NZ’s first unlimited mobile plans launched by Mighty Ape

PAT PILCHER reports on what appears to be the start of a revolution for smartphone users as a new player offers unlimited calls.

Mighty Mobile CEO Grace Mickinlop sealing the deal with a fun time with One CEO Jason Paris.

One of NZ’s longest-running online retailers, Mighty Ape, has announced a pre-pay mobile offering that looks set to light a fire under other mobile players in the New Zealand market.

Their new mobile offering is branded “mighty mobile” and offers unlimited texts, calls and data. Interestingly, it appears that the plans don’t throttle down data speeds once data use goes over a pre-defined threshold.

Mighty Mobile CEO Grace Mickinlop shakes on the deal with One CEO Jason Paris.

The move is an interesting one for Mighty Ape, which is likely to be aiming to make use of its extensive customer database to sell its mobile offering. According to Mighty Ape CEO, Grace Mackinlay, Mighty Ape has over 700,000 customers.

Mighty Mobile’s offerings use the One (the mobile operator formerly known as Vodafone) mobile network. The prepay plans went live on August 30 and consist of Fast (which at $40 offers unlimited data at 10Mbps), Faster ($50 for 50Mpbs), and Fastest ($80 with no maximum speed). Alongside offering all the data you can eat, the plans also come with unlimited calling and text messages to both NZ and Aussie from within New Zealand. That said, roaming outside of NZ is not expected to be available until later in the year.

The Mighty Mobile offering will be online only which means anyone wanting unlimited everything will need to buy simcards online and anyone needing technical support will need to get it online too. While this handily means no listening to endless hold music, the flexibility of talking to a human being in real-time will be missing. According to Mackinlay, the first three months of Mighty Mobile are discounted to encourage sign-ups.

Beyond selling to the existing Mighty Ape customer base, Mighty Mobile also stand to do well in targeting inbound tourists who will be keen to avoid being hit with roaming charges and limited data/voice/text allowances while in NZ. Mighty Mobile’s online business model is also a solid fit offering e-sims to travellers which could see tourists scanning a QR code and activating e-sims when arriving in New Zealand.

For Kiwis, the big appeal will be both the unlimited and fixed-price nature of Mighty Mobile’s offerings. Instead of worrying about being charged for additional use over data/text allowances and for voice minutes, customers will be able to pay a set amount and just use their devices.

The compelling nature of unlimited mobile won’t be lost on the other telcos operating in NZ. Now that the unlimited everything genie is out of the bottle, the big question becomes whether one of will the big players Spark, One and 2Degrees respond with similar offerings. Could a much-needed sea change in New Zealand’s mobile market be imminent?


Pat has been talking about tech on TV, radio and print for over 20 years, having served time as a TV tech guy and currently penning reviews for Witchdoctor. He loves nothing more than rolling his sleeves up and playing with shiny gadgets.

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