blog Well, it looks like those rumours that mobile wholesale player ispONE (which supplies services to both ALDIMobile and Kogan Mobile) was going bankrupt were true. The company’s Federal Court action against Telstra to stop the telco from cancelling its service to ispONE appears to have been railroaded by ispONE’s sudden move to go into administration. Telstra has a detailed statement on the lowdown and what it means for the company’s many customers:
“Telstra Wholesale has been advised that ispONE has appointed Ferrier Hodgson as a voluntary administrator and the administrator has cancelled ispONE’s contracts for the supply of Telstra Wholesale pre-paid mobile products.
Telstra Wholesale has entered into an interim agreement with Medion Australia for the supply of wholesale prepaid mobile services. Medion is the supplier to ALDIMobile.
ispONE had been a customer of Telstra Wholesale for mobile products as well as a broadband and a relatively small number of fixed line voice products. ispONE on-sold these products and services to retailers and in some instances to the public. For example, ispONE supplied two companies, the online retailer Kogan and Medion (who sells mobile service through the ALDIMobile brand), utilising the Telstra Wholesale pre-paid mobile product.
Telstra Wholesale Group Managing Director, Stuart Lee, confirmed that given the relationship with ispONE for pre-paid mobile services had ended, Telstra would not be accepting any requests for new Kogan Mobile services from ispONE, although people with existing services would have the opportunity to switch to other providers.
“For mobiles, we will not be accepting new activations, number port-ins or processing credit recharges from ispONE on behalf of Kogan Mobile. An interim service will be available for a fixed period of time for people who have active pre-paid mobile services from Kogan Mobile so they have time to choose their next steps,” said Mr Lee.
“Because Medion and Telstra Wholesale have been able to negotiate a direct supply agreement there will be no changes to the services for ALDI Mobile.
People who have services through ispONE and its retail partners, such as Kogan Mobile, are not customers of Telstra. “We do not have their account information and we cannot provide them any customer service support. For any questions about their service, people should contact their retail service provider,” said Mr Lee.
There are limits to the industry’s capacity to implement mobile number porting requests and requests to churn fixed line voice and broadband services. If large numbers of people try to switch providers at once there may be some delays across the industry.
“People who want to change providers should approach their service provider of choice who can request the number port, but we would ask for patience as there are limits on how many ports the industry can undertake in addition to normal sales and activation activity. To provide for a smooth transition we are providing interim voice services across the impacted mobile and fixed line services.”
So you probably already know this, but if you’re a Kogan Mobile customer, or a customer of ALDI, you should probably be looking for another provider rather urgently. I’m sure both Kogan and ALDI will be able to work something out with Telstra, or possibly the industry’s other major mobile wholesaler, Optus, but in the meantime there may be some flak. Let’s hope it’s not too much of a bumpy ride.
Image credit: United States Geological Survey, public domain