Mobile operator Sure has refreshed its pay monthly mobile offering with the launch of new unlimited mobile and sharer plans in Guernsey.
The new plans have unlimited data, voice and SMS and start from £22.00 (US $30.51)per month. Instead of data limits, the new plans are based on offering customers the data download speed suited to their consumption.
The Unlimited Basic plan (3 Mbps maximum download speed), for £22.00 per month, is ideal for web browsing and light social media use and includes 1 GB of roaming data for use in the U.K. and the EU. The Unlimited Standard plan (10 Mbps maximum download speed), ideal for video calls and watching HD videos, costs £27.00 (US $37.45) per month and comes with 3 GB of roaming data. The Unlimited Max plan costs £32.00 (US $44.38) per month and offers unlimited data at the maximum download speed available in a customer’s area, as well as 5 GB of roaming data.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, data use has grown significantly across markets as users spend more time on devices and remote work and school increase the demand for data. This phenomenon has been driving a trend toward more plans with unlimited data. And that, in turn, is giving impetus to the use of data speed as a plan differentiator, rather than data quantity.
The plan suite launched by Sure (a Channel Islands operator owned by Bahrain-based Batelco) fits squarely into this trend. Unlimited data is included with all the options, as well as unlimited voice minutes—mobile phone calls having doubled during the first lockdown in Guernsey. The primary point of difference between the plans is, of course, download speed, which ranges from a modest 3 Mbps to “the maximum download speed available in a customer’s area.”
Speed is a perfectly valid basis for price differentiation, and targeting different kinds of users with offerings of data download speeds that are appropriate to their favorite smartphone activities makes sense. In this case, for example, Unlimited Basic plan is aimed at those who engage in light web browsing and social media use, while the Unlimited Standard caters to those who use video more.
The one issue with the suite is that the top-end offering does not specify a particular speed but only promises access to the maximum available. However, that speed, depending on the conditions that prevail, may not be high enough and consistent enough to justify the top price, in the minds of many consumers. Furthermore, the lack of 5G makes the use of speed as a differentiator less convincing than it would otherwise be. The strategy of using speed as a defining factor in plan design depends for its fullest success on the operators’ networks being, at least potentially, as fast as possible.