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Telstra picks over remains of ISPOne, saves Aldi, nixes Kogan

Telstra has signed a deal with Aldi Mobile to continue service, but Kogan customers are left in the lurch as ISPOne enters administration.
Written by Chris Duckett, Contributor

The agreement between Telstra and ISPOne has been terminated as mobile reseller ISPOne has entered voluntary administration.

Accountancy firm Ferrier Hodgson has been appointed to act as the administrator to the mobile service reseller that was responsible for acting as a wholesale intermediary between Telstra and mobile service providers such as Aldi Mobile and Kogan Mobile. ISPOne also had a small number of fixed-line products.

Telstra and Medion Australia, which supplies the Aldi Mobile brand, have entered into an interim agreement to continue service to Aldi customers subsequent to the ISPOne administrator's termination of its contract with Telstra Wholesale.

"Because Medion and Telstra Wholesale have been able to negotiate a direct supply agreement, there will be no changes to the services for Aldi Mobile," Telstra Wholesale group managing director, Stuart Lee, said in a statement.

For Kogan customers, the outlook is less stable. Telstra said that it would not be accepting any requests for new Kogan Mobile services, and that existing Kogan customers would have the opportunity to switch.

"For mobiles, we will not be accepting new activations, number port-ins, or processing credit recharges from ISPOne on behalf of Kogan Mobile," said Lee. "An interim service will be available for a fixed period of time for people who have active prepaid mobile services from Kogan Mobile, so they have time to choose their next steps."

Kogan Mobile customers will not be able to recharge their accounts, with existing quotas expiring in 30 days, and Telstra porting the customers onto a "limited 7 Day Plan". The movement of Kogan customers will be prioritised by the amount of the user's balance; users with low or zero numbered balances will be the first moved over.

The 7-Day Plan is a large reduction in service from the "unlimited" plans that Kogan Mobile offered at its launch. Telstra's interim service gives customers 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. If the number has not been ported after six months, the service will be cancelled altogether, and the number placed in quarantine.

Telstra cited the fact that it does not have access to Kogan customer data, and cannot therefore provide any customer support; the telco does not regard Kogan Mobile customers as Telstra customers.

Customers with concerns are being urged to speak to their retail providers, but Lee warned of potential delays due to industry limits in processing churning and porting requests.

"People who want to change providers should approach their service provider of choice who can request the number port, but we would ask for patience, as there are limits on how many ports the industry can undertake in addition to normal sales and activation activity. To provide for a smooth transition, we are providing interim voice services across the impacted mobile and fixed-line services," he said.

Kogan Mobile has had a troubled existence in its eight-month tenure. The telco was criticised early on for blocking customers who used too much data, with Kogan Mobile blaming ISPOne for suspending customers without its authorisation. Following this incident, Kogan took ISPOne to court and won damages for losses suffered due to ISPOne suspending its customers.

Earlier this month, ISPOne claimed that Telstra was attempting to disconnect its customers for failure to pay invoices. ISPOne won an injunction against such a move.

Kogan Mobile was approached for comment, but no response had been received by the time of writing.

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