New Zealand retail brand Mighty Ape is getting into the telco market and offering unlimited, high-speed data on prepay mobile plans with a policy of never throttling customers to lower speeds.
Mighty Mobile is asking for $80 per month or $799 per year for its top tier plan, which promises unlimited data at the maximum possible speed - including 5G where available.
There is also a $50 per month plan capped at 50Mbps and a $40 per month plan capped at 10Mbps.
On all three plans customers are permitted to hotspot from their device at no extra cost, but they are for individual use and a fair use policy applies. All plans also include unlimited calls and texts to standard numbers in Aotearoa and Australia.
Mighty Ape has partnered with One NZ (formerly Vodafone) for the offering and will be using the telco's existing network.
Initial customers don't have the option of global roaming, but Mighty Mobile said this would be available as a paid add-on by the end of 2023.
"For over a decade, we've lived up to our mission to deliver a great online shopping experience to New Zealanders across the country," said Gracie MacKinlay, CEO of Mighty Ape and Mighty Mobile.
"Now we're extending our commitment by launching into the telco market with Mighty Mobile, providing an unbeatable prepaid mobile experience as well as a competitive edge to what's already on offer in the market. Through our plans, Kiwis get to experience the stress-free luxury of unlimited data at great prices, all the while enjoying the excellent coverage through One NZ's network."
Mighty Mobile will be a digital-only service, meaning it won't have any physical stores and customer support will only be provided through online chat with no option to talk to someone over the phone.
One CEO Jason Paris said that model is something we're likely to see a lot more of soon.
"When was the last time you called Netflix? A lot of people use Netflix. Look at the banking industry, which caters for all demographics - most customers there would prefer now to transfer money or pay a bill on their app versus going into a physical store or calling a call centre," Paris told Newshub.
"The telco industry needs to catch up a little bit and make it easier for people, regardless of how technically savvy they are, to use a mobile phone or a website to help themselves."
To join Mighty Mobile, customers will sign up online and be sent a SIM card. They will need to buy their own phone separately or use one they already have.
While customers won't be able to go to a One store if they have an issue or contact a One call centre, it is One staff who will be powering the live chat support.
Paris said Mighty Mobile is a great way to trial a digital only service and that One may roll out its own in future.
"We are a large telco, we have retail stores and call centres. We see a massive demand for customers to actually not have that sort of service in the first place, but then if they do need service to self-serve through the app or website," he said.
"We've kind of trained customers so if they have an issue, they call our call centre. That can be painful for them and it costs us a lot of money. So this way of launching a brand that is a digital only model and seeing if a large number of customers will enjoy the digital only experience - that's a good test bed for us that we could then maybe deploy at scale within our own organisation."
Mighty Mobile SIM cards can be ordered from Wednesday. The company is offering a 50 percent discount on the first three months for people who sign up before the end of the week.