Sydney Telco start-up MATE is questioning why the major players are complaining about profits rather than focussing their efforts on supporting their customers when it comes to the NBN.
The “Big 4” Telcos in Australia have been pushing for a reduction in the NBN wholesale price, reportedly with concerns there’s no money to be made from the resell of the upgraded network which all Australians will have to make the switch to by 2021.
MATE, which was launched in 2015 by twin brothers Mark and David Fazio, now has more than 45,500 customers compared to 1,214 in 2016. Once locked into certain networks due to their regions, Australians are now able to shop around for the best NBN deals.
“At MATE, we don’t complain about the cards we have been dealt like other Telcos, we just get the job done for the people that matter, our customers,” says David Fazio, MATE’s managing director.
“We don’t compromise on service and what we need to do for our customers based on how much we are making. The other providers are complaining out there in the market about how much they are making and how they need to cut costs and get rid of resources.
“The main reason why the big guys are saying there is no profit in the NBN is because for 20 years they built an ADSL network which they owned. They’ve been, making 50 to 90 per cent margins, and any reductions were easily passed onto their customers”.
With their higher overheads and more staff to pay, the other Telcos are struggling to reduce their NBN packages.
“The NBN gives a new layer of competitiveness. The NBN has set a price and the margins are a lot less. The other Telcos are so used to working on higher margins and it hurts them to come down in price – but they have to do it,” says David Fazio.
“Unfortunately, the Big 4 have had to slash jobs and staff in order to stay competitive and this is the negative impact of the current NBN pricing. So, in this regard, we do support the lowering of the wholesale price if it means people’s livelihoods are not affected.
“MATE wasn’t around during the ADSL days – we started with the NBN – we have managed our business on the NBN margins, and we are managing this at the moment,” says MATE finance director Jonathan Dundovic.
“Our mission is we focus each day on doing the best we can for our mates – our customers.”
MATE says essentially every Telco should be providing the same technical service, but the crunch comes done to the price they can offer and their customer service. MATE prides itself on a local (Sydney) customer service centre with no calls going abroad.
“The NBN speeds are the same everywhere – technically the speeds are no different. It’s more about how many concurrent users a network has which may reduce the speed. You can change that by managing your traffic better and buying more capacity,” says David Fazio.
MATE also has no lock-in contracts and offers unlimited data on the NBN from $59 per month.
“Contracts in this day and age are like a dinosaur created to book in revenue for a set amount of time, but if people are really unhappy with a service they can now find a way out, so contracts are basically obsolete,” says MATE general manager Mark Fazio.
MATE is reassuring Australians the NBN is nothing to be scared of, despite some bad press.
“It’s like when television went from analogue to digital, we all had to do it and while analogue was rock solid and digital had a few issues, it’s now the norm and works great.”