Skinny Mobile, the budget pre-paid sub-brand of Spark (formerly Telecom New Zealand), has entered the country’s fixed broadband sector, offering services over Spark’s 4G wireless network. Users will pay NZD55 (USD37.35) a month for 60GB of bandwidth at 4G speeds, with the service running over a home router which costs NZD199 up front. The service is targeting low-to-mid-range users in urban areas who are looking for an affordable service which can beat ADSL speeds, local news portal Stuff.co.nz writes, though the 4G network cannot compete with the data rates offered by more expensive fibre-based services. Responding to queries about quality of service on Spark’s 4G mobile network and whether increased user numbers will reduce data speeds, Skinny Mobile general manager Ross Parker said: ‘It’s dependent on exactly where you are in the network, but we’re not providing it in areas where we don’t think we’ve got a speed that’s reliable and fast.’
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Skinny Mobile is New Zealand’s largest MVNO. It is a wholly-owned unit of fixed and mobile operator Spark, established in 2012 to target the youth market before expanding in 2013 to become a more general budget pre-paid service.