Vodafone AU to offer flat-rate roaming

Dylan Bushell-Embling
01 Aug 2013
Daily News

Vodafone Australia has revealed plans to charge a flat A$5 ($4.48) per day for international roaming in an initial three markets.

The operator will this month launch plans allowing customers to use their existing call, text and data allocations in the UK, US and NZ for the A$5 daily charge.

Vodafone Australia CEO Bill Morrow said the three markets are the countries where 40% of the company's mobile customers visit most frequently, and collectively account for around 50% of all overseas data usage.

“But our plan is to extend this simple plan to as many countries across the globe as we possibly can.”

The Vodafone Group is based out of the UK, has a subsidiary in New Zealand and owns a 45% stake in US operator Verizon Wireless, allowing it to easily reach roaming agreements in the markets.

Morrow said Australian mobile users often find current roaming options provided by operators - including overseas data packs – confusing, and are often stung with ridiculously inflated charges leading to bill shock.

Roamers who do not buy a data pack to use overseas are often charged a default rate of up to A$20,000 for 1GB of data.

“These prices do not paint a pretty picture of the Australian telecommunications industry,” he said. “Global roaming costs are a worldwide issue because of the prices various networks charge each other but the impact on our customers is too great.”

The move is also the latest initiative aimed at repairing Vodafone Australia's brand image by providing differentiation. The initiative started in 2011, when Vodafone Australia commenced a network overhaul and upgrade to help overcome customer complaints over network coverage and performance.

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