Vodafone: No 'dollar-a-day' broadband for Aussies

Vodafone New Zealand has launched a new "dollar-a-day" mobile broadband service, but the carrier's Australian office has told users not to hold their breath for a similar deal here.

Vodafone New Zealand has launched a new "dollar-a-day" mobile broadband service, but the carrier's Australian office has told users not to hold their breath for a similar deal here.

Vodafone NZ announced the NZ$1-a-day mobile data service yesterday, allowing users a 10MB daily limit under the prepaid offer, available later this month.

The telco said the 10MB limit will be "more than enough for casual users", with those exceeding the limit charged at NZ$1 per extra megabyte.

Vodafone NZ's general manager of products and services, Kursten Shalfoon, said in a statement that the move had been prompted by a recent network expansion and the fact that "handsets are evolving rapidly".

However, a spokesperson for Vodafone Australia told ZDNet.com.au today that it would be "staying firm" with its current pricing strategy, and had no plans at this stage to follow New Zealand's lead into discount mobile data services.

"Each Vodafone office worldwide has its own pricing structure autonomy ... I don't believe there's any plans to change the structure of [Australia's] price, which is proving to be very popular with users," said the spokesperson.

"This is a new model of pricing that I've not yet seen," said Joe Sweeney, strategy and marketing analyst at research firm IBRS. "There are similar packages here but they're structured slightly differently ... certain packages allow you to buy chucks of bandwidth and use it as you go."

However, Sweeney believes that when averaging out costs over a typical month "it comes to about the same amount" as many fixed monthly contracts, and would only make a difference for business users who consume less data when "out on the road".

"If you're out on the road and just keeping an eye on all your email headings, you might do 5MB a day ... but it really comes down to how [Vodafone] can put together data packages so that people are paying as little as possible but still paying for more than they actually need," he said.

The announcement comes after industry watchers predicted last week that the Australian launch of Apple's 3G iPhone would trigger a mobile data price war.

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