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Vodafone bucks data-scrimping trend to woo new customers

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.
Written by Josh Taylor, Contributor

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.

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