Spark has been quick to respond to 2degrees’ 3 April announcement of its ‘unlimited’ mobile plans, by launching simultaneously under its Spark and Skinny brands mobile plans that “allow customers to use their mobiles without restriction by providing data without a cap, unlimited voice calling and unlimited texting.”
The CEO of Spark Home Mobile and Business, Jason Paris, took the opportunity to give 2degrees a serve, saying “We’ve seen 2degrees' new ‘unlimited’ plan – and while we like the intent, we believe it leaves customers with as many questions as answers. How can the plan be ‘unlimited’ when 2degrees have said there is a fair use limit? What does ‘fair use’ mean? What experience will a customer receive once 2degrees thinks they have used too much?”
(2degrees says: “Unlimited NZ data is for personal use on a customer’s eligible mobile phone only. Customers must not use unlimited NZ data as a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot, to tether with other devices or use for machine-to-machine communications”)
Rather than impose ‘fair use’ limitations, Spark says: “The first 22GB per month on a Freedom plan runs at full speed on the Spark mobile network. After that time, customers on this plan can continue browsing to their heart’s content but Spark may reduce their speed to protect other mobile and wireless broadband customers’ experience.”
Paris said: “We think this transparent approach allows customers to do what they love on their mobiles – via a sustainable solution that balances some customers’ requirements for large amounts of data with an ongoing reliable network experience for the rest of our customers. We think this is the right model for the New Zealand market.”
However Freedom is, at present, not without its limits. Paris said: “We’re delighted to be able to offer these Freedom plans on a test basis to a limited number of Spark and Skinny Direct customers – and we’re looking forward to getting feedback from customers on how they find them.”
The Spark version will include Spotify Premium and Lightbox for $129.99 a month. The Skinny Direct offering will cost $120 a month. 2degrees’ Unlimited plan is priced at $129 per month.