SIMplus launches Aust online mobile service

SIMplus Mobile has today launched a new pre-paid mobile product with full online bill monitoring capabilities. The company said the product would "give consumers more control over their mobile phone bills".

SIMplus Mobile has today launched a new pre-paid mobile product with full online bill monitoring capabilities. The company said the product would "give consumers more control over their mobile phone bills".

Available from today, the iSIM pre-paid mobile service is the design of SIMplus, the re-branded RSL Com Mobile, which is now a fully owned subsidiary of SingTel Optus.

Managing director, Keir Preedy, says customers will now have more control over their mobile spending with the "direct online model".

"You buy it online, you activate it online, and you can go in and recharge it when you want online, you can set up the means to recharge it automatically online and you can go back in and change it online," said Preedy.

According to Preedy, iSIM customers can e-mail or chat online with a SIMplus representative for assistance, however customers will not have the option to call or speak with operators over the phone.

"Because it's an online product we've decided not to actually put phone calls in there at all. We want to encourage people to get online instead," said Preedy.

Preedy said iSIM customers will be able to access current account balances and updated call histories online.

"If you make a call 10 seconds later it will pop up in your account balance online," he said.

iSIM claims to be the cheapest pre-paid online service currently on the market, with a single national call rate of 39c per minute that is billed by the second and a 19c SMS service.

Preedy said one of the key features of the product is it's "voucher-less recharge" option.

"You can recharge the phone by any amount through the minimum of $10 to the maximum of $100 per time," said Preedy, adding that there is a AU$200 per month recharge limit as they "believe $200 per month should be sufficient for most users".

Preedy says customers have a number of options in recharging their phones with iSIM, including online with a credit card, automatic updates with a credit card and soon to be introduced bank direct debits.

According to Preedy, results of a recent survey conducted with Newspoll contributed greatly to the development of the product.

The survey found that 40 percent of respondents were "shocked" when they received their monthly bills and that over 50 percent of Australian parents are responsible for paying their children's mobile phone costs.

"The core areas where I see this product appealing to would be families with multiple services," said Preedy. "It is a rational way for parents to control the family bills."

iSIM is currently available for purchase online, with a starting price of AU$19.95 for a start up package that includes a sim card and AU$20 of call credits; various handset bundles are also available for outright purchase.