This week, Tarifica itself is the subject of this news report. The U.S.-based telecom research and analysis firm announced ratings for all the major Australian mobile operators’ postpaid plans, created with its recently launched comparison tool, the Tarifica Score. The highest scores were achieved by Optus and Vodafone, which ranked significantly ahead of competitors Telstra and Virgin Mobile. The top score among plans that included a phone went to Vodafone’s $100 Red Plan with Double Data Promotion, while in the without-phone category the highest score was achieved by Optus’ $60 My Plan Plus. These scores provide objective, quantitative comparisons of mobile plans, based on a consumer-value-oriented approach, and are generated by a proprietary mathematical model. Among the factors taken into account are plan allowances (voice minutes, SMS, MMS and data), network speeds and value-added elements such as data sharing, international calling allowances and roaming benefits.
Optus’ plans received high scores because they combined large data allowances with relatively moderate prices. Vodafone’s high scores were driven by the combination of its “Double Data” promotion and its network’s fast 4G download speeds, which dwarfed that of the competition. Although it is the largest mobile operator in the market, Telstra’s plans were simply too expensive to compete with the value offered by Optus and Vodafone. The algorithm used to calculate Tarifica Scores awarded a high number of points to Telstra’s plans because of the operator’s wide geographic coverage, but even with this bonus, its plans did not include anywhere near the allowance volumes available in similarly priced plans from Optus and Vodafone.
The Tarifica Score, which assigns a single number to each plan analyzed, is notable for making possible “apples-to-apples” comparisons between offerings that may on the surface appear to be quite different from each other. By doing so, it allows consumers to determine which plans offer the best value for the money. For mobile operators, the Tarifica Score offers several advantages: First, it allows in-house evaluation of plans’ market potential against an objective, algorithm-based third-party analysis provided by a firm with years of institutional knowledge and experience as well as relationships with major industry participants around the world. Second, Tarifica will work with operators to analyze plans prior to their launch so as to ensure the highest possible score. Third, the score is an excellent marketing tool by which operators can communicate to consumers, in simple, quantitative terms, the actual value of their offerings. Fourth, it can be supplied to regulators as a way of addressing concerns about the value and fairness of plans. Finally, for a deeper understanding of a plan’s place in the larger telecom world, Tarifica offers a modification that will allow a plan to be compared across markets. In addition, both operators and consumers can benefit from having the Tarifica Score segmented according to various metrics such as cost, device inclusion or regional availability.
Tarifica Scores can be calculated for any of the countries Tarifica tracks.