A brand-new mobile network operator, Rocket Mobile, has launched in New Zealand. The company aims to disrupt the existing NZ telecom market with its offering of unlimited data plans while making a point of bringing attention to the hidden conditions that are said to be attached to its rivals' plans.
Rocket Mobile is a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) that offers a unique approach that allows Kiwis to get the most out of their mobile data without paying excessively for mobile plans.
James Whittome, Head of Product and Marketing, sees significant potential for more MVNOs to operate in New Zealand, ultimately driving more competition and reducing costs for all mobile users nationwide.
Whittome said, "With the busy Christmas retail period just around the corner, it's the perfect time for Kiwis to shop for the best deal when it comes to mobile data. Our unlimited plans enable users to stay connected without disruption, wherever they're holidaying in the country."
Far from hooking customers with short-term half-price signup offers or bundled packages, Rocket Mobile promises everyday low prices and an upfront payment model.
Customers pay in advance each month, using a credit or debit card, similar to popular music and video streaming services. "Some providers call this prepay," explained Whittome, "but we think that's confusing as prepay sometimes comes with catches and nasty surprises which cause you to either pay more than budgeted or get cut off. Upfront mobile means the price you see is the price you pay."
In an approach that reduces complexity and minimises barriers, Rocket Mobile simplifies the account activation process, eliminating the need for credit checks. All that is required is a valid debit or credit card. "We know having to provide photo ID has been a pain point for some customers, so we're happy to remove that barrier," added Whittome.
Rocket Mobile aims to stand up to other mobile providers who pad their bills with fees for card usage, MMS overage, voicemail charges, and other hidden costs. A particular point of dispute is the 28-day billing cycle employed by some, which effectively adds an extra month of fees annually.
"Many Kiwis are really struggling, and we're saying enough's enough when it comes to sneaky fees. So many providers rely on consumer complacency to not look around for a better deal. The Commerce Commission has already called this out, and we urge all New Zealanders to look carefully at what's out there, make the switch to us, and start saving," stated Whittome.
Rocket Mobile comes as a rebrand from MyRepublic as of 23 November 2023. Since its launch last year, the company has strived to offer Kiwis a distinct approach to mobile data with unlimited mobile plans that do not stop or slow down to a crawl.
"We were the first in New Zealand to deliver unlimited data mobile plans at various speeds, and we introduced the country's cheapest unlimited mobile data plan at launch with our NZD $25 per month Starter plan. Our new Rocket Mobile brand reaffirms our proposition to Kiwi consumers," said Whittome.
Rocket Mobile's rebrand brings no extra cost for its customers, as there are no retail fit-outs or physical materials to be replaced, as Whittome further explained.
The company has high expectations for the New Zealand mobile market, and Malcolm Rodrigues, the Singapore-based CEO of MyRepublic, foresees more excitement in the future.
"We're investing in the launch of Rocket Mobile because we believe in growing our mobile business in New Zealand. Our small but ambitious Kiwi team has been working hard to shake things up, and offer something truly novel to the market," said Rodrigues.
"We have even more exciting offers up our sleeve on the horizon, which are really going to turn the traditional ways of doing telecommunications upside down."
Rocket Mobile NZ operates on One NZ's award-winning network, which covers more than 98.5% of the country's population and includes 5G access. The company will retain the MyRepublic brand for broadband and mobile services in other markets, such as Singapore.