ispONE cancels Telstra contract [Updated]

The company that provides the wholesale network that underpins Kogan Mobile and Aldi Mobile has gone into administration. What does this mean for you if you’re already a customer?
The AFR is reporting that ispONE has cancelled its Telstra contract and gone into administration, effectively opening the door for Telstra to cancel the provision of services to those who were then onsold capacity; Aldi Mobile and Kogan Mobile would be the best known of those, but it’s estimated that some 280,000 or so Australians are using services offered through ispONE.
The AFR report indicates that Aldi Mobile may get a stay of execution having entered into a direct interim agreement with Telstra to continue to provide services, while Kogan had ceased selling anything but 30 day recharges this morning, and is apparently now encouraging users to lobby Telstra on its behalf. Telstra’s going to offer an “interim” service so that Kogan Mobile customers could choose their next steps, according to the AFR report.
Update: Yep, looks like Aldi Mobile will survive for a while; Gizmodo’s reprinted a Telstra statement which reads

Telstra Wholesale has entered into an interim agreement with Medion Australia for the supply of wholesale prepaid mobile services. Medion is the supplier to ALDIMobile.

Update: The AFR’s James Hutchinson has just tweeted that

Unfortunately the AFR site is down, so an update to the ispONE/TLS story: Kogan users will be cut off in a month’s time. Telstra will move Kogan customers to a 7-day plan with 20 SMS/20min of calls. Will be cut off after that. It’s unclear if Kogan customers on the 365-day prepaid plan will be refunded for unused data/calls at this stage.

Indeed, Telstra’s now updated its site with a full statement, including the fate of Kogan Mobile customers. They’re not exactly being left for dead, but the picture of a 7-day plan with only 20 calling minutes isn’t exactly an enticing one either.
In the broader picture, it’s worrying that ispONE has gone under in that it removes yet another avenue for budget-centric mobile plans; competitors Vodafone and Optus have started to draw back from MVNO offerings into straight customer retention plays, but that’s more to do with higher-cost postpaid plans than working with lower-cost offerings.
Source: AFR
Image: Steve Snodgrass

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