Italian MVNO PosteMobile has extended the availability of its Creami Next plans, part of its Creami (“Create Me”) range of flexible plans. Creami Next 1 comes with unlimited credits for use on calls and SMS, plus 10 GB of 4G/LTE mobile data for €10.00 (US $11.25) per month. Creami Next 2 offers the same but with 30 GB of data a month for three months at a total cost of €30.00 (US $33.75), and Creami Next 3 offers 50 GB a month on a six-month contract, at a total cost of €50.00 (US $56.25).
The offer is now available until 4 May with new SIM cards costing €15.00 (US $16.85) with €5.00 (US $5.62) credit included.
Flexibility is one of the key demands among today’s mobile consumers in a broad swath of markets, and operators—especially MVNOs and other budget-oriented providers—have been coming up with various creative ways to meet that demand. Italian post-office-based MVNO PosteMobile, which runs on the Wind network, has been doing so with its Creami suite of plans, which originally came with a certain number of units that could be interchanged between calls, SMS and mobile data, one unit being valid for either one voice minute, one SMS or 1 MB.
This latest iteration of Creami, the Next suite, seems to move away from the core concept; given that it has unlimited minutes and SMS, there are no units to convert between features. The flexibility inheres in the pricing of the data in relation to time period, which becomes a way for the operator to encourage users to enter into contracts.
The plan pricing is equivalent to €1.00 (US $1.12) per MB if the user is month-to-month with no contract but only €0.30 (US $0.34) per MB if the user accepts a three-month commitment and €0.167 (US $0.188) if the user commits for six months. So while this is indeed flexible, it is not exactly what users have in mind when they think of creating their own plan. It is likely to feel more like a subtle form of coercion to enter a contract, the longer the better. This incentivization may play well with consumers as a general rule, but since it is being presented in the context of a flex-choice type of plan, it may not be as well received as it otherwise would. Then again, the fact that the plans feature unlimited voice and SMS may well mitigate or eliminate any such objections.