Telco Wars: Zero Mobile

ZERO money for your money for your telecommunication needs? That’s the promise of the newest MVNO or Mobile Virtual Network Operator, Zero Mobile. As an MVNO, the company do not have its own network and must lease it from the local Telcos.

Here’s what I know from the Press Release

  • Zero SG is Australia tech startup.
  • Zero aims to be a platform to allow retailers, brands, advertisers to connect with users.

So here’s the quick run down

Call (Min) SMS Caller ID Data Benefits Cost
Circles Life (M1) 100 Incoming Free Free 6GB* WhatsApp Unlimited (no video calls).

Referral and Loyalty programs

$28
Zero Mobile (Unknown) No Limit No Limit Free 6GB Referral – $9 credit Max 5 $45

*Base Data is 4GB then add 2GB for porting over your old phone.

Key points:

  • The new company allows unlimited calls and SMS but capped the data at 6GB. Total cost $45
  • Additional data at 3GB@$20, 6GB@$30, or Auto top-up 1GB@$10
  • You can earn credits towards the bills. For now, you can earn $9 for every customer you recommend to Zero Mobile up to 5 referrals.
  • If you are thinking of traveling abroad expecting roaming plans the new service provider do not have any at the moment.

The small prints and my thoughts :

  • Their “Download Critical Information Summaries (CIS) here” Link didn’t work. Another RED LIGHT when I can’t even access ‘Critical Information’ to make a decision.
  • No contract but here’s a very interesting thing in their FAQ “With Zero Mobile, there is no minimum term but there are minimum costs that are required to be paid. This is essential to cover our carrier costs and our internal costs.” On one hand no contract but on the other hand has penalties (that’s how I read it). So what is what?
  • Only one person per service. Wait a minute. That means one name/NRIC to one number only? So I can’t have one name with 2-3 numbers? Not very clear here.
  • Sign up fee is $18. Cheaper than Circles Life but can have the discount codes from friends or family (mine is “BOOSTER”) to get $20 off registration and you’d pay the same price anyway.
  • Their referral model is to get the new customers to refer up to 5 customers @ $9 bill credit each. So every month you can get credits just to cover your bill and nothing more.  And to earn the Zero fee, have to go find another 5 new customers for the new month. Sounds like some MLM membership recruitment hor?  (some clarity on their latest changes to the website. So long the subscriber and the referee are in the network the bill credit will remain.  I very much prefer the Circles Life 500MB per 6 months with them and 200MB per referral with new customers. The data stays with you until you or your referrals left the service.
  • If they say buying things from their Marketplace or answering survey questions will earn towards the bill credit, it is a stronger sell than the MLM practice of just referring people. Quite honestly I didn’t see “Exclusive Shoutouts” and “Zero Marketplace” helping you to reduce your bills if you shop through there assuming Shoutouts (Advertisement) and Marketplace are venues to buy things to give you bill credits. The page is not clear on this at all. So the only benefit is only to refer people for the time being.
  • In the press release “By using the Zero App, the subscriber has the power to reduce their monthly usage from $45 to $0 each month by using various ways designed to add value. The choice of whether to use any of these methods is completely optional.” So Press Release says got such options but is not clear on their website (another big no-no as the comms is not clear).
  • And also remember the one fallacy of MLM system (that to have benefit is to introduce people to the company). How many people can you reach to earn you the bill credit? 5. How many groups of 5 people can get before you don’t have enough people to help you reduce the bill?  We call that the “Saturation Point” where the market do not have enough people to convert to the business. I think I will stick to having more data since I will pay $28 with a growing data allotment instead of $45 that stays at 6GB if I don’t have bill credits.
  • On what network are they riding on? Important information that is not shared so how to get people to sign up? Update: They are using SingTel system but only through a third party did I know that and not on their website.
  • If you want to read the Average mobile data usage in the OCBC report you can access it here. Even though Average Data usage is a good indication, a better indication when it comes to usage should be the Median number, what is the amount of data used for the majority of the users. That would give a better idea because ‘Average’ includes the outliers – those who used very very little data and those who use a lot and can skew the number.
  • So let’s just say 5GB is the median, that would mean getting Circles Life at 6GB@$28 is still a better deal than 6GB@$45. In the end, if you manage to find 5 persons to subscribe to the service then this will be a better deal.
  • Again the assumption is calls and SMS are not of utmost importance. If you want to have a lot of calls and SMS if you are a sales rep, marketing rep or businessman, this might be a good deal.

 

 

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