Aggressive pricing moves from the big mobile carriers.
New Zealand’s two big mobile phone companies; Spark and Vodafone, have increased post-pay mobile data allowances. In terms of dollars per gigabyte the two have almost identical tariffs — compare their open term plans in the table below.
Changes to data allowances for the two companies’ 24-month contracts are similar.
Likewise the pair both have added new 15 GB high-end open term and contract plans for data hungry users. Elsewhere the jumps are huge and are big enough to change the way many people use mobile data.
Among other things it means watching video while on the move is more practical. Spark says more than one-third of the traffic on its mobile network is video. That’s only likely to increase.
Spark has also cut the price of sharing data on its plans by $5 a month.
In part the higher data allowances reflect the extra capacity from their investment in 700 MHz spectrum. These investments have given the carriers a lot more bandwidth to sell. They are also a response to constant calls for more data from users. Every phone company executive will tell you that’s one of the most frequent requests they hear, even if many users struggle to get through their existing monthly allowances.
While the headline rates are similar, the two carriers offer mobile customers a different set of extras. Spark offers customers free access to the company’s nationwide WiFi network and the Lightbox video-on-demand service. There’s also Spotify Premium and the Spark Thanks loyalty programme. Vodafone customers get $5 roaming and loyalty rewards through the company’s Fantastic Friday’s scheme.