Vodafone Australia adds Asia to AU$5 roaming deal

Vodafone has added six Asian countries to its Red plan customers to use their phone overseas as they would at home for an extra AU$5 per day.

Vodafone Red customers travelling into China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore, Japan, or Thailand will soon be able to pay an additional AU$5 per day to keep using their phones as though they were still in Australia.

Vodafone's roaming deal was first launched back in August, with Red plan customers travelling to the US, the UK, and New Zealand no longer facing high roaming charges to use data or make calls while in those countries if they paid an extra AU$5 per day .

Before Christmas, the company then extended it out to cover 34 European countries . Today, it has announced that the move to cover six Asian countries is designed to target the top tourism spots of Thailand and Bali, and also Australia's business partners in Japan and China.

"Asia is a hugely popular destination for Australians taking a holiday, with Bali and Thailand among the top spots for Australians taking short overseas trips," Vodafone's chief marketing officer Kim Clarke said in a statement.

"Many of our customers who travel regularly to Asia for business, especially those visiting China and Japan. In a constantly switched-on world, you simply can't afford to miss those important business calls or emails, and it shouldn't cost the earth."

The high cost of global roaming continues to be an issue facing Australian telecommunications customers, with the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) highlighting in its latest report (PDF) in December the case of one man who had purchased a mobile phone for his son travelling in Europe, had the phone stolen, and, by the time the theft was reported, the mobile bill had racked up AU$570,000. The telco eventually waived the fee once the TIO became involved.

Telstra and Optus have also moved to address the high global roaming charges, with a reduction in global roaming datapacks for Telstra customers and Optus customers getting a price cut in roaming charges , with roaming packs now available for a number of locations.


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