Spark follows 2degrees in launching mobile plan with no fixed cap

Spark has avoided using the term "unlimited" to describe its Freedom mobile plans, preferring to say they let customers ...

iles “without restriction”.

Spark has responded to 2degrees’ launch of an “unlimited” mobile plan by announcing a similar service at a lower price three days later.

Unlike 2degrees it is steering clear of marketing its flat-rate plans as offering unlimited mobile data, instead saying they allow customers to use their mobiles “without restriction”.

Spokesman Jason Paris said the first 22 gigabytes of mobile data customers consumed each month on its new Freedom plans would run at “full speed”.

After that, customers could continue consuming mobile broadband but might see the speed of their connection reduced “to protect other mobile and wireless broadband customers’ experience”.

Paris said Spark believed that was a “transparent” approach.

READ MORE: 2degrees offers unlimited mobile plan

Spokeswoman Ellie Cross said Spark could not say exactly how customers’ speeds might be throttled back if they consumed 22Gb.

“We’re not committing to a specific speed. However, we [will ensure] that customers can always continue to use their mobile for the basic things they’d need, such as email, using apps and browsing.

“They just might notice degradation during more data-intensive activities, such as watching video or streaming.”

2degrees became the first New Zealand mobile operator to launch a mobile plan without fixed data, calling or text caps on Monday.

Its plan costs $129 a month and is governed by a “fair use” policy that requires customers keep their usage within what 2degrees assesses is a “reasonable” level.

Spark said its rival Freedom plans would be available after Easter and would be available through both its Spark and Skinny brands.

Both would let customers “use their mobiles without restriction by providing data without a cap, unlimited voice calling and unlimited texting”, it said.

The Skinny-branded service will cost $120 a month, while the Spark-branded version will cost $129.99 and will come with free access to streaming music service Spotify and Spark’s Lightbox internet television service.

 – Stuff