Mobile carrier 2degrees now sells data in time blocks as well as by the gigabyte. Data Clock is an app for pre-pay customers to manage time-based data purchases.
Data Clock allows prepay customers to buy five minutes of data for 50 cents. Ten minutes cost 60 cents. An hour is $1.50. Customers can buy 12 hours for $4 and 24 hours for $61.
These prices are not set in stone. 2degrees is using a form of dynamic pricing. This means data can cost less when demand is low — say, during the wee small hours. On the flip side it means data can cost more during busy periods, that’s most likely the evening peak.
Data Clock restrictions
Data Clock does not allow tethering or a phone used as a Wi-Fi hotspot. 2degrees says it is for personal use only.
As with the recent 2degrees unlimited data plan, there is an excessive use clause, so it may not be a fill-your-boots option for users wanting a lot of data.
2degrees says selling time blocks makes sense for customers who don’t know how much data it takes to do things online like read mail, browse the web or watch video.
While that may be true, data has been around long enough for most people to grasp the general idea. If anything time blocks can make life more complicated, especially for people who have always-on apps using a trickle of background data.
At times you’ll want this
It is a great offer for people who may need to use a lot of extra data over a short period. Say when you’re working away from base. Most plans are for people who use the same amount of data each month. If your use is lumpy, this fills the gaps.
One negative aspect of time pricing is that it can reward a carrier for running an inefficient network. It takes longer to download files at slow network speeds. It can mean 2degrees earns more for slow downloads than for quick ones.
Despite potential flaws, hats off to 2degrees for innovating. The company seems determined to ramp up competition, especially for low-end customers.
It’s also away to improve the amount of revenue per user it earns, which is lower than Spark or Vodafone. This is 2degrees’ second move on the mobile data market in a week.
- Which means, in theory, a customer could buy unlimited monthly data for around $180 give-or-take the dynamic pricing. This compares with the $129 unlimited plan that includes unmetered voice calls and text but doesn’t allow tethering or running a hot-spot. The $4 for 12 hours option might be the best choice for someone wanting to get the maximum data during work hours. ↩︎