Vodafone up the ante in the mobile market with new roaming deals

By Steve Biddle, in , posted: 28-May-2014 12:07

NZers love to travel.. almost as much as they love their phones. As somebody who loves both things I've donated many thousands of dollars over the years to both BellSouth and Vodafone as I've travelled around the world and used global roaming.

Global roaming prices have been a pet hate for users for many years and there is no disputing that prices have been sky high, but this has quickly changed in the last couple of years with many mobile networks around the world slashing prices and allowing users to take phones with them, and not having to sorry about acquiring a foreign SIM card to avoid ending up with a mobile bill that costs more than the airfare!

In the last year or so Vodafone Group have moved to daily roaming rates across many of their networks allowing users to pay a small fixed daily charge and then all data, voice calls and SMS messages are deducted from the user's monthly plan allowance. Vodafone New Zealand are one of the last networks to launch this, but launched this today offering a $5 charge to 17 commonly visited countries.

So what does this mean?

It means you'll pay $5 every day you use your phone abroad in Australia, United Kingdom, USA, France, Germany, Netherlands, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Hungary, Malta, Ghana, Romania, Czech Republic and India. Any SMS messages, data usage, inbound voice calls from New Zealand, or outbound voice calls to New Zealand or the country you're in will then be deducted from your monthly plan allowance. This will mean many users who roam will see massive reductions in their roaming costs - the old rates of 80c per SMS message, $1 per minute to answer a phone call, and from $1 to $6 per minute to make a phone call which abroad are now a thing of the past. You'll be able to use your phone in exactly the same as you do in NZ and pay no more than $5 for the convenience. It'll also mean significantly cheaper data - I have 3GB of data on my plan and can now use this while I'm travelling for what I consider to be a bargain price.

This offering gives Vodafone a massive advantage over Telecom or 2degrees, both of whom have roaming offers now very much pale in comparison to what Vodafone has on offer.

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Comment by JamesL, on 28-May-2014 19:12

Just a shame Japan isn't included as I'm heading there in June :(

Comment by Regs, on 28-May-2014 23:14

telecom has had the $10 a day roaming for awhile now.  I suspect (hope) they might lower their prices which would mean that "massive advantage" wont be that massive after all..

Author's note by sbiddle, on 29-May-2014 08:40

Telecom's $10 offering isn't even close - it's a vastly inferior offering.

$5 on Vodafone lets you receive calls, make calls, send SMS messages and use data all for $5.

Comment by hairy1, on 31-May-2014 20:16

Hey Steve,

Are you still on one of the old smart plans with 3GB of data? It appears from the website that this plan is not included in the $5 roaming. Did you have to ask nicely to get $5 roaming on the grandfathered plan?

Cheers, Matt.

Comment by johnr, on 2-Jun-2014 16:55

No Steve is on a newer plan that does include the $5 a day roaming

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sbiddle's profile

Steve Biddle
New Zealand

I'm an engineer who loves building solutions to solve problems.

I also love sharing my views and analysis of the tech world on this blog, along with the odd story about aviation and the travel industry.

My interests and skillset include:

*VoIP (Voice over IP). I work with various brands of hardware and PBX's on a daily basis
  -Asterisk (incl PiaF, FreePBX, Elastix)

  -xDSL deployments

*Structured cabling
  -Home/office cabling
  -Phone & Data

*Computer networking
  -Mikrotik hardware
  -WAN/LAN solutions

*Wireless solutions
  -Motel/Hotel hotspot deployments
  -Outdoor wireless deployments, both small and large scale
  -Temporary wireless deployments
*CCTV solutions
  -Analogue and IP

I'm an #avgeek who loves to travel the world (preferably in seat 1A) and stay in nice hotels.

+My views do no represent my employer. I'm sure they'll be happy to give their own if you ask them.

You can contact me here or by email at stevenbiddle@gmail.com