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Global roaming play by Vodafone and Telstra

Vodafone Australia is offering to waive its AU$5 per day surcharge on global roaming to its high-value customers, as Telstra offers new 'Travel Pass' options for roaming in different global regions.
Written by Leon Spencer, Contributor

Vodafone Australia is offering to make its AU$5 daily global roaming surcharge free for customers who sign up for or upgrade to its top tier plans.

The offering, announced on December 12, includes customers switching or signing up to its Red AU$100 plan, AU$100 Red Business Plan, AU$130 Red Business plan, and AU$130 Red Business Grow plans, over 24 months.

New and upgrading customers to these plans will now be able to use their monthly plan inclusions -- infinite calls and texts, and 6GB of data -- in 47 overseas locations, including New Zealand, the US, Indonesia, Thailand, the UK, and Germany, without having to pay the AU$5 daily roaming add-on it announced last year.

The company moved to lessen the burden of global roaming bill shock in July 2013, allowing Vodafone Australia customers who travel to the US, the UK, or New Zealand to pay an additional AU$5 per day to use their phone while they're in those countries.

Now, the company has gone one step further by wiping out the surcharge entirely for qualifying customers. However, the offer only runs from December 3, 2014, to March 3, 2015.

The move came just four days after Telstra announced its own zone-specific global roaming "Travel Passes" for customers.

On December 9, Telstra announced its new "Travel Passes", which let customers make and receive unlimited calls to and from standard numbers, send unlimited text messages to standard numbers, and use an included data allowance while overseas.

The passes can be used in more than 40 "popular holiday destinations", which have been split into two zones. Zone 1 includes New Zealand, Thailand, and Indonesia, while Zone 2 includes the US and Canada, plus popular roaming destinations in Asia, Africa, Europe, the Pacific Islands, the Middle East, South America, and the UK.

Travel Passes can be bought for three, seven, 14, or 30 consecutive days, and customers can purchase multiple passes. Customers can also use their Travel Pass as they move between eligible countries included in their Zone.

"Our customers told us that they wanted better value international roaming options and pricing that is easier to understand," said Telstra Mobile director Scott McGibbony. "We've acted on this feedback by introducing new Travel Passes that take the guess work out of using a Telstra mobile overseas."

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