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Tech Update: Telco startup Gorilla Mobile launches; set to ‘revolutionise’ industry with Service-On-Demand

Look out telcos – there’s a new startup on the block, and they’ve got some new tricks to set them apart from the rest of the gang. Next generation telco startup Gorilla Mobile has launched in Singapore, and are set to ‘revolutionise’ the mobile communications experience with its flexible Service-On-Demand programme. 

Targeted primarily at professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs), as well as local and global businesses, Gorilla Mobile’s main draw is its Service-On-Demand model. The first of its kind in Singapore, this provides access to a full suite of services, anytime, without a contract, subscription fees or activation charges. Users pay only for what they use, when they use it, ensuring a fair and modular way of using and paying for mobile services.

Also unique to Gorilla is its proprietary SwitchBack technology, powered by blockchain. Under most telco plans, users end up with excess data each month, all of which goes to waste when their bill rolls over. Under Gorilla’s SwitchBack, this enables users to fully ‘switch back’ unused mobile data. By converting it into GO Tokens, users can then use this as a form of alternative currency to offset their bills, purchase or exchange for other in-app services, or simply share it with their co-workers and team members. Unlike other telcos, there is no expiry for unused data, making it user-friendly, and a fair mobile solution for users.

Xanne Leo

Ms. Xanne Leo, Gorilla Mobile Founder and CEO said: “In today’s world, mobile communication services are an everyday necessity. With our Service-On-Demand model, we have digitized our services, moving beyond customised or flexible subscriptions. We believe users should have easy access to mobile services anytime, anywhere and pay only for the services they use. This ‘telco-as-a-service’ approach is the first new innovation the industry has seen in a long time.”

“Our SwitchBack feature can be compared to the Singapore Parking app. Users pay only for their parking duration and get refunded for their unused time. Through SwitchBack, unused data never goes to waste. Its value gets reallocated to offset, purchase or exchange for other Gorilla services.”

– Xanne Leo, Gorilla Mobile Founder and CEO

Gorilla Mobile was actually meant to launch in May 2020 with travel roaming cards, but with the global pandemic and various lockdowns in place, travel became all but impossible, with their primary product essentially rendered useless for the next year or so. But with innovation at the forefront of their company’s modus operandi, the company quickly pivoted to its current state, thinking up a solution to instead combat the drastic spike in internet traffic and Wi-Fi due to working from home, to the extent that internet traffic has jumped 10% to 20% since the Phase 2 (heightened alert) restrictions took effect on 16th May 2021.

“Companies are once again turning to work-from-home arrangements under the recent tightened Covid-19 measures. Our workforce, now relying on their home Wi-Fi most of the day, has large amounts of unused mobile data each month. Gorilla Mobile’s suite of services, especially our local plan, are developed with the needs of Singapore’s working professionals at heart,” adds Xanne.

“We are committed to providing fair mobile solutions to ensure our customers enjoy the benefits at maximum value. While many of our peers offer customised and flexible plans, which predict or assume a customer’s monthly usage, we charge them solely on their actual use.”

– Xanne Leo, Gorilla Mobile Founder and CEO

With that in mind, Gorilla Mobile offers a full suite of services with its very first plan with their launch. Called Gorilla Switch25, the no contract plan derives its name from its $25/month price tag, and comes with travel roaming and international calls on demand. The plan also includes 100 minutes of calls, 100 SMSes, 20 GB of data, and no excess data charges, along with the attractive SwitchBack feature, automatically turning unused data into GO Tokens at the end of each month.

Gorilla Mobile is also clearly targeting the SME market, and can offer up to 100 lines to each company looking to make it their modus operandi. For the finance department, the unused data on these lines can automatically be toggled to SwitchBack to the company account, making it far easier administratively. And with the universal share option, data sharing can be done with any co-worker, even if they’re on a different network, with no need for both parties to be on the same line under the subscriber’s name, and no fixed limit on sharing.

Users will also be able to register for digital international numbers, such that clients in other countries may be more receptive than say, if one were to use a Singapore number in Vietnam. Meanwhile, in future, when travel resumes, the SwitchBack also applies to most other countries, such that the user can simply use any GO Tokens to get data in foreign countries, and no longer have to sign up for a package with foreign telcos, and save them from garnering extra data on those new plans that will go unused.

“Even though we don’t travel much right now, with working from home, we found that most of us are connected to WiFi 90% of the time. And when making or receiving international calls on mobile, with no access to office lines, it can cost a lot,” says Xanne. “So with Gorilla’s full suite of digitalised mobile solutions, it’s practically built to be adapted for either the home or office, empowering users to work under any conditions. Solutions must adapt to cater to the changing needs of our workforce today.”

To make it even more attractive, Gorilla Mobile has rolled out the #RethinkMobile pre-launch campaign on its website, calling on Singaporeans to look at their mobile phone bills and examine their mobile package subscription and actual usage. From 18th June to 18th August, new customers, both individuals and businesses, are entitled to a Bill Difference Reward of up to SG$50 per mobile number, credited directly to their PayNow account upon successful port-in (up to a maximum of five numbers).

As of now, Gorilla Mobile will lean on M1 as its host Mobile Network Operator, leveraging its wide network coverage, and MyRepublic’s enterprise Operating Support System and Business Support System (OSS/BSS) telecommunications solution and managed services. By the time it fully launches in September 2021, the company also plans to roll out new services including a Global Roaming Travel Data SIM Card, Digital International Direct Dialing (IDD) and Global Office Telephony solutions. “As we are still in our pre-launch phase, gradually bringing our full services to the market, we welcome users to try our service and share their valuable feedback with us as we strengthen our offerings and roll out more services to better cater to their needs,” adds Xanne.

“Throughout history, when you have a commoditised, homogenous product, the fastest way to compete has been to slash prices,” Xanne concludes. “But when that happens, it’s often when innovation has ceased to exist, and signifies the end of a technological age. As we eagerly expect the 5G era to bring in more exciting developments, and significant levels fo advancement, consumers are likely to start moving away from price and moving back to service differentiation again. I believe Gorilla provides unparalleled services, with a better mode, and better experience for all.”

For more information, visit Gorilla Mobile’s website here

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