2degrees wins

Seriously: Game. Set. Match.

2 degrees now has reasonable data charges ($6 for 50MB) AND 10TXT, on top of their already awesome Magic Top-Ups.

Which means 2degrees now has

  • $10 TXT (500 to BOTH networks, not VFone’s 2000 to VFone only)
  • $12 for 100MB (Vodafone = $10 for 100MB)
  • 45c/min to both networks, 22c to landlines/other 2degrees mobiles (Vodafone = 90c/min to both networks)
  • An extra 100 free texts for every $10 you top-up

In fact, it may not even be worth buying $10TXT. Since 2degrees’ magic top-ups are still in effect, you’d already be getting free texts(for example, if you topped up $40 you’d get 400 free texts). So unless you’re a chronic texter and need 900 (400 magic + 500 $10TXT) texts per month, you’d probably be better off using  the $10 to buy yourself 20 minutes of calling or an extra 50MB of data.

The initial plans for the network were pretty terrible(we blogged about them with contempt here and here), but to their credit 2degrees have clearly been listening to customer concerns in the interim. There is now almost no reason not to be on 2degrees if you are a prepay customer. The only potential reason is 3G coverage, but if you’re on Vodafone actual 3G coverage is sparse anyway.

The only card(other than 3G) Vodafone has left to play is BestMates. $6 for unlimited calling to one Vodafone number, however a similar deal is offered by their main competitor Telecom(who offer $10TXT too). And it’s hardly a compelling enough reason for someone to keep Vodafone as their primary phone. When people begin having Vodafone as their secondary phone then network effects, which Vodafone has traditionally exploited so well, begin to disintegrate. Expect Vodafone’s ‘Average Revenue Per User’ (ARPU) to decline. People will not pay $10 for 100MB of data on a phone they only use once in a while. They’ll put that $10 on the phone they use all the time, and when they begin leaving their secondary Vodafone phones behind when they go out at night, then Vodafone’s $10 for 2000 Vodafone-to-Vodafone TXTs will begin to look less and less useful.

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