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Vodafone moves to counter wifi roaming

Vodafone has announced a new European data roaming charge for laptop users which it hopes will persuade customers to favour cellular service over wifi when overseas.

From July 2nd, the carrier’s customers will have access to data card roaming (or laptop usage where the phone acts as a modem) for a daily charge of Eur12, not including VAT. The tariff will be available to roamers on the firm’s networks in Europe, its partner networks in France, Switzerland, Austria and Belgium, as well as Vodafone properties in Egypt, Australia and New Zealand.

The introduction of the new tariff follows a move from US wifi provider Boingo, announced on June 25th, that offers international roamers wifi usage in a number of markets for Eur29/month. Boingo offers 100,000 hotspots around the world, with the European service restricted initially to just over 50 hotspots in France and Norway. Boingo said that hotspots in Germany, the UK and Italy would come on line later in 2007.

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