New-Zealand based Internet service provider ihug has launched its first ADSL service and is planning to provide stiff competition to local telecommunication players with competitive rates and higher download limits.ihug is no stranger to broadband, with 9,000 satellite customers already on its books, but it felt the time was right to begin offering ADSL services. The ISP has put together 10 access plans and three speed options to choose from.
Local distributor Quadtel has scored the procurement contract for the Alcatel ADSL modems that will be offered to ihug customers under the new deals. Ihug claims it has received over 30,000 expressions of interest in the service, and estimates that it will have at least 15,000 home subscribers and 5,000 small business subscribers within the next 12 months, if all goes to plan. It is a significant contract win for ASX-listed Quadtel, which has a similar arrangement in place with ISP iPrimus and retailer Harvey Norman.
Ben Foote, marketing manager for ihug, said the company had chosen Quadtel due to its strong relationship with Alcatel, the manufacturer of the modems that are part of the installation package. Users will have the option, however, of procuring their own modems if they wish to use a different brand.
Foote said ihug's pricing plan is similar to Telstra's but it offers much higher download limits (1000MB as opposed to 300MB on the base product). The ISP is using these download limits as its main point of differentiation, and is also offering to e-mail or SMS users when they are close to exceeding their download limit, to ensure they are not heavily penalised.