IiNet creates cut-price diffusion brand 'Jiva'

Eighty bucks a month for all the voice and data bits you can bite

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iiNet has launched what looks an awful lot like the telephony market's equivalent of a budget airline.

Dubbed “Jiva”, the product is simple: “For $AUD79 per month on a 24-month plan, Jiva customers will get an ADSL2+ broadband connection, unlimited broadband data, all local and national landline calls, and a wireless modem.” All on a sesame seed bun.

IiNet CEO Michael Malone's canned statement says “Jiva is not about cost. It’s about simplicity.” And we described the product as “simple” before we read the canned statement.

“Over the next 12 months I want Jiva to prove that an innovative, high-quality Internet and phone offering can successfully compete with the low-value offers in the traditional ‘all you can eat’ space,'” Malone added.

The interesting bit about the launch is in the new service's FAQ , especially this bit:

“Jiva is targeting customers who are interested in simplicity and require lower levels of contact. This is in direct contrast to iiNet’s customer base who enjoy being able to choose from multiple services and products and appreciate having the option of support to help them set up. We have therefore been able to price Jiva competitively for customers in that segment of our market.”

And how about these potatoes:

“Jiva is, in essence, a stripped-out internet and phone product - no shaping, no multiple plans, configuration methods, email, or service add-ons. As a result, the range of customer service tools is also pared down to a minimum and the need for customer service staff is much lower than that required for iiNet.”

In other words, a service that does a coupe of things well, rather than a warm, friendly, cuddly telco with polite people who'll spend time on the phone with you pretending not to think you're a dolt if you can't log in to an ADSL modem.

The FAQ also says US outfit simple.net was the model for Jiva.

The Q&A is sadly silent on whether JIVA rhymes with "diva" or is instead trying to invoke images of dancing.

The launch of JIVA is just a little ironic, for two reasons.

The first is that Telstra was widely regarded as having plans to launch a similar service, and wished to acquire Adam Internet as the platform on which to build it. Telstra gave up that acquisition after regulators made its life hell, leaving iiNet to swoop. There's no word on whether Adam is Jiva's beating heart, but the irony remains.

The second irony is that it launched on the day the cut-price mobile wholesaler ispONE, which powered ever-so-simple mobile plans, went titsup. Whatever Jiva's fate, iiNet picked an inauspicious day on which to launch. ®

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