We 'launched' the bundled mobile telephone offering yesterday afternoon and received the first orders some 20 minutes after the emails to Exetel's current customers started to go out. We have no idea how 'successful' or otherwise this initiative will be but it seemed to be an essential first step in countering the Telstra 'bundling assault' that we, and every other ISP has been subjected to and will continue to be subjected to between now and Christmas. One of the interesting scenarios will be just how much data is used by this type of customer.
Exetel's current customers average increasingly less than 1 gbyte of combined downloads and uploads of data. However the current users are predominantly desk top or laptop based wireless broadband users....we have relatively few mobile hand set based wireless users. I have tried to keep track of wireless use in the USA and the UK/EU over the past three years and the latest article containing some information on use in the USA fortuitously appeared this morning:
This was interesting because it indicates that US users download less than 500 mbytes a month with a big discrepancy between iPhone users and Android users. In Australia, from what I can gather, iPhone users dominate the market. Not that it currently concerns Exetel but it may do in the future. I have always wondered what an Australian average is of wireless broadband usage. I don't seem to be able to find any sort of believable figures anywhere so if anyone can point me to some I would be very grateful.
We have yet to put in place a more reasonable deal with Optus for the provision of wireless broadband services generally and we have doubts whether we will be able to do so in the immediate future based on the zero progress to date. There may be a possibility of another option and I think that would need to become a reality for Exetel to continue to try and provide a residential wireless service beyond the end of this calendar year. Perversely, there are the first signs of our business wireless broadband services beginning to become of real interest to some very large customers....but based on the quality of the service and the ancillary services (back end control portal, grouping usage etc) rather than "a zillion megabytes for three and a half cents."
We will track the progress of this 'bundled' initiative very carefully over the balance of this month to see not only what sort of customers take advantage of it but what usage they make of the data components - both the free sites and the non-free sites. It is an interesting concept that Optus has come up with and, while I don't understand it at all, I will be interested in the analysis once we have some reasonable volume of data. I have no idea what to expect as this type of user is completely unknown to me.
I don't think we have got the 'marketing message' remotely correct for the bundled mobile services but we will straighten that out over the next 7 - 10 days. Our lack of knowledge and experience in this sort of "marketing" is woeful and it's quite possible we will not get it 'right' no matter how many attempts we make. However it is far too early to say whether we will meet our objective of achieving a 10% take up rate from our current ADSL base between now and the end of December.