It's no secret that Kogan Mobile and ispONE have had their issues in the past, but the wholesaler's latest war with Telstra means that a contract that keeps Australia's cheapest MVNOs alive might be terminated. Kogan Mobile is today warning customers that the end may be nigh for their service.
Kogan Mobile is today emailing customers telling them that their service soon may shut off because of the court case between ispONE and Telstra, due to the fact that Telstra may soon kill its contract with the wholesaler.
The key point here to wrap your head around is the relationships: Kogan Mobile and AldiMobile on-sell Telstra's wholesale 3G network, but not direcly though Telstra. Telstra on-sells the service through a wholesaler called ispONE, which then flogs the service to the MVNOs.
Yesterday, Telstra and ispONE landed in the Federal Court, with the wholesaler alleging that Telstra would move to cut off 280,000 services over a billing dispute. Telstra was alleging that ispONE hadn't been paying its bills, while ispONE alleged that Telstra fibbed about data rates.
The two parties are locked in remediation as you read this, and if that remediation fails, the two parties will be back in a Melbourne court at 2:45pm AEST today.
In the emantime, Kogan Mobile is telling its customers to contac Telstra and plead with them not to pull the plug on the contract with ispONE, as it would negatively affect their service through no fault of Kogan Mobile.
The email in full has been republished below.
Thank you for joining us on the journey to make mobile access in Australia more affordable. We entered the mobile industry in order to increase competition and give consumers more choice and better value. Since starting Kogan Mobile, we are proud to now serve more than 115,000 active customers.
We have fought hard for the Australian consumer – there have been endless negotiations and even the occasional visit to the Supreme Court to protect our customers’ interests and ensure that our customers continue to get the best deals. However, there are forces at play in the Australian telecommunications market that are beyond our control, very powerful and impossible to ignore.
You may be aware that we procure our mobile services for part of the Telstra 3G Network through Telstra’s sole and approved distributor – ispONE. ispONE is the only company in Australia that wholesales Telstra’s Prepaid 3G Services and is essential to the operation of our and any business through that network. Telstra’s Prepaid 3G Network is not integrated with any other wholesale platform, other than ispONE’s.
Since day one, Kogan Mobile has complied with all its obligations to its service providers. We keep our agreements. We have paid every invoice on time or early. Like our customers, we expect our service providers to deliver what they have been paid for.
Kogan Mobile has recently become aware of the following:
• Telstra is in dispute with ispONE, Telstra’s sole distributor of prepaid 3G mobile services and Kogan Mobile’s essential supplier • Telstra has taken steps to terminate its contract with ispONE. If Telstra terminates its contract with ispONE this is very likely to impact Kogan Mobile’s own customers’ services (through no fault of Kogan Mobile) • ispONE has commenced proceedings against Telstra in the Federal Court and obtained a short term injunction to restrain Telstra from terminating its contract with ispONE • The Federal Court ordered Telstra and ispONE to attend mediation. Although not party to the Federal Court proceedings, Kogan Mobile is permitted to (and will) attend the mediation
Kogan Mobile is doing everything it can to protect its customers.
We are monitoring these developments closely, as they may affect the continuity of our prepaid mobile services. We will provide a further update when further information comes to hand.
You may also wish to contact Telstra directly and ask Telstra what it intends to do in respect of its wholesale prepaid mobile business and customers’ mobile telephone services if it achieves its goal of terminating its contractual arrangements with ispONE.
The Kogan Mobile Team
More as it develops
Gavel image via Shutterstock
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