Kogan relaunches budget friendly prepaid mobile service

E-tailer Kogan today announced its return to the telco business under the name Kogan Mobile, offering a suite of prepaid plans starting at AUD$29.95. Partnering with Vodafone, the company will begin selling SIM cards from today exclusively via its website.

"Australians have been paying far too much for their mobiles, and we're here to fix this," said Kogan Executive Director David Shafer, speaking to media at the service's launch. "We're proud to partner with a like-minded challenger brand. They are willing to think outside of the box to find new ways to surprise and delight Australians."

"This time we have a network ally in Vodafone who is really willing to support us, isn't scared of competitive pricing, and is interested in seeing Kogan Mobile succeed in the market."

Kogan will offer two smartphone plans: 3XL, with 3GB of data, and unlimited talk and text, and 5XL, with 5GB of data, and unlimited talk and text. These are priced at AUD$29.95 and AUD$36.95 respectively, per 30 day recharge. Longer-term, year-long recharges are available for both these plans, coming in at AUD$299.90 and AUD$369.90. This equates to AUD$24.65 and AUD$30.41 per 30 days, respectively.

A 2GB data SIM for tablets is priced at AUD$14.90, and lasts 30 days in between charges.

Once a user runs out of their monthly data allocation, data access is blocked until a data pack is purchased, or the customer's next recharge.

Initially, Kogan Mobile customers will only have access to Vodafone's 3G network. 4G will be enabled in early 2016, and customers who sign-up for a year-long plan will gain access to it when it goes live without the need for a new SIM. Shafer did not confirm whether month-to-month pricing would stay the same when Kogan Mobile goes 4G.

While Kogan previously offered a mobile service, it collapsed in 2013 after its wholesale provider ended its agreement with Telstra. Addressing media concerns at a press conference this morning, Shafer described his company's relationship with Vodafone as a "sustainable win-win".

"We've done it right this time, we've taken it slow."

Kogan Mobile has a direct relationship with Vodafone, eschewing a third-party intermediary. Vodafone will be responsible for providing support to Kogan Mobile customers.

Kogan will not be locking phones sold through its web store to its own network, but will ship a free SIM card with every handset sold. 

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