It’s not just phone selection Aussies get, but also telco choice, and there’s another one joining the ranks for customers to pick between.
If you’re having trouble picking between Telstra, Optus, Vodafone, TPG, Amaysim, Kogan, Woolworths Mobile, AAPT, AldiMobile, Boost, Exetel, Lebara, Lyca, Moose, or Coles Mobile, you might have realised very quickly that there are a lot of telco choices in Australia.
Most of these aren’t major telcos, but rather smaller ones, with the big three being Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone, and the rest being a smaller carrier reliant on a network from one of those big three.
Smaller carriers are also known as “mobile virtual network operator” and lean on the network infrastructure of a bigger company because they themselves don’t have one, though it does mean they can deliver different pricing all the same.
In fact, the smaller carriers tend to make themselves different because of their different pricing, such as with what we’ve seen with Amaysim in the past.
That can be good for customers, because it means their choices aren’t just limited to the big three, but rather companies that may offer a better deal for their mobile usage.
However there’s also one more choice, it seems, as Australia sees an expansion of a company from Singapore with the arrival of yet another small carrier.
It has the rather distinct name of “Circles.Life”, and it will be using the Optus 4G network for its connection, offering voice, text, and data to Australian customers for $28 monthly with 20GB, complete with what the company says is “$30 worth of bill shock protection” at no extra cost. It essentially means if you go over a 20GB limit monthly, you’ll see around 3000MB (based on Circles.Life’s $0.01/MB overage cost) available free as a form of protection to prevent a bill going too far over.
Once you’ve gone over, Circles.Life plans to offer overage costs to give you a bit more storage to get you through, with either 20GB for $10 or 3GB for $6.
We mentioned before that smaller carriers usually differentiate themselves on pricing, and Circles.Life is no exception here, offering the one plan and only the one plan, and making it month to month, so as not to keep you if you don’t like it.
Curiously, Circles.Life is offering the first four months of the plan waived if they join before the end of the month, September 30.
“We’re stepping up the game by offering a premium customer experience and we dare Australians to like their telco,” said Ben Murray, General Manager of Circles.Life Australia.
“We are proud to partner with Optus and we aim to set a new benchmark for customer satisfaction in the country,” he said.
Circles.Life may differ in pricing and subscription models compared to other telcos, but the company says it also differs in how its run, operating from the cloud and working more like a modern internet company than traditional telcos.
Beyond the marketing fluff, this could mean eventual futures could be tailored from a mobile app versus talking to someone over a phone, though we’ll just have to wait and see.
For now, Circles.Life has started its service roll-out in New South Wales, alongside Victoria, ACT, Queensland, and Tasmania, with other stats in the coming months.