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Vodafone drops data roaming charges

05 May 2010

Vodafone has today announced a drop in mobile data roaming prices to $10/MB anywhere in the world.

In addition, for the next three months, Vodafone customers roaming in Australia will be charged $2/MB regardless of what network they connect to. According to a press release by Vodafone it represents a 93% reduction over the current maximum data roaming charge of $30/MB. The promotion will end on 26 August when Australian roaming charges will be the standard $10/MB. An accompanying table shows that in Australia Telecom charges its customers $8/MB to roam on another network and 2degrees charges $30/MB.

Trans Tasman voice and data roaming charges are under review by politicians in both countries, it was revealed by ICT Minister Steven Joyce at the recent TUANZ Telecommunications Day.

However TUANZ Chair Pat O’Connell, who regularly visits America and Europe, says the worst mobile bill shock comes from roaming charges further afield than Australia. Today’s announcement by Vodafone that it will charge customers $10/MB when they roam anywhere in the world compares to Telecom, which charges $10/MB in UK, USA and Canada, $20MB for most European countries, $25/MB for most Asian countries and $30/MB for everywhere else. 2degrees charges $30/MB for every overseas destination.

Vodafone general manager of products, services and internet Kursten Shalfoon says customers want to use their smartphones when travelling in the same way they use them at home.

“We see a huge opportunity in the explosion of smartphones in the market. They’re the fastest growing market segment and we’ve taken the bull by the horns to help increase demand for mobile data abroad by dramatically reducing the price,” Shalfoon says.

The new data roaming rates apply from 26 May regardless of what Vodafone device customers use – smartphone, Vodem and Blackberry.