Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you

Konec adds to budget telco options with data banking, gifting

Looking to save a bit of money on a telco option for the kids or relatives? Another player has emerged, and it’s even offering a phone for cheap, too.

Even though the big three telcos in Australia are where a lot of people get their mobile service from, they’re clearly not the only game in town. Smaller operators that rely on the networks of the big three are also an option, creating the world of Mobile Virtual Network Operators or “MVNOs”, which also provide options, typically at lower prices.

They’re how stores like Coles and Woolworths both are able to run mobile networks, and how smaller players can emerge almost seemingly out of the blue and give the big ones a run for their money, and almost always an option to improve how much you pay with your own.

We’ve seen them time and time again, with major players such as Amaysim and Boost getting attention for how long and popular they are with consumers, but there’s always room for one more, and this week, there is just that.

As the middle of August kicks in, Australians can add another mobile provider to the mix, as Konec is added to the list, partnering with the likes of Telstra to support its network, as well as with Oppo to provide hardware deals for customers keen to buy a new handset at a bit of a budget price.

“As consumers are starting to feel the pinch of higher costs of living, Konec comes in to address these concerns and provide consumers with the ultimate solution that merges reliability with affordability,” said Jack Chang, General Manager of Konec Mobile.

With affordability and reliability at the centre, Konec partnered with Telstra for use of the mobile network, offering 4G at least in the beginning, supporting Australians with access to the rural network.

Much like how Telstra’s services also sees its anti-scam technology supported by other MVNOs on the Telstra network, that means the Cleaner Pipes program will also be applied to Konec, as well, like it is on Belong, Boost, and Mate, among others.

The support of Telstra’s network is only one part of what Konec wants to do, however, supporting customers with data banking — so the data they use monthly doesn’t just fade away — as well as data gifting, which will allow customers to give their data to other accounts, such as those of friends and family, sharing one of the more expensive parts of running a mobile account these days.

But the approach for Konec aims to go a little bit deeper than merely offering data banking and gifting, something you can find sporadically about the place on other telcos. Rather, the company wants to deliver mobile phones like how the big three do them at a discount, giving players another reason to look to a newbie as opposed to one of the stalwarts.

“Boost and Belong both offer refurb hardware, but none of them do the new kind of prepaid phones we’re bringing,” Chang told Pickr, noting some of the inspiration for launching a new mobile carrier.

“Where we see the gap in the market is unless you sign up to a premium service, you don’t get the additions. We want to make sure everyone has access, no matter what the budget may be.”

In the case of Konec Mobile’s launch in Australia, that premium could come in the form of an Oppo A57s, a mid-range phone bundled with a $25 SIM for $199. While the phone is normally $349 outright, the saving of $175 could lure over buyers looking both for a new phone and a new plan.

“This is the type of value with MVNOs that doesn’t exist,” Chang told Pickr.

While that mightn’t be entirely true — Boost offers refurbished iPhones and Belong may be jumping into that, as well — it does mean there’s one more mobile player looking to attract customers with more than just better phone plan pricing, but also the option of phones, as well.

It’s also not just necessarily a budget phone proposition. Chang noted that services and other phone choices could be on the horizon as Konec Mobile grows.

“We’re also in talks with different partners – both hardware and service providers – and we hope to introduce many more bundles that will bring added value to customers,” he said.

For the moment, Konec’s plans will cover budgets looking to get on the 4G Telstra network across the country, with a view to supporting 5G later on. Plans starts at $25 for 22GB of monthly data, while $35 gets you 42GB of monthly data, while a 90 day plan will cost $60 for 45GB and a 365 plan for $259 with 259GB, as well.

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