OVO Plan Review <br>and Comparison

OVO Plan Review
and Comparison

  • Exclusive video content - part of the phone plan
  • Generous data options at each price point
  • Prepaid – no surprises and freedom to change
  • Australian customer service

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Which competitors should you consider?

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I’d love to move to OVO and get the exclusive content they offer. How can I do that?

It’s dead simple. Go to their website, pick a plan and fill in the details. You’ll need to tell them the usual information, like your address, name, age, give them a delivery address and a card to charge.

The streamed content you’ll get access to changes all the time as OVO strike up new agreements with new sports and content partners. Here’s what’s on offer at the moment.

  • Gymnastics – live streaming of all the national and international events plus replays and highlights.
  • 400 Thunder Drag Racing – live streaming of the entire series.
  • Live eSports from the AEL Uni Cup.
  • The Chinese Soccer League.
  • Radio streaming of the Triple M and Hit FM radio stations nationally.

Importantly, you will not be charged for the data you use watching these sports. It’s provided as ‘data free‘.

Do they have an app for Self Service?

Yes, OVO now have a Self Service app. They also offer a ‘dashboard’, available through their website, so that you can recharge, top up and buy ‘extras’ (like more data in the middle of the month if you need it).

Both digital facilities are easy to use and also gives fans access to ‘OVOPlay‘ – that’s where their customers can watch data-free sport and entertainment.

OVO’s app can be downloaded by anyone and many of their sports can be seen for free. Content is such a significant component of what they’re doing, that they’re working on developing services to notify you of content you’ll love, at a time you can watch it.

Which network do OVO use?

OVO use the Optus 3G and 4G Plus network.

There are a lot of misconceptions about smaller phone companies and the networks they use. Just to be clear, OVO use the whole, entire, full Optus 3G and 4G network. Anywhere in Australia you would have received Optus coverage, you’ll get coverage with OVO.

Will I be charged for the data I use on my OVO phone?

Yes, you will be charged for any mobile data you use – except what you use the OVOPlay app to stream the sport content (or any of the other ‘OVO time content’) they provide as part of their service.

So, if you go to Facebook, you’ll use data from your plan. If you watch a 2 hour race video from earlier in the season, streamed through the OVOPlay app, you won’t be charged a penny.

Can I keep my existing phone number if I move to OVO?

Yes you can. Everyone asks this. You’re entitled to move and take your phone number whenever you want to. If you need more details, read our article about ‘porting’.

How can I move from Optus, Telstra or Vodafone to OVO?

If you’re under contract, you’ll need to wait until the end of your agreement with your current phone company. ( Or you can buy yourself out. )

Then you need to make sure your phone is unlocked.

But after that, it’s very simple. Just go to OVO’s website, enter your details in the checkout to buy a plan, as usual. They will ask you if you want a new phone number or to keep the phone number you have. And that’s it. When the SIM comes, activate and you’re off.

Would you recommend OVO?

Yes we would. If their content appeals to you – for example, if you like Australian Gymnastics, Motor Sport, Chinese Soccer League, eSports, or any of their other free content offerings, going with OVO is a bit of a ‘no brainer.’

When I buy the service, when do I get access to the content?

OVO offer access to their content to everyone, through the OVOPlay app. They’re a phone company though and pretty smart.

 

OVO are an MVNO. What does that mean.

Sorry about all the acronyms. An MVNO is just a smaller phone company. OVO resell the Optus network. You can find out ( a lot ) more about MVNOs here.

What's good

  • Include 'Data Free entertainment' in their plans
  • Content includes radio streaming, drag racing and more
  • Prepaid – no surprises and freedom to change plans
  • Keep your existing phone number & bring it with you
  • 2019 Whatphone Award winner for Big Mobile Broadband Bundles

What's bad

  • Limited high street presence
  • Content won't appeal to all

Independent OVO Mobile Review

Introducing OVO Mobile’s 2019 plan range

OVO Mobile are relatively new. They launched in 2016 and are already one of Australia’s largest and fastest growing phone companies. OVO appear to upgrade their price plans 3 or 4 times a year. Since their prepaid plans first came to market, OVO have improved their plans several times. Included in those revisions were changes of a sort we’ve never seen or reviewed on this site before.

Here are the headlines of what we’ve seen from OVO so far:

  • More data per dollar:
    OVO have improved the amount of data included at particular price points. OVO price plan refreshes have doubled, and in one case tripled, the data they offer at each of their voice price points.
  • New product introduction:
    They’ve also introduced new products, including a ‘pocket-money plan’ plan aimed towards children which includes parental lock software.
  • New data plans:
    They’ve entered the new market which is developing in fixed line alternatives: mobile broadband plans, offering 50GB data plan for a tablet and / or computer. These large data bundles have since been replicated several times by the competition and are now becoming the norm.
  • Innovative features:
    Finally, they extended their price match promise, something we’ve never seen any phone company do before.

We expand on each of these points and what they might mean for you, the shopper, below.

 

OVO won the WhatPhone award for 'Best for Large Mobile Data Bundles’

OVO won the WhatPhone award for ‘Best for Large Mobile Data Bundles’

This Month’s Hot Offers

$ 10.00

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/month VIEW PLAN
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Unlimited
Data
4GB
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Recharge every 30 days.
Network
3G + 4G Plus from Optus

$ 20.00

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20GB =10GB+10GB bonus on first 3 recharges.
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4G from Telstra

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OVO – Best for Large Mobile Data Bundles

Mobile broadband has come of age. For many, mobile broadband offers a solution to their broadband needs – that doesn’t suffer from some of the negatives of having a fixed broadabnd connection. (For example, when they move house, fixed broadband users have to pay a fee, mobile users do not.) Price drops in the cost of mobile data throughout 2016, 2017 and 2018 mean that average broadband data usage needs can now be met with an affordable large mobile data bundle.

Last year, we (WhatPhone) decided to confer an award for Large Mobile Data Bundles, as our analysis revealed that Mobile Broadband Plans have become a material part of the market. Forecasts for growth in the area are bullish, accentuated by NBN installation problem which make a stable, reliable, high speed mobile network connections even more desirable.

OVO is driving innovative changes in the mobile network market. In addition to providing customers with an
internationally acclaimed app, and many free data offers for sports such as Australian Drag Racing, OVO also slashes the prices of its mobile data bundles once every six months or so and passes those reductions on (most of the time.)

 

So, who are OVO?

OVO’s is a totally new way of looking at a phone company. Their plans are, in our view, some of the best value in market. But on top of the usual voice calls, SMS and data allocations that come in all phone plans, OVO’s include exclusive access to a variety of domestic sport including Australian Gymnastics, Drag racing content and soccer content (we tell you specifically what you’ll get below.)

The basics of what you’ll get with OVO are:

  • They’re a prepaid SIM plan provider:
    Not sure of the difference between prepaid, postpaid or month to month? We explain it in this article.  If you’ve read any of our prepaid plan information on WhatPhone, you’ll know we love prepaid plans. The key benefit of any prepaid plan is the completely predictable pricing so you’ll get that with OVO.
  • Reasonable pricing:
    OVO’s rates for core plan inclusions – the voice, SMS and data we’ve already talked about – are comparable with the competition.
  • OVO are a smaller phone company:
    These smaller phone companies or ‘network resellers’ are also known as MVNOs and we’ve written about them extensively. They often provide more for your money than the big phone companies.

OVO are growing fast. Hardly surprising when 50% of people are now buying plans from smaller phone companies just like OVO.

50% of people now buy phone plans from smaller phone companies, just like OVO.

 

  • Australian based customer service and support?
    Sick of having frustrating conversations with overseas call agents who don’t understand your accent? OVO staff have the same Australian twang so if you need to call, at least you can talk to someone who knows what a ‘VB’ is. I signed up with OVO when they first launched. We found the team there friendly, proactive, and efficient when we called to test their customer service. I personally didn’t experience any problems dealing with them. There was a delay to my order so I complained. They sorted it out and didn’t make a big deal of the fact that I’d entered my address incorrectly in to the checkout. I thought that was unusually good service these days. There’s more on this aspect of their service, below.
  • You can buy extra data for yourself:
    Can be bought and is charged at $10 per GB which is almost an industry standard now.

 

OVO’s key feature is the free video content they offer

OVO offer access to a number of sports content packages as part of their phone plans. When you buy your phone plan from OVO, you’ll be invited to download the OVO play app. You can then use that app to watch the sports you’re interested in. OVO are the only smaller phone company to offer this value add and it’s the feature of their service which makes them unique.

Our OVO review shows that OVO is the only smaller phone company to offer free, included content. It’s this feature which sets them apart.

OVO’s key differentiator is their content.

 

They key types of video sport content you’ll get with OVO are:

The research suggests that it is typically younger males who follow sport and watch it on their phones, although it’s increasingly common to see people of all ages engaging in some form of entertainment on their phones, from time to time. OVO change their content line up from time to time, generally adding more over time. Just to be clear, any OVO customer can access ALL of the following types of streamed high definition videos, without paying extra for it, as part of the OVO service.

  • Australian Gymnastics:
    OVO provide live streaming of all national and international gymnastic events. They also provide video replays and highlights from those events.
  • 400 Thunder Drag Racing:
    You’ll get live streaming of the entire 400 Thunder Drag Racing series.
  • Water Polo:
    OVO offer live streaming of the national Water Polo League, the aged champs and other international Water Polo games.
  • Radio streaming:
    You’ll be able to listen ‘data free‘ to Triple M and Hit FM stations nationally
  • eSports:
    eSports is a relatively new kind of video content which appeals especially to those who play video games. If you think that’s a small niche, you’re wrong. Estimates suggest that more than two thirds of Australians play video games in some form.
  • The Chinese Soccer League:
    OVO recently signed up the hugely popular Chinese Soccer League. OVO’s app now grants access to CSL content and will soon have Pay Per View facilities for super fans.

OVO have many, many more sports partnerships, the details of which you can see on their site.

 

Features of OVO’s content

  • Live In Car Telemetry for vehicles involved in OVO’s Motor Sport:
    Up to 160 sensors all around the car provide real-time access ( during races ) to data that you can see visually on your phone. Pick the cars you’re interested in ( see screenshot ) and you can see how hard drivers are breaking, what speed they’re doing and the track they’re playing on the radio ( not the last one. )
  • Live Track Side Commentary:
    If you don’t have Foxtel, or you just prefer to listen to the radio broadcast – the trackside commentary team are streamed live on OVO. A bit like listening to the cricket during a long drive it’s entertaining and makes those boring Saturdays at the kids sports a little more enjoyable listening to the live race on the sidelines.
  • Exclusive Interviews and ‘Behind The Scenes’ Content:
    OVO offer unique pictures, video, and access to stars of the sport including some in-depth interviews with Chaz Mostert – one of the sports most exciting drivers and OVO’s ambassador.
  • Fully licensed and agreed with the governing bodies:
    This is the real content deal. You’ll see OVO at the events, on the TV as a sponsor. It’s official content from the official relevant regulatory body.
  • Historic Footage:
    You’ll have access to a sizable back-catalog of races. OVO makes available to stuff from earlier in the season and historic races.

Remember, you get access to all of this content in your phone plan – you don’t have to pick between the different sorts of content. They’re all covered in your monthly fee.

 

Access to the video content they provide is free:

Their streamed video content (SVOD) does not come out of your data bundle. If you watch the video content OVO provide you as part of your plan – the Gymnastics or Motor Racing video, audio and telemetry information – it will not count against your plan’s data inclusions. In the industry, the practice of providing free access to content from a known source is called ‘zero rating’.  Some call it ‘data free streaming’. To users of OVO’s streamed video content, it means that when you’re watching your Water Polo, Drag Racing, Audi Sport Customer Racing or Gymnastic content you won’t be charged for the data consumed providing you the video, while you view it.

Video content is 90% of everything transmitted over the telco networks. Almost all the data people consume is YouTube videos or streamed video of some sort. Providing huge data bundles for content you want to get from sources other than OVO PLUS free access to their own content, removes the fear most customers have about signing up to a content proposition from a telco and then watching TV on their phone.

The concept of content as part of a phone plan is not entirely novel. The tier 1 (big) phone companies have, recently, tried to differentiate themselves from each other with some unusual value adds. Both Telstra and it’s major competitor have spent big winning the rights to sport which can be watched on phones to try and secure their customers.

OVO’s foray is different though. Optus, Telstra and Vodafone are phone companies before they’re anything else. OVO is, in many ways, a streaming content provider before they’re a phone company. OVO’s model encourages you to ask yourself FIRST whether you like the content and then to get a plan which fulfills your phone or tablet usage needs.

 

So, who likes content of the sort offered by OVOs?

WhatPhone ran a survey in late 2017, (and again in late 2018) in which we asked people precisely this question. Phone plans adapt all the time. We were interested to know what sort of things Australians would like see in those developments.

The most common answer we got, when we asked people what they wanted in a phone plan was ‘unlimited data’. Others included free roaming and a facility to upgrade their phone contract earlier. Only 10% of people said they wanted to have a phone plan with free video content – of the sort OVO offers.OVO will appeal to the 10% of Australians who are interested in free video content in their plan.

If you’re one of the 10% of people who want mobile sports videos on your phone, OVO
are a company to consider.

Obviously, it’s early days for video in phone plans and the proportion of people who want it will rise over time. Like any new technology, it takes time for people to first, find out that it exists and it’s possible and second to imagine it as part of their lives. If you think about it, you probably felt this way about your need for a mobile phone when they were first released 20 years ago.

For the 10% of people who want video content, however, OVO offer a unique and compelling product. Many of the sports they provide are simply not available for viewing elsewhere. Gymnastic, for example has a sizable following in Australia and is currently not televised. It’s is not as popular as, say the NRL, but, for half million Australians (largely women, particularly younger women) gymnastics is sport they pursue with a passion. If you are one of this 10% of people and OVO have sports you’re interested in, they’re a natural choice.

 

What else is unique about OVO’s phone plans?

  • Included a guarantee for existing customers:
    Unlike any phone company in Australia, potentially unlike any phone company in the world (that we are aware of) OVO have offered to pass on their new pricing to existing customers. Usually, when you sign up to a phone company you’re trapped. When your phone company pricing improves, you don’t ever hear about it. The better value offer is marketed to ‘new customers only’, not existing customers. OVO have turned that on its head. OVO’s offer is not quite ‘set and forget’ but it’s not far off it. When they bump up their data inclusions in the future – and that appears to be a regular thing – existing customers will benefit just as much as new ones. In this regard, OVO’s treatment of data in a phone plan is fair a trend we’re starting to see in Australian plans.
  • Big Mobile Data Bundles:
    Data plans are hotter now than ever. The proportion of visitors we get to this site interested in data plans is a growing proportion of those who buy. OVO’s look set to steal the market. They’re the best value so you’ll find them right at the top of our mobile broadband data plans page. And they’ve included a new plan in their range which is essentially a home broadband deal at fixed broadband prices.

This Month’s Hot Offers

$ 10.00

/month VIEW PLAN
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Unlimited
Data
1GB
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3G + 4G from Telstra

$ 14.95

/month VIEW PLAN
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Unlimited
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4GB
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Recharge every 30 days.
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3G + 4G Plus from Optus

$ 20.00

/month VIEW PLAN
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20GB =10GB+10GB bonus on first 3 recharges.
Contract
28 days
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4G from Telstra

$ 25.00

/month VIEW PLAN
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Unlimited
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10GB
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Comparing OVO and the competition

OVO operate on the Optus 3G and 4G network. There are a few other notable phone companies which also sublet access to Optus’ network in this way. In this section, we compare OVO, Yomojo and Moose Mobile,  their major Optus competitors.

  • Yomojo:
    Yomojo are a prepaid phone plan provider which also use the Optus network. Yomojo let you select from three types of plan. Pay As You Go or Unlimited voice and SMS plan options or data plans. The key difference between Yomojo and OVO is the content offered by OVO. Yomojo’s plans can be cheaper – especially if they are running a promotion. It’s also worth mentioning, if you care considering taking a Kid’s phone plan from Yomojo that Yomojo charge a monthly fee for the software they include in their Kid’s phone plan, where OVO do not.
  • Moose Mobile:
    Moose Mobile are another relatively new phone company which use the Optus 3G and 4G network. Their key point of difference to both OVO and Yomojo is that they sell only postpaid plans. Moose tend to offer better value on their lower end plans (i.e. more data) at a lower cost than OVO. Moose’s reviews are also very good, because, like OVO, their customer service is based in Australia and people seem to like that. Moose do not offer configurable plans in the way Yomojo do, they don’t have a PAYG option and they won’t provide you the content OVO offers.

Compare OVO to the competition in our quick summary chart.

You can compare OVO with Yomojo and Moose in our summary infographic.

 

Who offers the better customer service?

The first thing to say is that our 2018 survey results (you’ll find them towards the bottom on our homepage) indicate that those who pick a smaller phone company tend to prefer the customer service they get.

 

 

So, all in all, should you go with OVO?

Would we recommend OVO? Without hesitation.

OVO are building a community as much as they are a phone company. You can see their hashtag everywhere – #ForTheFans.

What’s most interesting about OVO’s content inclusion is that it so quickly scythes off such a sizable segment of the Australian population. If live streaming of these sports with telemetry, video and live streaming of track side commentary is content you love, there are almost no other questions you need to ask before you sign up. The same goes for the Gymnastics and Audi Sport Customer Racing content. If you’re in to the sports they offer, e.g. Australian Gymnastics or Motor Racing, eSports and son on, get a SIM from OVO.

What makes OVO stand out in our range is the fact that these new plans are such a departure in both pricing and philosophy from what else is in market. OVO operate in a world where you can watch sport live, download it, time-shift it and catch up on it tomorrow in High Definition. Coverage of any sport these days includes instant replays, graphical overlays and real captain / commentator narration. A world used to Googling every whim has ever increasing expectations as to the level of information and insight available to them on every subject, especially competitive sport.

What no one has done yet is to capture the content people want alongside the event. We sit at home, watch ‘The Block’ and play with our phones, researching the things that occur while the program is on. OVO offer something very similar to that for a Gymnastics / Audi racing fan at an event or watching TV at home. They also offer a new type of content opportunity: Watching their included content on the bus or in the car when travelling. Importantly, OVO enable all this and on your own terms. They ( appear to ) really understand the needs of people consuming this type of content. The video and telemetry content you stream is free.

Markets are disrupted when a new company uses new technology to offer a new product to customers. The new deals disruption creates tend to work best, when customers on the old plans are experiencing a lot of pain and high prices. That’s certainly the case with Australian phone companies.

If you want a data bundle for your mobile broadband access, check out their big data plans. If you are a fan of the content they offer, then stop what you’re doing and buy one of these plans.