Amaysim, a budget mobile phone operator in Australia, is challenging Virgin, the fourth top carrier in Australia, by rolling out a new low-cost data plan that offers 5GB for $44.90 a month.
Julian Ogrin, managing director of Amaysim, said the telco is bucking the trend by offering almost double the data allowance at a lower cost. He explained to ITwire, "Our whole business model is about democratising service. What is the value proposition? People want more data, at a reasonable price. They don't want bill shock."
According to Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, Amaysim now controls 3.7 per cent of the total mobile phone market and 7.3 per cent of the pre-paid market, making it a challenger to the fourth place in Australia's telco industry currently held by Virgin, a fully owned subsidiary of telco giant Optus.
Amaysim has about 700,000 customers and aims to reach 1 million in 2015. The company, established in 2010, reported $130 million revenue for the financial year that ended in June.
The top three are Telstra, Optus and Vodafone.
Amaysim has about 130 employees, 50 in the head office and 80 in the call centre, two-thirds of which engage callers through chats rather than voice calls, which allows an agent to handle three to four clients simultaneously.
While other telcos are moving towards 4G technology, Amaysim is sticking for the meantime with 3G. "It's a timing issue. We don't think our customer base is ready for it, and it would complicate our message. It's not yet mainstream. 3G coverage is great and getting better. When 4G reaches its tipping point, probably next year, we will consider it," Ogrin added.
Citing data from Strategy Analytics, a U.S. analyst group, Ogrin pointed out that the current growth rate of data use on mobile devices is between 60 per cent and 80 per cent annually.
In the case of Amaysin, the growth rate for data use among its clients is 85 per cent in the past 12 months, Ogrin said, as customers go beyond browsing but are also into video and music streaming and over-the-top applications such as Viber, Snapchat and Instagram.
"We're seeing more unlimited voice and text plans coming in but the entry points are around 2GB of data. These plans are not really reflecting the appetite of the customers and what they're experiencing. Our customers like the security of having a full wrap of services," Lifehacker quoted Ogrin.