Slingshot is to offer unlimited internet for $79.95 a month from next week.
The plan will be unique in New Zealand, where monthly data restrictions are the norm.
NBR understands Vodafone will also make a major move next week, unveiling a so-called “naked DSL plan”; that is, allowing a customer to get a broadband-only landline, using the internet, or a mobile, for all their calls.
And in a third major play, 2degrees is gearing up to offer one-month plans, a movepreempted earlier this month by Vodafone with its own one-month term deals. The telco is now collecting registrations of interest through its website.
CallPlus/Slingshot chief executive Mark Callander told NBR he sees a potential pool of up to 100,000 “power users that would be attracted to such a deal.”
Specifically, he’s targeting 60,000 or so cast adrift when Telecom axed its Go Large plan, some of whom signed up for its short-lived successor Big Time, which was given the chop on May 20.
One limit on the unlimited deal
For the immediate future, CallPlus will have a limit on its unlimited data plan - only 10,000 customers will be allowed to sign up for it.
Mr Callander said the customer number restriction was to allow Slingshot (the consumer sub-brand of CallPlus) to “get a feel for behaviour.”
Telecom’s Go Large plan foundered after Consumer pointed out its fine print did place usage limits on customers. Big Time “shaped” or throttled down speeds for unlimited data customers during the internet’s peak-use hours – just the time when power users want to start pumping down all-you-can-eat data.
Depending on update, and how traffic flows went, Mr Callander said the 10,000 customer limit could be lifted in two to three months.
The unlimited data plans would be profitable from the get-go, Mr Callander said.
The Callplus/Slingshot boss said Telecom scored 60,000 customers in four months during the Go Large frenzy, and video and other data-intensive content has only increased since then.
There would be no throttling at any time of day on the all-you-can-eat Slingshot data plan, and no restriction on peer-to-peer downloads, Mr Callander said, although some traffic, such as Skype and other VoIP calls, would be prioritised.
The all-you-can-eat Slingshot deal will only be available for customers on Callplus/Slingshot's own network - that is Telecom exchanges where the company has installed its own gear under local loop unbundling (LLU). "We have nine exchanges live with another 28 scheduled for completion in the next 3 months for 37 in total Mr Callander told NBR.
The Slingshot all-you-can-eat data plan will be available nationwide.
But Mr Callander said customers could expect the best performance on exchanges where the companies LLU alliance partners, Vodafone, Orcon and Compass, over unbundled service.
"As you would expect, the user experience on our unbundled network will be superior as it does not have the handover and backhaul constraints when compared to the Telecom network," Mr Callander said.
Fri, 13 Aug 2010