TPG attempts to bring the Jio chaos to Australia

TPG has announced customers who sign-up to the telcos new mobile offering will receive the first six months of data, voice and texts for free in exchange for helping test out the new network.

In its bid to become the fourth major mobile player in the Australian market, TPG has said its $1.9 billion 4G network is almost ready after a year of waiting, and any customers who sign up will receive the first six months of services for free. After this period, customers will be charged AUS$9.99 a month. The move is somewhat similar to Jio’s grand entrance into the Indian market, which has resulted in chaos and misery for the traditional players.

“The TPG team has been working hard constructing our own network and I feel proud and excited to be introducing our very first on-net mobile product offering,” said TPG’s Executive Chairman, David Teoh. “We are inviting users to register to experience our coverage and network performance as well as to take advantage of unlimited mobile data for free. This promotion is the first of its kind in Australia and signals a new era of competition in the mobile market and will undoubtedly bring great benefit to Australian consumers.”

As with every other aspect of life, there is no such thing as a free lunch however. Users will be entitled to use as much data as they want, however speeds will be capped at 1 Mbps once 1 GB of data has been used up each day. Some might complain, though exceeding 1 GB every day would be equally impressive and depressing.

Another point worth noting is the coverage. The footprint of the network is inferior to Telstra, Optus and Vodafone, limited to the state capitals for the moment. This will increase after the trial period, and over time, but it will be long-time before it will be able to compete with the mainstays of the industry.

“The network rollout is ongoing and our mobile network coverage will increase significantly over time as we make the best use of our extensive fibre optic network assets,” said Craig Levy, TPG’s Chief Operating Officer.

While it might not be able to compete with the established players on footprint, tempting the cash conscious consumers across is very doable. It doesn’t matter whether the fish is wrapped in beer batter, or if your throwing shrimp on the barbie, everyone loves a good deal. Telstra, Optus and Vodafone might well be peering over nervously, as the prospect of a race to the bottom price war will not help anyone.

The economics of a price war are questionable when you take sustainability into account, however it might be one way for TPG to get level pegging with the Telstra, Optus and Vodafone trio. It could be viewed as more of a  Can TPG bring the Indian chaos across to Australia?

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