Vodafone will allow customers across Europe to use data services at a lower price as it aims to draw in more users from expanding smartphone market
Vodafone is reducing the cost of its mobile internet service, and also increasing data allowance, for customers travelling to Europe in order to drive growth amongst smartphone users, it said.
The move is being rolled out in Vodafone’s major markets in time for Christmas and will be available to all of Vodafone’s European markets by summer 2011.
The offer is available to both consumer and business customers.
One example of a price plan for
Price plans of £40 and above will give UK Vodafone customers a daily roaming data allowance of 25MB in the European Economic Area and Switzerland.
Customers on plans under £40 can pay an additional £10 to receive the same allowance.
Ovum analyst Jeremy Green commented: “Vodafone has taken a firm, but small, step towards cutting roaming charges for data users. It will inevitably trumpet the generosity of its offer, and users will almost as inevitably complain that the new deal does not abolish roaming charges altogether.
“In fact, there is a sense in which Vodafone is making a virtue of an impending necessity, since regulatory pressures are reducing, pushing data roaming charges downwards. A price reduction initiative from other large groups is highly probable.
“The new arrangements are modeled on the existing ‘passport’ arrangement for voice roaming, whereby users may opt in to a tariff plan to have roaming access at ‘home’ rates for a fixed fee (either per day or through a monthly contract).”
Vodafone Group chief executive Vittorio Colao said: “We expect smartphone sales in Europe to grow from 32 per cent today to more than 70 per cent by 2013, and we want to drive that growth with what we believe to be the best value, market-leading roaming data packages.”
The new pricing will be backed by a major marketing campaign.