Vodafone to ramp up roaming with more countries, more plans

Vodafone to ramp up roaming with more countries, more plans

Vodafone plans to expand its $5/day global roaming deal to more countries next year as well as making data and voice roaming easier and more affordable to customers who are not on the carrier's premium Red plans.

Vodafone’s Red plans, introduced in late August, span from $50 for 1.5GB of data to $85 for 5GB of data (on a SIM-only basis) and let you use your plan’s call, text and data allowance in New Zealand, the UK, Europe and the USA for an extra $5 per day, and includes unlimited standard calls and text messages back to Australia as well as the country you’re currently in. 

Vodafone CEO, Bill Morrow, told journalists at a briefing this morning that more countries would be added "in the first half of 2014", and it's believed that Asia is on the top of Morrow's to-do list.

"Our customers love Red" Morrow told Australian Business Traveller, "and now we're looking into how we can offer a non-Red roaming service to customers on other prepaid plans."

Paramount to this, Morrow says, is making roaming easier to use, the fees more transparent and the packages simpler to understand. "We also want to make Red even simpler where we can."

While not revealing how many customers had signed up to the new Red plans, Vodafone says that businesses and business travellers represent a large number of new Red contracts.

Vodafone's increased focus on globetrotter-friendly roaming deals comes as Optus and Telstra also reduced their international roaming prices, while the Australian and New Zealand governments are moving to slash the cost of trans-Tasman mobile roaming fees next year.

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David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.
 

7 comments

  • tachyon

    tachyon

    22 Oct, 2013 12:36 pm

    I would be more impressed by this news if Vodafone hadn't recently decided to review the countries in which data access was possible and remove quite a number from the list (see here) - ones I regularly have to work in. Thankfully my current contract with them runs out in a few weeks, and I won't be renewing it for this exact reason. 

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  • sq421

    sq421

    22 Oct, 2013 02:30 pm

    Watching this space eagerly. Absence of Asia in the $5/day roaming is the one thing stopping me from signing up to the Red plans. If their next expansion includes roaming in India, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and Japan, I'll be in a rush to sign up!

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  • Phil Young

    Phil Young

    22 Oct, 2013 05:37 pm

    This might be good news for some, but for fewer and fewer Vodafone customers as the year marches on.  Poor old Vodafone lost 561,000 customers in just the first 6 months of 2013.

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  • Colin Steven

    colin5353

    22 Oct, 2013 06:17 pm

    So $5 per day, and if your away 30 days, thats $150 plus your normal $85 plan fee.

    I'd still stick to a local sim.

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  • sq421

    sq421

    23 Oct, 2013 10:39 am

    And if you are away for 30 days, you'd be well advised to do just that.

    However for short visits, this works out rather well. Even a week in the US (where an ATT SIm cost me about $70 to set up), this would've worked out cheaper, and wihout the hassle of a) carrying two phones or b) not having my AU number reachable as I'd removed the SIM

    Quick question though (and probably should as VF but what the hell..): what happens if you "roam" across two jurisdictions in the same 24 hour period? Is that $5 or $10? Transiting through asia where I have hit HKG, SIN and TYO in the same 24 hour period, it could get a bit tricky!

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  • Dudley Hewitt

    dudleyhewitt

    22 Oct, 2013 06:45 pm

    After 10 years with Telstra and using two Vodafone local sims (UK for Europe and NZ) I nervously ported to Vodafone Red M2M $85. Currently in UK & Europe for 10 days, this is so much easier, no toping up prepay and no worries about data. The hidden benefit is that my work and family can call me for free with no incoming call charges. Good move Vodafone, you've got my business but only month to month at the moment.

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  • Jon W

    Jon W

    23 Oct, 2013 03:55 pm

    While I welcome the change, Australia is still well behind on this issue.

    T-Mobile announced two days ago they are getting rid of roaming charges for their customers entirely! (though admittedly - this extends to the 'slow' 2G network only). http://www.extremetech.com/mobile/168983-t-mobile-launches-simple-global-data-destroys-roaming-data-bill

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18 Jul, 2019 07:08 am

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