mobile!

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Absolutely. Our house used to get bombed in the evenings by tele-marketers - despite the fact we'd paid extra to have an unlisted number.

Total joy to go mobile-only and leave them behind.

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There's a social consequence to all this: having people who call you, will mean that it incurs a cost to them. There is going to be very little pleasantries exchanged; instead, there will be a sense of urgency in getting the call over as quickly as possible. There won't be much chit-chat, which can be informative. It puts pressure to get the conversation over-and-done-with, especially, on the caller. I'm guessing, that the receiver is blissfully ignorant of the creeping sense of urgency to HTFU if he's prattling on.

And you count on friends and relatives being resentful at the receiver's tightfisted selfishness in having the home contact number being a mobile. Sure it's OK, if you're a social recluse or your name is Nigel No-Friends.

You must be the type of guys who take off your glasses when you're not reading -- to save wearing them out -- and shower by way of the hallway's peripheral light by leaving the bathroom door slightly ajar.

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There is no social consequence to it; I can't remember the last time that I, or anybody that I know, called our home phone. The only people who call it are marketers now so, if it rings, I don't answer anyway and let it go to answerphone.

If I'm planning a long call then I'll do it face-to-face over skype, and a short one is to the mobile using up the inclusive minutes on the contract.

Does anybody actually use their landline for anything other than internet nowadays?

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In all due respects if the only form of social contact is via the telephone then I feel sorry for you. Maybe I'm stuck in some sort of time warp but I'd sooner actually meet the person face to face and have a conversation than believing I'm having a meaningful conversation via a very remote and detached form of communication.

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Telephone marketers are a dinner-time curse
There should be an easy way to stop them?
paleo

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Don't answer the phone while you're eating dinner! Works for me.

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when I worked for Telecom I trialled a VoIP service that had a whitlist and a blacklist - you could block telemarketers effortlessly. If Telecom launched this I'd buy it instantly

So what are the data allowances on this naked offering?

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