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Vodafone UK bites the bullet and bundles Euro voice/data/text roaming for £3/day

Vodafone has bitten the bullet. And it’s brilliant news for the consumer. 

From today (as Dan from CoolSmartPhone reports), you now only need to pay £3 per day and everything will be priced at your standard UK price plan rate. 

As Dan points out: 

So say for example you are in sunny Spain for 5 days (which I will be in August), I can pay £3 a day and use my 3000 Minutes, 3000 Texts and 1GB data use which for a heavy smartphone user is a fantastic deal considering past roaming deals on data costing a lot more.

This is genius.

Previously, Vodafone wanted 75p every time you used your phone abroad for voice calls (receiving or calling). And they’d charge you £2 for 25mb a day of data usage. 

It was always a pain. I liked the fact it was there, though. I liked the fact that at least they were offering something. But it all added up — and frankly, it made traveling abroad super annoying. I have never liked having to limit my usage because I happen to have crossed a border. 

Being able to take my price plan abroad is excellent. There’s also a nice differentiation now between contract and Pay As You Go users. The latter have to stick with the old Vodafone passport model. Now there’s a bit of a reward for being a contract customer and heading abroad.

Somewhere, someone in Vodafone UK has got the message and I’m delighted. 

Although £3/day will add up — that’s £21 for a week — I think it’s now at a level where, for most people, the utility will more-or-less match the price charged. Yes it’d be nice to see that daily fee hit something like £1 or even £0.50 in the fullness of time. 

It won’t be long, I don’t think, until the other UK networks are prompted to do similar. Hutchison’s 3 is going to have a pretty bad time of it. For the longest time they’ve been sat at the back quietly charging £1.28/mb for data in Europe (and a frankly ridiculous 36.6p/minute back to the UK).

Right now I can imagine the marketing teams at the other UK operators standing around in huddles panicking about just how to respond. They’ve not much choice but to eventually swing into line.

Only today I was giving some though to swapping to O2 on the basis that they gave you 50mb of roaming data (as opposed to 25mb with Vodafone). I won’t be bothering now. 

Roaming has always been a touchy subject for the operators. They do make a lot of money from it. At the same time almost half their customers literally switch off their phones when they go abroad (figures from Mach, the planet’s expert roaming service provider). So they’re losing a huge amount of possible revenue. Moving to a simple £3/day option should seriously change a lot of minds. It should also deliver a good amount of additional revenue to Vodafone. Remember that previously, when I went abroad for a week, my usage of Vodafone’s services was deliberately reduced. I’d encourage people not to call me. I’d avoid calling folk. In short, I did everything possible to reduce my expenditure on Vodafone services whilst out of the country. Now, though, it’s game on. I’ll quite happily natter away, text, email and whatnot. And that communication will result in greater use of Vodafone services by me. Some of the people I speak to will be Vodafone customers who’ll end up spending more (whether they’re abroad or at home). It should hopefully be a virtuous circle for Vodafone.

Nice work Vodafone.

Here’s the overview from the Vodafone EuroTraveller page

With Vodafone EuroTraveller, for just an extra £3 a day, you can use your UK price plan in Europe.

Vodafone EuroTraveller allows you to use your phone in Europe with the same confidence as in the UK – so you’ll have freedom from unexpected bills. For just £3 a day, you can take your UK minutes, texts and mobile internet to Europe – and you’ll only be charged on the days you use your phone.

What’s covered?
It’s only making calls (including to your voicemail), sending texts and using mobile internet that trigger the daily charge – with Vodafone EuroTraveller, there’s no charge for receiving calls and texts.

Just £3 a day
Use your minutes, texts and mobile internet with the same freedom as in the UK (excludes extras)
You’ll only be charged on the days you use your phone
No charge for receiving calls and texts
No monthly commitment – opt in and out whenever you like
Check your remaining allowance just like at home – with My account or the My Vodafone app

The one fly in the ointment for me? I think I’m a “small business” customer. So I’ll need to get that changed. 

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