Tuesday, 14 September 2021 12:28

iTWireTV Interview: MATE GM Mark Fazio talks NBN & mobile pricing, no change to upload speeds, Mates Rates & plenty more in wide-ranging chat.


GUEST INTERVIEW: Unlike some telcos that have halved NBN upload speeds and raised prices in the middle of the latest pandemic lockdowns, MATE hasn't done so, while also avoiding the ridiculousness of cheaper prices for 6 months after which prices go up, while offering competitive NBN and mobile pricing, and genuinely good deals through its new "Mates Rates" service.

Imagine your telco halving your 40Mbps upload speed to 20Mbps in the middle of the lockdowns where everyone is Zooming into meetings and home schooling, and then imaging those telcos raising your prices!

Well, various Telstra and other NBN RSP customers don't have to imagine this, as they're experiencing it as reported online, much to their chagrin and annoyance, as Whirlpool users have reported.

And what about the situation where NBN providers are now offering a discounted price for the first six months, only to have that price lifted after six months? Why don't NBN providers have the good sense to offer one price that stays consistent?

Now, to be fair, the slowdown in upload speeds from 40Mbps to 20Mbps, along with the introductory pricing that's cheaper for 6 months, is because of decisions NBN Co has made that encourage NBN providers to offer plans in certain ways, but MATE is one NBN provider that has decided to offer competitive prices, without unexpectedly slowing its customers down, and without prices that rise after six months!

It's a customer centric, customer friendly decision - and the exact opposite of customer hostile behaviour that cuts upload speeds in half in the middle of a pandemic.

So, what is MATE charging for its 100/20 and 100/40 plans? 

Well, MATE's 100Mbps down and 20Mbps up plan is called "soul mates" and is the nbn Home Fast plan, for $79 per month,  without contracts, or a fixed phone line number, and which is discounted by $10 per month if you have one of MATE's mobile plans. 

The "soul mates" nbn Home Fast+ plan, which is the 100/40 plan at $89 per month, and those plans haven't changed. Again, it's also $10 per month cheaper if you have one of MATE's mobile plans. 

I only thought of asking about the halving of upload speeds as seen with some other NBN providers towards the end of my video interview with Mark Fazio, the GM of MATE, which is where I learned the above details. 

It's certainly good to see that MATE is working hard to be a genuine alternative to not only the incumbents, but other good guys such as the awesome team at Aussie Broadband, while also being a strong alternative to quality players like Boost Mobile, with MATE's mobile plans, save for the cheapest one, all coming with a free TIDAL music subscription for 12 months, which is a great alternative to Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music, Amazon Music and others. 

MATE also has great partnerships with WWE, with soccer stars Sam Kerr and Mat Ryan, and it has a great selection of Mates Rates deals that offer genuine discounts from Appliances Online, Malt Shovel Garage, Hello Fresh, Readly, Naked Wines and more - for all MATE customers, new and existing - and without needing to worry about fiddly points balances. 

More Mates Rates deals are on the way, and naturally, MATE invites businesses who want a new stream of customers to becomes mates with MATE and offer Mates Rates to MATE's customers. 

All in all, MATE is an impressive company that really seems to live up to its promises to really be different, and I really enjoyed talking with Mark Fazio, GM of MATE, and you'll see in our discussion, embedded below!

Here's a summary of what we spoke about:

  • I started by introducing Mark, welcoming him to the program, and asking him what made MATE different?
  • We spoke about MATE's Australian based customer service and support team, which has been Australian based from the beginning, before we delved into the various Mates Rates on offer.
  • Mark explained MATE's various content partnerships and sponsorships, be it with WWE, TIDAL, the Central Coast Mariners, why MATE is investing in sports partnerships, and what else might be coming. 
  • We delved into how I’ve found 5G can often be not much faster than 4G, with 4G speeds in my tests often faster than 5G upload speeds, while also looking at when MATE might bring 5G to its customer base.
  • We discussed whether MATE has slowed any of its upload speeds as Telstra has done, and what MATE thinks about the NBN issues that other telcos have been vocal about in terms of pricing, simplicity and more
  • We look at why MATE was called MATE, Mark’s first memory of his first computer and first smartphone, keys to success for MATE and how MATE might evolve over the next couple of years through to 2030.
  • Mark shared the best advice he has received in life, and his final message to iTWire viewers and readers.

So, please watch the video interview above to learn more about MATE!

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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