Home opinion-and-analysis Cornered! Vodafone goes to infinity, and beyond

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The ACCC is very unhappy about mobile operators claiming to offer 'unlimited' plans. So they should come down hard immediately on Vodafone for its 'infinite' plans.

We're probably all familiar with animated spaceman Buzz Lightyear's rallying cry "To Infinity, And Beyond." There's subtle humour in this that will be lost on children and, I suspect, on many adults: the joke being that it is not possible, by definition, to go beyond infinity.

This fact, rooted in the mathematical concept of infinity, seems to have escaped Vodafone which has just announced the 'Vodafone Infinite' mobile plans, boasting that they offer "infinite standard national calls, infinite texts to personal mobiles here and overseas, with different price points reflecting included data allowances from 1GB to 4GB, international calling and handsets."

Now unlimited is not the same as infinite. Unlimited simply means that Vodafone imposes no limits on the number of calls, messages or whatever you can make in the specified period, generally one month.

It is of course, no more possible to make an infinite number of calls or send an infinite number of messages in a finite time period than it is to cram an infinite number of cookies into a finite cookie jar.

The ACCC should put a stop to this misleading and deceptive conduct immediately. However Vodafone might well argue in its defence that, since what it is offering is impossible it cannot possibly be misleading!

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Stuart Corner

 

Tracking the telecoms industry since 1989, Stuart has been awarded Journalist Of The Year by the Australian Telecommunications Users Group (twice) and by the Service Providers Action Network. In 2010 he received the 'Kester' lifetime achievement award in the Consensus IT Writers Awards and was made a Lifetime Member of the Telecommunications Society of Australia. He was born in the UK, came to Australia in 1980 and has been here ever since.

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