Yesterday we quickly covered TeliaSonera’s decision to back down from charging for Skype and other VoIP services. In that article I was whining that there’s not enough competition in the operator market, which is apparent whenever shopping for a new plan. Luckily there’s a new app on the market with the goal of getting users on the cheapest plan possible based on their actual phone habits.
Helsinki-based Alekstra has just released Ratemizer, an iOS app that plugs into users’ billing information and determines the cheapest plan available to them besed on the habits. To use the app, you just pick out your operator and log into with your operator portal credentials. Ratemizer then analyzes your billing information over a 3-12 month period, and then tells you how much you would save by switching to another plan. To get access to this information, you must “upgrade” the app for €1.59.
I tried it out for myself and saw that I didn’t have necessarily the most optimized plan for my usage. To check it out, I paid the fee and saw that Tele Finland apparently offers a decently priced plan for all the data I use.
I don’t think I’ll be switching though. The amount of money I would save is roughly equal to the price I would pay to avoid having to go through the hassle of changing my phone plan, so I think I’ll stick with my carrier. But really, I’m just glad to know I’m not getting ripped off.
CEO Jani Puroranta tells us the Finnish app is a technical and commercial proof of concept. “[The pricing is] not enough to cover our costs in Finland only, because the Finnish market and local iPhone installed base is too small for that. That’s exactly why we aim for the US market soon enough, because that’s when we start making millions.”
This is Alekstra’s first foray into the consumer market. Puroranta explains that it helps educate the market about what optimizing rate plans means in practice, because they sell rate optimization to large enterprises as a turnkey service.
The company is working on an Android app, and the U.S. version will be coming out by Christmas.
Ratemizer can be found in the App Store, here.