Vividwireless shakes up broadband plans

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Vividwireless shakes up broadband plans

Voice service formally launched.

ISP vividwireless has announced that it will raise the price of its standalone unlimited broadband service in a plan shake-up that also formally introduces the company's voice service.

The $75 unlimited plan will cost $79 a month under the changes announced today.

The wireless ISP has also "tidied up" some of its other plans, completely cutting its 40GB plan in line with user buying patterns, according to chief executive Martin Mercer.

At the time of launch, the 40GB plan was important because it was the largest quota option that did not carry the one vividwireless modem per user restriction attached to the unlimited plan.

In other words, the 40GB quota could be shared by multiple users as long as each person owned a separate vividwireless dongle, whereas the unlimited plan could only be consumed by one user with a single dongle.

The launch of Home Gateway and ViViFi wifi hotspot modems in recent months has broken those old restrictions on quota sharing. In particular, they opened the unlimited plan to multiple simultaneous users.

"After we introduced the unlimited plan we had very few customers activate on the 40GB plan," Mercer told iTnews.

"Typically it was those who have more than one [vividwireless] device but most of those [people] were going onto the 25GB plan anyway."

Users on the grandfathered 40GB plans would be allowed to stay on, he said.

Customers who used a Home Gateway device could now also bundle "unlimited" local and national calls to fixed lines for $10 a month on top of the cost of their unlimited broadband service.

Although vividwireless has quietly offered voice services since the ISP's launch last year, today's announcement formalised that service offering.

There were two sets of bundles: some starting at $39 a month with 8GB of data and no included calls, and others at $89 a month that offered unlimited data quota, unlimited local and national calls to fixed line phones, and unlimited calls to eight countries including the US and UK.

For $109 a month, the call portion included unlimited calls to 15 countries and unlimited national calls to mobile numbers.

Mercer said that voice packets would be given highest priority over the vividwireless network, with "ordinary internet" packets granted second priority ahead of "everything else".

That last category could refer to peer-to-peer traffic which, according to the ISPs terms and conditions, it reserves the right to de-prioritise along with other traffic types it deems not to be time sensitive.

The company included warnings in its terms and conditions that users with life-threatening conditions or illnesses should consider retaining their regular copper phone service for guaranteed access to emergency numbers - something vividwireless could not guarantee if there was an outage of its service.

Data revisions

Other changes to postpaid broadband plans announced today included that the previous 5GB plan for $35 a month would see its data quota raised to 8GB a month.

In addition, the old 10GB plan ($49 a month) would now include 12GB of data, while the new 15GB plan cost $55 a month.

Similar changes were made to prepaid plans, with the company bolstering its low- and mid-range quota plans and completely eliminating its biggest prepaid plan, which had a 20GB quota limit.

On all data plans, uploads are counted and the speed is throttled to 64 Kbps once the quota was reached, although it is possible to top-up quotas with data packs.

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