Kiwi youth in mind as Bigpipe targets Uni kind

“We’re not trying to be everything to everybody,” says Oliver Smith, Head of Bigpipe, talking to Computerworld New Zealand.

With 2015 fast approaching, and telecom operators actively changing their target demographic, Spark-owned internet service provider Bigpipe aims to become the embodiment of youth across New Zealand.

“We’re not trying to be everything to everybody,” says Oliver Smith, Head of Bigpipe, talking to Computerworld New Zealand.

Since launching, rather quietly, in February of this year, the ISP is slowly emerging from the shadows, launching three new Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) plans in October and it aims to capture a specific breed of New Zealanders.

“We’ve had a quiet first nine months but now we feel confident we have a viable product that is attractive to Kiwis,” Smith adds.

Targeting an area previously neglected by Spark, formerly Telecom, the majority of Bigpipe’s new clients fall into the “born after 1980” bracket, a group mindful of the benefits of UFB, the need for flexibility and data concessions.

“We’re rolling out in Wellington, Dunedin and hopefully Palmerston North in February next year,” Smith explains, “which perfectly ties into our target market of students returning to university.

“It’s a big time of year for students and we’re finding what we are selling is becoming very attractive to them - they prefer no contracts and unlimited data.”

While the number of subscribers remain commercially sensitive, Smith insists Bigpipe’s uptake is “tracking in line with forecast”, before pointing out that the young ISP is “not massive, but we never intended to be.”

“We made sure we got our offer right for customers before spending a stack of money implementing the service,” he adds. “It’s against the corporate approach of committing to 2/3 years of development before launching a huge rollout and hopping it works.

“We're much more down the road of launching a product that can be changed subtly depending on customer feedback, then we look to go bigger.”

Like Spark, operators are increasingly investing time and effort into targeting the youth market, a move which Smith hopes will pay dividends for Bigpipe.

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