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Vodafone reduces web pricing

Vodafone announced today that the cost of its “flat rate” mobile data package is being cut to £8.50 a day or £25 a month. It’s still not actually flat-rate, though, as you’re still being billed by the minute, and there’s still a web proxy involved that eats SSL connections and files bigger than 230 KB (like many web pages).

Further, the 24-hour period can’t be interrupted – once you connect for the first time, the clock is running. Meanwhile, Vodafone has also offered a somewhat underwhelming data roaming package, which for “only” £95 a month you can move up to 200MB of data on any network that Voda has a data roaming agreement with.

Also in line for cuts at Vodafone were the top executives’ KPI targets, which govern the payment of bonuses. A year ago, the earnings-per-share element of the calculation was set at 5-10 per cent annual growth. This range has been cut to 5-8 per cent in the light of “changing market conditions.”

Shareholders were predictably displeased, especially as the move came on the same day that CEO Arun Sarin’s 18 per cent pay rise was revealed in the annual report. Sarin trousered £3.2m in cash and stock this year, with a further £2.89m in stock coming from a long-term incentive plan. The shareholders’ rage, though, is likely to be held within limits – Vodafone shares have risen 40 per cent in the last 12 months.

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