Vodafone has put unlimited mobile data usage into all its new monthly tariffs, becoming the first UK operator not to require a bolt-on plan for using the internet or email.
The operator announced on Thursday that it was removing the need for subscribers to pay an extra £7.50 per month for getting mobile internet on their phones but, at the same time, it increased all its mobile tariffs by £5 per month.
"Today, with our new price plans, Vodafone customers have the confidence to browse for as long as they need, with no extra costs when checking their email, visiting their favourite social-networking sites or making a final bid on eBay," said Vodafone's director of consumer products, Ian Shepherd, on Thursday.
Vodafone is advertising the bundled mobile data as "unlimited". While it has a fair-use cap of 500MB per month, a spokesperson for the operator told ZDNet.co.uk on Friday that it would not charge customers extra if they went over that limit.
Vodafone's monthly tariffs went up by £5 per month as the inclusive data was introduced, but the spokesperson claimed that customers who do not want the mobile data usage could ask the operator to cut it off, in which case Vodafone would also knock off the additional £5-per-month charge.
Those customers who are already paying £7.50 per month for mobile data will see their cap increased from 120MB to 500MB, but, again, they can ask the operator to discontinue that bolt-on plan at any time.
According to the operator, the top five sites visited by its UK customers are, in descending order of popularity, Facebook, Google, the BBC, MSN and Bebo. Vodafone is also training up 40 staff to tour its stores around the country and help customers familiarise themselves with the concept of the internet on a handset.