Optus says no to Woolworths Mobile

Woolworths Mobile
Say goodbye to another MVNO...

Optus has confirmed that it will be cutting ties with MVNO Woolworths Mobile, with the supermarket giant set to stop selling its Woolworths-branded prepaid SIM cards from October 1.

Speculation started over the weekend after a Woolworths retail staff member posted on the Whirlpool forum a notice stating that the Woolworths/Optus license agreement would be ending October 1.

Today, Optus confirmed the news in a statement, saying: "Optus is in the process of ending its agreement with Woolworths Mobile."

Woolworths launched its prepaid mobile service two years ago using Optus' network. It offered a $2 SIM card with $29 or $49 recharges for 45 days, giving you 5GB of data along with $500 or $1000 worth of calls and SMS/MMS, respectively.

From October 1, Woolworths Mobile customers will be able to continue recharging in store and online for another 12 months.

"After this time, customers can recharge by purchasing an Optus recharge voucher," Optus said, meaning that Optus has plans to allow you to keep your Woolworths SIM, but you will only be able to recharge using Optus' prepaid options.

The end is night

So while Woolworths Mobile customers won't be drastically effected until next year, it seems like we may be witnessing the end of MVNOs as we know them.

Just two months ago, Vodafone Australia CEO Bill Morrow told TechRadar that he didn't think that there was a market MVNOs anymore.

"I don't believe that MVNOs, the way they are structured today, are going to be around too much longer … I think it is quite normal, and is market forces doing what they should do," he said.

His comments came soon after ISPOne went into administration, causing Kogan Mobile, which worked on Telstra's network, to collapse.

Optus and Vodafone MVNOs Red Bull and Crazy John's also shut its services earlier this year.

"This is a fundamentally different market place for MVNOs. Mark my words, there's going to be far fewer," Morrow had said to us.

  • Here are some alternative MVNOs.