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News | New Moves

Dare to be terrible! Maverick’s move terrible for established telcos New telco Terrible Talk doesn’t just break the rules, it smashes right through them and director Albi Whale makes no apologies for shaking up the telco landscape. “New Zealand is a first world country, but its telecommunications landscape is third world. It’s time to change that.” The words belong to Albi Whale, the young tech-savvy entrepreneur behind a brand new telco designed to take on the big companies – and give Christchurch businesses a fundamentally different option at the same time. In a move reminiscent of pizza’s bad boy brand Hell, he’s named his new telco Terrible Talk – but what might be terrible for the established telcos is anything but for businesses. The reason? Terrible Talk is offering businesses free line rental, free DDI direct dialling numbers, free extension numbers and up to 500GB of free business broadband. With its two main business planes, the only thing Terrible Talk charges for is phone calls. It’s revolutionary and it’s likely to go down like a lead balloon with the big players – but that’s exactly what Albi wants to happen. “We want to push all the big companies that have been sitting there with the same products and the same structure and the same prices to breaking point. We want to really shake it up and fundamentally change the telco landscape in New Zealand. We want to give businesses a real choice,” he says. Albi may be young, but he’s not new to the telco industry – he is a director of the successful niche telco Red Dog, which builds bespoke systems for large companies. But if Red Dog offers one-off, custom-made systems for businesses with unique requirements, Terrible Talk is the other end of the spectrum. Its off the shelf systems target common business needs, with simple, easy-tounderstand structures and lots of free stuff.

“Red Dog has pushed the envelope quite far in offering something totally different from the big boys, but it doesn’t really break the rules,” he says. “Terrible doesn’t just break the rules, it smashes right through them.” It has just three plans, all named to play on the brand’s bad boy maverick image. Called Terribly Straight, Terribly Simple and Terribly Strange, they offer up to 500GB of free broadband a month, free line rental, email, DDI and extension telephony.

Albi Whale

Terribly Straight

Terribly Simple

500GB INTERNET FREE + NZ CALLING FROM

200GB INTERNET FREE + NZ CALLING FROM 4c + NO LINE RENTAL

Businesses can choose free internet or they can choose to pay per gigabyte. They can choose a plan that charges per phone call or per minute. And the charges per call start as low as $0.04. Two plans also include a small charge for incoming calls, to keep the outgoing call rate low.

10c + NO LINE RENTAL

The target market, Albi says, is any business with between four and 200 employees that needs only a standard telephony package.

You get a voice line, internet (up to 500GB business broadband), DDI for when staff need direct dial numbers and extensions when they don’t.

“If Terrible Talk isn’t right for your business, we’ll let you know,” he says. “We’ll tell you either you’re better off with your current supplier, or we’ll suggest you need a bespoke system from Red Dog.” And it’s only natural Christchurch should be the launch market for a telco that’s shaking up the established way of doing things. For starters, it’s Albi’s home base. But also, for the past two years most of the city’s businesses have had no option but to do things differently. Terrible Talk offers them another option that can only be good for their bottom line. The way Albi tells it, internet protocol, or IP, telephony is the only telco model that is sustainable in the long term. But while it’s fully viable now, the established companies are continuing to make too much money out of the old copper-wire based systems to voluntarily switch over as quickly as they could. “After the fibre rollout in 2020, normal phone lines physically won’t be possible – it will be IP or nothing. So the whole country should be starting to switch over now.” By going where the big companies are refusing to go, Terrible Talk is aimed at forcing them to follow.

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This is for data-heavy businesses that need oodles of gigabytes – up to 500 in fact. You’ll get those for free. You’ll pay per call, not per minute, and by paying a small charge per incoming call, you’ll also keep your outgoing call costs low.

You pay 18 cents per landline call, 10 cents per call for high volume accounts, 80 cents per mobile call (40 cents for high volume) and one cent per inbound call. Anywhere calling cost $2.85 per call (excludes sat phones) and high volume rates are calculated on a case by case basis.

“Terrible Talk being a success to me is not so much about the company being successful – although that’s obviously nice,” he says. “It’s about not just us, but everyone, including the major players, rethinking what they’re doing and following our example. “The motivation to me is making sure New Zealand has a sustainable future in telecoms. At the moment, it doesn’t. “If we make these changes now and make the service much more sustainable, then we are really going to create a sustainable IT path for this country.” And, while they’re doing that, Christchurch’s businesses could be saving big time on their phone bills. As Albi says, they just have to dare to be Terrible – and reap the rewards.

If your phones calls are short and sweet and your data needs moderate, this one’s for you. You get 200GB for free and very low calling costs per minute. Plus all the usual free stuff. You get a voice line, internet (up to 200GB business broadband), a DDI for staff needing direct dial numbers and extensions when they don’t. You pay four cents per minute for landline calls, 30 cents per minute for mobile calls and one cent per minute for inbound call and anywhere calling cost 39 cents per minute (excludes sat phones).

Terribly Strange INTERNET FOR JUST 45c PER GB + NZ CALLING FROM 4c + NO LINE RENTAL If your business phone and internet needs are low, you can choose to pay a low rate for all your outgoing calls and internet data, and get your incoming calls for free. Plus all the usual free stuff. You get a voice line, a DDI for staff needing direct dial numbers and extensions when they don’t. You pay 45 cents per GB for your internet connection, four cents per minute for landline calls and 24 cents per minute for mobile calls. Internationally it’s 45 cents per minute calling Europe, 19 cents per minute to Asia and four cents per minute to the USA. All charges exclude GST Unless otherwise stated, mobile calls are included in anywhere and world call charges.

Canterbury Today 120  

July/August 2013

Canterbury Today 120  

July/August 2013