With the TPG-Vodafone merger now complete, the united companies are set to launch a new, online-only mobile brand with a focus on sustainability and low-cost plans.
‘Felix Mobile’ is TPG Telecom’s new, fully digital SIM-only mobile provider that’s likely to challenge similar no-frills telcos such as Belong. The brand is slated to go live before the end of 2020, and while official plan details haven’t been released, Felix Mobile is touting itself as a ‘simple’ service, with ‘green values’ and no lock-in contracts.
Felix Mobile: carbon neutral with 100% renewable electricity
With Telstra-owned SIM-only provider Belong heavily promoting its own carbon neutral energy strategy, there’s increasing demand from customers for flexible phone plans that don’t cost the earth – literally and figuratively. From what we know so far, Felix Mobile will adopt a similar approach, offering digital-only plans with no contracts and a minimal environmental impact.
Felix Mobile has already been certified carbon neutral by the Climate Active initiative, and the telco claims it is the first Australian mobile brand to be powered by 100% renewable energy. These factors alone place it in direct competition with Belong for the title of greenest Aussie telco, but TPG Telecom says that Felix wasn’t launched solely as a Belong rival.
“Felix has been created more as an intention that we have as a business to simplify our relationship with the customer and also to become more environmentally friendly,” said TPG Telecom CEO Iñaki Berroeta. “We are using it not just as a commercial brand, but also as how to learn more around zero carbon footprint, but also 100 per cent renewable electricity, and how we can apply that to the full company which is something that as a business we’re working on.”
Rumoured plans: unlimited data for $35, with a catch
Felix Mobile may be talking up its focus on sustainability, but what will really set the brand apart is the products on offer. We know that Felix will offer SIM-only mobile plans with no contracts that operate on Vodafone’s 3G and 4G networks (and presumably 5G down the line), and will be a digital service with no physical stores and online-first customer support. However, actual plan prices and inclusions are, at this stage, purely speculation.
According to indexed Google pages uncovered by Ausdroid, there may only be one Felix Mobile plan on offer. Priced at $35 per month, this presumably postpaid product will include unlimited standard national calls and SMS in Australia, plus unlimited data capped to speeds of 5Mbps.
This would make Felix Mobile’s plan ‘unlimited’, although not at unlimited speeds. 5Mbps is fast enough for general browsing, social media and standard definition video streaming, although you may struggle with high definition Netflix and YouTube, or when trying to download large files or applications.
While Vodafone and Telstra both offer unlimited speed-capped data on postpaid plans (1.5Mbps for all Telstra plans, and up to 2Mbps, 10Mbps, or 25Mbps on Vodafone, depending on your plan), this is in addition to a monthly full-speed gigabyte allowance. These slower speeds serve more as a backup for when your fast data runs out, rather than the main feature of each plan.
Hopefully, Felix Mobile will also offer full-speed data options, or risk missing out on customers who prioritise fast on-the-go mobile internet. A complete speed cap would also mean that Vodafone’s eventual 5G network coverage is practically pointless with a Felix Mobile plan, although the network may still help with avoiding congestion in heavily populated areas.
SIM-only plans compared
We won’t know for certain until Felix Mobile goes live in the coming weeks, but if it truly wants to compete with telcos such as Belong, a $35 price point is a good start. Currently, Belong offers two mobile plans: 10GB for $25 per month (plus standard unlimited talk and text in Australia), and 40GB for $40 (plus talk and text in Oz, and unlimited standard international calls and text to 30 selected countries).
Other comparable SIM-only providers, such as Moose Mobile, Woolworths Mobile, Southern Phone or Vaya also hit that under-$40 price, offering plans with up to 50GB of monthly data. With so many great value deals now on the market, Felix will need to push the sustainability angle hard alongside a low-priced plan in order to truly stand out.
The following table shows a selection of published postpaid SIM-only plans from Canstar Blue’s database with a minimum of 10GB of data, listed in order of standard cost, lowest to highest, then by data allowance, largest to smallest. By using our mobile phone plan comparison tool to see a wide range of plans from other providers. This table includes products with links to referral partners.