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Vodafone pre-empts roaming fee scrap with new tariff

Vodafone newbury HQ

Following Europe’s decision to install more stringent roaming fee caps, Vodafone has decided to scrap roaming fees across the continent.

The mobile operator has announced worry-free inclusive roaming across 40 territories inside Europe, but it should be noted the Isle of Man and Channel Islands are considered territories in this context. On selected plans, Vodafone will give customers unlimited calls, texts and picture messaging, with a monthly 4G data cap of 4GB which can be used across Europe at no extra cost. Vodafone has launched non-inclusive 4G roaming in other destinations across the world.

It is of little surprise to see operators getting in early on scrapping roaming fees across Europe as the European Commission readies itself to abolish fees altogether in 2017; so Vodafone’s announcement effectively pre-empts the need for future action. As it stands, the operator’s offering extends to new customers only roaming in Europe, whereas 4G roaming on other continents, as expected, comes with expensive strings attached.

The real value-add for customers is in inclusive roaming outside of Europe, and there is evidence of mobile operators doing so already. Three’s Feel at Home policy gives customers an unlimited data bucket with zero roaming fees in nearly ten countries outside of Europe, including Australia, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and United States.

“With inclusive roaming across 40 destinations – we really are making Vodafone the home of worry-free roaming,” said Glafkos Persianis, Vodafone UK’s Commercial Director.


2 comments

  1. neoschronos 06/05/2016 @ 12:57 pm

    Great move from Vodafone to introduce worry-free roaming inside Europe (albeit a bit late).

    Offers for roaming outside Europe exist, but usually come with a catch. For example Three’s Feel at Home is valid for 90 days of roaming. After that there is literally “radio silence”, as the phone stops connecting to any roaming nework: no calls can be made or received, no data can be used. The 90 days of Feel at Home are reinstated after a year.

    Three has been a pioneer on this, no doubt. However, it looks like Vodafone made it right this time.

    • Tim Skinner Tim Skinner 06/05/2016 @ 2:47 pm

      That’s a very good point regarding duration of roaming; one would assume 90 days is more than ample for the casual traveller – although obviously it has the potential to be prohibitive for people who travel extensively or stay away from home for long periods of time.

      The Vodafone offer only extends to Europe in this case, so it’s a good start but will be mandatory a year from now regardless. Inclusive data roaming outside of Europe won’t be far away if more operators begin following the lead set by Three. Vodafone’s Ts & Cs say roaming outside of Europe still costs £3/Mb up to 5Mb, then £15 for every 5Mb thereafter, unless you purchase specific daily packages, so global 4G roaming is still a costly exercise for the most basic of services.

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