Vodafone’s Data Usage Charges


“Vodafone announces today that customers in Europe will be able to surf the internet, check e-mail and access their business network when roaming abroad for a flat rate fee of only €12 for every day of use…”

This is interesting. I use my phone to connect via 3G quite often – sometimes internationally – and am fed up with being charged something like £2.35/Mb for internet connectivity (never mind upwards of £10/Mb when abroad) when other companies (like T-Mobile) charge significantly less for fixed data packages. Orange, 3 and others have similar packages as far as I know.

The difference in price can be astronomical, and I’ve long considered transferring elsewhere because of it. When I happened to mention this to a Vodafone rep a little while ago they assured me that a new rate was in the works – at the time they suggested £7.50/Month for a gigabyte of data (amazing!) starting 1 March.

This has, of course passed and after another couple of calls they started mentioning some more complicated system whereby the first meg would be two quid, and each successive meg would be one pound, with various limits imposed – or something like that. All sorts of options and strings attached. By the end of the discussion both the rep and I ended up confused by the entire thing.

So it looks like the £7.50/Month deal is not nearby (in case you’re wondering the deals have been discussed elsewhere)- Vodafone have delayed any rollout it seems. The comments in that link also suggest the much more conservative limit of 100Mb a month for that cost – not as good but still great, and a huge improvement.

The International deal is interesting but worries me: my phone has this annoying “issue” whereby pressing the OK button more times than is necessary (it also has the slowest and most-unresponsive interface known to man) will launch Vodafone’s little Internet portal. Cancelling the action faces similar unresponsiveness, so it’s normally already starting to download by the time I get it to stop.

So I’m wondering – does that mean the moment this thing loads I get charged full whack for the first megabyte? That also turns out to be a rather large charge if you want to do something small and insignificant, such as check the train times (50Kb,if that).

Fingers crossed for more news on the Vodafone internet data strategy – the international offering is an okay start and definitely welcome, but I’d love to see something truly competitive in the domestic market.