Wednesday, 28 August 2013 06:23

Vodafone launches new postpaid plans

Morrow sees Red Morrow sees Red

Vodafone Australia says it has ‘thrown down the gauntlet’’ to Telstra and Optus by announcing new plans featuring unlimited calls and texts and $5 a day international roaming in the US, UK and NZ.

Vodafone’s new postpaid plans, called ‘Red’, are at $65, $80 or $100 a month, and include ‘infinite’ (presumably better than ‘unlimited’) national calls and local and international texts. The three plans offer 1.5GB, 2.5GB and 5GB of data per month respectively.

Vodafone is offering Red SIM-only plans for $15 off the various postpaid price points. “These are the plans without equal,” Vodafone Australia’s CEO Bill Morrow said. “Vodafone Red keeps it simple. The reality is people want to be able to use their phones without having to think about which network they’re calling or what time of day it is.

“Vodafone Red is for people who live to communicate,” said Morrow. “Our customers are active social media users who share images and videos with loved ones as they happen, and email who they want when they want.

“We are determined to buck the industry trend of shrinking included data. Vodafone Red offers the most generous data inclusions of all the big providers. Not only that but our SIMonly options mean customers who bring their own phone pay $15 less per month to get all the same inclusions.”

Vodafone is also stressing the fact that its call centre is in Australia – it recently announced the expansion of its call centre in Hobart. “Customer service has been a problem across the industry for too long. Our customers tell us they want to speak to someone who understands them and can offer local service. We’ve had a customer service team in Australia for 14 years and we’re further expanding on that to ensure calls are answered in Australia.”

The Red announcement builds on Vodafone’s release last month of cheaper international roaming. Vodafone Red customers will be able to use their plans in the US, UK and NZ for an extra $5 a day.

“This is not a data pack,” said Morrow, “Rather, customers will automatically be charged $5 only for the days they use their phones. Customers who have a huge appetite for data are increasingly customising plans by adding a data pack. For example for $10 a month you can add an extra 1GB to plans listed below, or 2.5GB for $20.”

Vodafone also calculates data per KB rather than per MB, meaning unused portions of the plan are not charged. “We are working hard to extend the offer to other countries by the end of the year,” said Morrow. “We are serious about doing something about the high cost of international roaming and have begun the journey with the US, UK and NZ, which is where 40% of our customers travel the most.

“Vodafone has always been considered great value but in this very competitive market it’s more important than ever to stand for something beyond value,” said Morrow. “We’ve been listening to our customers.

“We offer lightning fast 4G, local customer service, simple roaming options and market-leading plans. There’s never been a better time to be with Vodafone.

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Graeme Philipson

Graeme Philipson is senior associate editor at iTWire. He is one of Australia’s longest serving and most experienced IT journalists. He is author of the only definitive history of the Australian IT industry, ‘A Vision Splendid: The History of Australian Computing.’

He has been in the high tech industry for more than 30 years, most of that time as a market researcher, analyst and journalist. He was founding editor of MIS magazine, and is a former editor of Computerworld Australia. He was a research director for Gartner Asia Pacific and research manager for the Yankee Group Australia. He was a long time weekly IT columnist in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, and is a recipient of the Kester Award for lifetime achievement in IT journalism.

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