One of Australia’s largest communications companies, TPG Telecom, has launched a new low-cost mobile service that the company is pitching as one of the most environmentally friendly, as both carbon neutral and completely powered by renewable energy.
TPG Telecom group, which encompasses major brands including Vodafone and iiNet, says it hopes the online only Felix brand will attract environmentally conscious consumers. It has sourced carbon offsets and renewable energy certificates from Australian based projects, to ensure that the company was able to maintain a commitment to operate on a carbon neutral basis and purchasing all of its electricity use from renewable energy sources.
The company will be certified under the Climate Active initiative, a partnership between the federal government and the private sector, and which recently replaced the previous National Carbon Offset Standard which certified carbon neutral companies and organisations.
Felix will represent a similar move for the TPG-Vodafone group to that made by Telstra, which launched its own low-cost and carbon neutral mobile brand, Belong, which is headed by former Powershop CEO Ben Burge.
In addition to being renewably powered and carbon neutral, Felix will arrange for a tree to be planted each month for every customer on the network, working with the One Tree Planted initiative. One Tree Planted is a United States-based organisation that facilitates tree planting on behalf of donors, and has launched an Australian based initiative to plant up to 25 million trees in regions impacted by recent bushfires to aid recovery.
One Tree Planted’s, regional director Beth Dalgleish told RenewEconomy that the group was focused on a number of projects across Australia’s south-east coastal region, as well as throughout the Canberra region, and had attracted strong interest from potential supporters from within Australia as well as overseas, with many looking to support bushfire recovery.
“We are extremely excited to welcome felix as one of our partners. Having an essential service provider get on board to help achieve our ambitious goals is a fantastic opportunity. We are looking forward to kicking off the partnership with a local bushfire recovery project,” Dalgleish said.
Felix offers a single mobile plan, for $35 per month, which includes unlimited calls, messaging and data, but to achieve the lower cost, the company limits data speeds to 5 mbps on the Vodafone network. The company says the lower speed should still be sufficient to provide for most needs, including video streaming, but it may be too limited for some uses, including tethering and the transfer of large files to and from cloud storage.
Launching the brand in Sydney, general manager of business development at felix, Paul Tierney, said that he hoped that customers would be attracted to the lower cost plans because of its environmental credentials.
“We are giving customers the option of a mobile plan that not only offers great value but also helps to reduce their carbon footprint, through our commitments to renewable electricity and reforestation initiatives with the goal to plant one million trees,” Tierney said.