Vodafone bucks data-scrimping trend to woo new customers

Vodafone bucks data-scrimping trend to woo new customers

Summary: Vodafone Australia is bucking the industry trend of charging more money for less data by launching a campaign offering double the data on post-paid plans.

TOPICS: Telcos, Australia

Ahead of what Vodafone is expecting to be another set of dire results, with many more customers expected to have left this year, the telco is attempting to lure back customers with double the data on offer on its post-paid plans over AU$45 per month.

As Telstra and Optus shift down their monthly data limits, Vodafone is temporarily doubling the data limits on its plans for customers who sign up before January 3. Customers entering a new or upgraded contract will get double the normal data limits for either month-to-month SIM-only plans for 24 months, or on a plan with a handset provided for either 12 or 24 months, depending on the length of the contract signed.

This means that an AU$45 per month SIM-only plan now comes with 3GB of data per month, while the high-end AU$85 per month SIM-only plan now comes with a massive 10GB of data per month.

On the telco's Red plans, which allow customers to use their phones in the US, the UK, New Zealand, and parts of Europe for an extra AU$5 per day, the AU$65 per month plan now comes with 3GB of data, while the AU$80 plan comes with 5GB of data, and the AU$100 plan comes with 10GB.

Vodafone Australia's chief marketing officer Kim Clarke said that the decision to double the data on its plans is aimed at luring customers to try Vodafone's new 4G network.

"We are super keen for new customers to try out our brand new 4G network and take advantage of the amazing data speeds on offer, and give our existing customers the freedom to surf the web to their heart's content — without worrying about receiving a massive bill," Clarke said.

It comes as Vodafone's customer base sits slightly over 6 million active services, down from 7.5 million almost three years ago. The company is expected to announce yet another decline in customers in results out next week, but the telco's CEO Bill Morrow has said that the company's turnaround strategy predicts continuing losses for the rest of 2013 before a return to growth in 2014.

Earlier this year, Optus looked to end excess data charges by implementing AU$10 increments for an extra 1GB of data used over a customer's monthly limit, but the change came as the company reduced its data allowances on the plans.

Topics: Telcos, Australia


Armed with a degree in Computer Science and a Masters in Journalism, Josh keeps a close eye on the telecommunications industry, the National Broadband Network, and all the goings on in government IT.

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  • Why charge so much?

    So, Voda charges $45 per month to get only 3 gigs of data, plus you pay for voice calls.

    MVNO PennyTel charges $35 per month to connect to the same Voda network, but offers 5 gigs of data with unlimited calls.

    For that matter, why are there limits anyway? Why not just charge for the amount of MB used? Pre-agreeing to a data limit is absurd.
    • PennyTel

      May not be offering those rates for much longer considering the company's ongoing financial woes.

      Josh Taylor
      • That's true, but...

        Ha! Yes, I'm aware it went bankrupt.

        But last week PennyTel was bought by MyNetPhone, so it has a new life away from its previous owners. As far as I know PennyTel offers the best mobile/data prices in the business. And for those who want 4G, they may like to try the Optus MVNOs, most of which allow 4G.
        • Well MyNetFone might change the deals

          Hard to say at this point.

          And yes, no 4G. If you want to know why Vodafone isn't pricing cheaper or unlimited, I covered that here:


          Vodafone's chief marketing officer Kim Clarke admitted that some customers will always want more data, and will be willing to sacrifice service for that data. She said they are not the customers for Vodafone.

          "There will always be those niche value hunters. They have providers, that's not Vodafone. If you actually want a full service offering, then that is Vodafone, and that comes with Vodafone Cares and an onshore call centre. We've invested in that because that's what our customers have told us is important to them. It comes with roaming and it comes with 4G," she said.
          Josh Taylor
          • I switched to Voda...

            ... two months ago when I got my new Galaxy Note 3, on the $100 red plan. Although I won't come near to using 5gb on normal usage, let alone 10, its nice to have in reserve.

            So far, the coverage and quality I have been getting on the Central Coast and on occasional commutes to Sydney has been blisteringly fast and rock solid... unlike the dismal Telstra quality I had before...
  • Redbull Mobile Australia

    used to run on the Vodafone network in Australia and offered one of the best prepaid deals.
    Prepay $365 ($1 a day) and you get unlimited calls/sms and 5gb of data per month for 12 months. Plus they had a the option of paying $1 extra and getting an HTC Explorer handset or 3 months free! So thst's 15 months for $365 of unlimited calls/sms and 5gb per month!
    Redbull Mobile Australia stopped taking new customers a couple of months ago and while existing prepaid customers could continue with their prepaid services, no more recharges were allowed.
    This is the sort of mobile phone plan we all needed!