Yatango Mobile calls on social media

Yatango Mobile requires customers to have a Facebook account and allows its users to custom build their monthly plan rates

New Australian telco Yatango Mobile requires customers to have a Facebook account and allows its users to custom build their monthly plan rates.

The company, which launched in Australia earlier this week, is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) that uses the Optus network. It is a BYO mobile, SIM-only telco that doesn't sell handsets.

Yatango requires its users to sign up through Facebook and offers subscribers the chance to earn mobile credit by connecting with friends or signing up new members.

It uses a slider-based online interface that allows its customers to build their own personalised plan by adjusting the amount of voice minutes, SMS messages, mobile data and international voice minutes every month.

"We harness the power of social media to offer a personalised service and pricing system that’s dictated and driven by the community," said Yatango's founder and CEO, Andy Taylor. "In that respect, we view ourselves more as a technology company than a telco".

"Our customers and their community have the power to shape Yatango pricing and tailor their mobile plan to suit them. Not only do they have the freedom to spend only what they want, but as the Yatango customer base grows, the cost saving is passed on to the whole community."

Yatango Mobile's 'packs' of voice, SMS and data have a 30 day expiry but can be reconfigured at any time, month to month, with no lock-in contracts. Any changes made will take affect at that specific packs renewal date.

The company offers both prepaid and post-paid billing options as well as a pay as you go (PAYG) option. A 4G service is "coming soon" but Yatango Mobile hasn't provided a specific time frame as to when it will be available.

Yatango will rely heavily on its users to proactively answer customer service enquiries on its Website forum, offering 10 cents of credit for every customer service question answered correctly.

PAYG rates are charged at 15 cents per minute to non Yatango users and 8 cents per minute when calling another Yatango users. No flagfall is charged for any voice calls. Data is charged at 5 cents per megabyte (MB), SMS at 12 cents each, MMS at 50 cents each and voicemail at 15 cents per minute.

19 numbers are barred and not available on the Yatango service while 13 and 18 numbers are charged at a rate of 30 cents per minute.

Read more: Australians embrace world's first 'social telco'

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