TPG Announces Felix Mobile, a Fully-Digital Mobile Service

Felix Mobile, TPG Telecom’s carbon neutral telco

TPG Telecom has announced Felix Mobile, its new fully-digital SIM-only service to be launched before the end of the year. The new mobile service will also operate on 100% renewable energy.

TPG Telecom became the third major telco in Australia after the Vodafone-TPG merger was approved earlier in the year by a federal court. The launch of Felix Mobile will be the telco’s first major move, creating a simplified SIM-only service that compete with the MVNOs like Telstra’s Belong.

What we know so far about Felix Mobile

There hasn’t been much information about what Felix Mobile’s phone plans will be. However, we know enough to have an idea of what to expect:

  • Simplified SIM-only mobile phone plans
  • Use Vodafone 3G/4G network, and eventually 5G
  • Fully-digital telco with no brick and mortar stores
  • Sign up for a plan via the Felix app, and your SIM will be delivered
  • First Australian mobile service company to rely on 100% renewable electricity

Rumours about Felix Mobile suggest it might offer unlimited data

The lack of information so far means we don’t know exactly what Felix Mobile’s SIM-only plans will look like. However, we can imagine they will compete with what Belong has to offer.

Also, there have been rumours from Ausdroid that have outlined what Felix Mobile plans might include, based on what’s indicated by indexed pages on Google:

  • Offer only one SIM-only plan at $35 per month
  • No lock-in contract
  • Unlimited national voice and SMS
  • Unlimited data capped at 5Mbps
  • International voice and SMS to select countries add-on for $5

Felix seems to compete with Belong

TPG Telecom CEO Inaki Barreota insists that Felix Mobile is not a direct competitor to Belong. He claims that “Felix has been created more as an intention that we have as a business to simplify our relationship with the customer and also to become more environmentally friendly.”

However, the environmentally friendly angle of Felix Mobile suggests it will be a direct rival of Belong.

TPG Telecom is touting Felix Mobile as Australia’s first mobile service to be powered by 100% renewable energy. This carbon neutral approach that is central to Felix Mobile’s marketing strategy is comparable to Belong’s carbon neutral pledge.

Felix Mobile’s carbon neutral pledge

Felix Mobile’s carbon neutral pledge is a big selling point. src

With Belong pledging to meet all strict criteria set by Climate Active as well as other United Nations initiatives, Felix Mobile, too, is certified carbon-neutral under the Climate Active initiative.

Felix Mobile is also expected to have a very simplified lineup. So far, Ausdroid rumours the telco will only offer one SIM-only plan. Similarly, Belong offers a very short lineup as well – just two SIM-only plans.

And if Ausdroid’s rumours prove accurate, both mobile services offer similar price points and inclusions. But at offering unlimited data at $35, Felix Mobile might have the upper hand over Belong’s 40 GB data at $40.

How attractive is unlimited data if speeds are capped at 5Mbps?

If the rumours are true, then Felix Mobile’s unlimited data plan at $35 could be very attractive to a lot of consumers. But capping those speeds at 5Mbps throughout the life of the plan might not be attractive.

At 5Mbps, you can browse freely, check social media, and even stream standard definition videos easily. But you’ll have a difficult time streaming HD videos and downloading large files.

In this regard, Felix Mobile will be competing with Vodafone and Telstra plans that offer endless data. The endless data term really refers to plans that throttle your data speeds to 1.5Mbps after you’ve exhausted your plan data, allowing you use unlimited data at that speed until your next billing cycle restarts your plan data inclusion.

At 1.5Mbps, you won’t be able to browse as smoothly as you would on a 5Mbps capped plan, so Felix Mobile would have the upper hand. However, those endless data plans from Vodafone and Telstra also include plan data at uncapped high speeds, and only throttle your speeds once that plan data is exhausted.

Felix Mobile’s unlimited data plan, on the other hand, might cap speeds at 5Mbps throughout the billing cycle, which might not be fast enough for those who want at least some high speed un-throttled data.

Final words

Smaller mobile services have become a staple in Australia. Telstra’s Belong and Boost Mobile are examples of a major telco creating a smaller telco to compete with other MVNOs, and now TPG Telecom has unveiled Felix Mobile as a smaller telco to compete with others as well.

The lure of smaller telcos is their simplified plans. This attracts customers who aren’t intrigued by the extras like entertainment inclusions, and those who just want a straightforward cheap phone plan.

In this case, Felix Mobile takes a fully digital approach like Circles.Life, where no brick-and-mortar stores exist and customers will sign up for plans via the app. TPG Telecom also touts the new mobile service as the first to operate on 100% renewable energy.