Optus are set to benefit from the decision by Australia’s largest retailer Woolworth’s to move into the mobile phone market.
Under the agreement, Woolworths will use the Optus mobile network to offer a pre-paid mobile service to consumers across Australia. But its move could be badly timed, coming as mobile phone sales apart from smartphones like the Blackberry and iPhone crash worldwide.
IDC last week reported global handset sales in Q2 were down almost 11 percent, following a 17pc drop in Q1.
Woolworths says its pre-paid mobile service will have “no hidden charges, no caps, no peak or off-peak rates and no lock-in contracts”.
Dubbed Everyday Mobile, it will be available at more than 3000 sites across Australia, including Woolworths and Safeway supermarkets, Big W and Dick Smith stores as well as Caltex/Woolworths co-branded fuel outlets, and Dan Murphy’s and BWS liquor stores.
Customers can recharge their accounts at any of these outlets. Richard Umbers, GM of “customer engagement” at Woolworths says more than 21 million pre-paid mobile recharge transactions are already processed through Woolworths stores each year.
“We believe there is a clear gap in the market for a good value pre-paid mobile offer that is simple and easy to understand,” he says.
Vicki Brady, MD of Optus Wholesale and Satellite, says Woolies’ customers will receive a “highly competitive” rate for standard voice calls and SMS text messages to mobile numbers within Australia.
With 15 cents flagfall and 15 cents for 30 seconds, she says customers can make standard voice calls for as little as 30c if they’re quick. Customers can also send standard text messages to mobile numbers for 15 cents.
Everyday Mobile SIM packs will cost $2 and are available from today in Woolworths Supermarkets, Big W and Dick Smith stores across Australia.