Vodafone updates small business offering

Operator adds free company landline-to-mobile calls to its Sharetime price plan and launches a new tariff for very small businesses

Vodafone has rejigged its SME-centric price plan, adding free calls from designated company landlines to company mobiles.

The Sharetime price plan, targeted at small to medium-sized businesses, had already included free calls between company mobiles and from mobiles to landlines.

The operator has also launched its first price plan aimed at the microbusiness market, called Small Business Plan. The tariff starts at £22 per month and is intended for businesses with up to 20 company mobiles.

"It's a spearheading of a whole host of things coming from Vodafone specifically targeted at small businesses," a Vodafone spokesperson told ZDNet UK on Monday, adding that there would be "much more to follow in the next year".

The announcement of the microbusiness plan ties in with Vodafone's promotion of the Sky One TV show, The Big Idea, which began on Sunday night. The programme, described by Vodafone as the UK's "largest-ever search to discover the next great British invention or business idea", is notable for being the country's first example of advertiser-funded programming. Vodafone is not merely the show's sponsor, but has also actively funded its production.

The company, which claims to have the largest market share of UK business customers, has also launched a Big Idea tie-in Web site, offering "practical information for small businesses, products and services, discussion forums and expert opinion".

Vodafone's Small Business Plan tariff includes free calls between company mobiles and landlines. Customers choosing 18-month plans will gain 25 percent extra free minutes and the option of adding mobile email for £5 a month.

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