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Kogan Mobile muscled out by 'dark forces' as death knell sounds

Out of options, Kogan Mobile has attacked the 'forces at play in the Australian telecommunications market'.
Written by Chris Duckett, Contributor

In a statement on the Kogan website, Kogan Mobile has lashed out at the "forces at play in the Australian telecommunications market that are beyond our control, very powerful, and impossible to ignore".

Kogan Mobile customers were thrown into a state of uncertainty today, as Kogan Mobile wholesaler ISPOne went into voluntary administration and Telstra declared that it will be moving ex-Kogan customers over to a 7-Day Plan at some point during the next 60 days. Fellow ISPOne customer Aldi Mobile successfully negotiated a deal directly with Telstra to maintain continuity of service.

Kogan Mobile said that having over 100,000 people move to it in its eight-month tenure attracted a lot of attention, made people in the industry unhappy, and that following Telstra's actions today, competition in the telco sector is being "forcefully limited".

"Unfortunately and frustratingly, it appears like the telco heavyweights may be determined to take their former customers back, and they may be prepared to do so by force," the company said.

"We're afraid that due to certain industry dynamics, this is a sign of things to come."

Kogan said that it is concerned with the industry's consolidation, and that higher prices are the only outcome of such measures.

"We're not happy about this but at this stage it's not something we can do anything about.

"Kogan Mobile has been muscled out of the mobile industry against our will by a force much bigger and much stronger than us."

As Telstra moves Kogan customers onto its transitory plan, Kogan will refund any remaining credit to its customers on a pro-rata basis.

Kogan customers have 180 days to port their number, and will be moved onto a "limited 7-Day Plan" that offers only 20 voice call minutes and 20 SMSes, while any data, international calling, and MMS services are disabled.

After the 7-Day Plan, if a Kogan Mobile customer has not moved to another provider, the customer will be unable to move calls, but can still receive and make emergency calls for six months.

At its launch, Kogan Mobile touted "unlimited" plans for its customers.

Optus has joined Telstra at the ISPOne customer feeding frenzy, offering a special to double the data and voice quotas on the first three recharges that an ex-Kogan or Aldi customer makes until September 30.

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