6 years is a long time in modern communication terms, but Amaysim, a mobile service provider that uses Optus’ mobile phone network has obviously been making good use of it. It has just announced that it has now amassed a million customers. The figure includes those customers who buy time and data from a subsidiary of Amaysim, Vaya, which the larger company bought for 50 million dollars.
BYO Providers Have Brought Down Prices According to Amaysim Boss
That 6 year period since Amaysim first started out has been marked by intense mobile provider competition. Amaysim has made its mark by focusing its point of difference on providing cheaper mobile usage charges. Amaysim claims that it is one of the main pioneers in the burgeoning so-called “Bring Your Own” Phone (BYO) mobile market. Julian Ogrin, the CEO of Amaysim, says that the BYO philosophy has genuinely shaken up the cosy arrangement between the big mobile providers and has bought the price down for customers. He says that the trend has seen much simpler plans being made available and the big telcos have had to knuckle down and work a lot harder at keeping customers. That means a winning situation for customers.
Amaysim has been adding around 60,000 new customers every 6 months. It had a big boost early this year when it bought out Vaya and added 140,000 of Vaya’s own customers. Last July, it had 718,000 customers of its own.
Amaysim gives away SIM cards to its customers who activate them online. The Amaysim SIM automatically deactivates if the SIM remains unused for more than 6 months. Mr. Ogrin says that the growth in Amaysim’s customer base is solid growth and not falsely boosted by promos and random discounts. According to the Amaysim boss, these sorts of deals often only temporarily boost customer numbers, who are out for genuinely cheaper deals, and are not interested in continually switching from one discounted offer to another.
Cheap Data Deals Makes Amaysim an Attractive Option
The company has been offering some pretty cheap data deals of its own since March 31st this year, together with attractive phone call rates. The following data deals come under Amaysim’s “Unlimited” packages. All the deals included unlimited national phone calls and texts as well as unlimited phone calls and texts to 10 selected countries* which were viewed as the most important to Aussie consumers. All deals also included 300 minutes of international talk time to 32 selected countries.
Amaysim’s Unlimited Package Deals
- 9GB for $49.90 for 28 days (from 7GB)
- 7GB for $44.90 for 28 days (from 5GB)
- 3GB for $29.90 for 28 days (from 2GB)
- 5GB for $24.90 for 28 days (from 1B)
* The 10 countries chosen were:
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- South Korea
The new data and phone packages bumped up the data allowances from the previous packages but reduced the period of each deal from 30 days to 28 days. This pleased those customers who relished the opportunity of getting more data, but didn’t go down too well with those Amaysim customers who valued their phone time more. The change brought about quite a bit of criticism from existing customers who were switched from the old 30 day plans to the new 28 day plans at the end of their monthly cycle whether they wanted them or not. The Amaysim Facebook page got quite a lot of comments from some customers who saw it as a “sneaky” way to make more money.
Some Amaysim customers said that it was the third time that the company had changed its deals and the third time that it had meant an increase in the cost to the consumer. Some even suggested that it was making Amaysim’s competitors in the mobile market, like Telstra and Vodafone, much more attractive.
Million Customer Milestone Change in Fortune for Amaysim
Whatever the criticism at the time, Amaysim’s customer base certainly hasn’t experienced any sort of decline and has in fact done the opposite. Perhaps the boost in data for the same price reflects what mobile users want to see more of, a more competitive availability of data.
Whatever the reason, it certainly seems to have boosted the fortunes of the BYO mobile provider. Earlier this year, it recorded a disappointing 37% drop in profits, partly as a result of its 2015 listing on the Australian Stock Exchange and its acquisition of former rival Vaya. Amaysim admitted that it was looking for a substantial improvement in performance after suffering a squeeze from its immediate competitors.
Amaysim Also Getting Into Broadband
Amaysim has also announced that it is ready to get into fixed broadband using the national broadband network (NBN). Its mobile coverage presently uses the Optus network and the deal with Optus means that Amaysim customers can use Optus’s entire 4G network but with Amaysim packages.
Optus has a big wholesale division and currently sells mobile access to around 20 mobile virtual network operators (MVNO) like Amaysim. Optus has made its 4G network available to MVNOs within 2 months of the network’s launch.
The managing director of Optus’s small to medium business, satellite and wholesale service, Rob Parcell, says that Optus has such a large share of the MVNO market because of its readily available network sharing service. MVNOs have been asking for more data space on the network rather than voice when it comes round to renegotiating contracts, according to Mr Parcell.
Despite a somewhat rocky road over the last 6 years since its launch, BYO provider Amaysim has stuck to its guns and has now passed the all significant million customer mark. It is probably right when it says that it has contributed to bringing down mobile phone and data costs in Australia. Especially attractive is the amount of mobile data that its customers can now get for their dollar although some older customers were not convinced about the company’s motives earlier this year. Amaysim also seems to be looking to the future with a proposed move into fixed broadband service using the NBN network.