XT vs Vodafone Global Roaming. One key difference.

By Steve Biddle, in , posted: 2-Jun-2009 06:48

NOTE: As of August 2010 Vodafone have upgraded their voicemail platform to allow the use of voicemail while roaming. They now offer the same features that Telecom do on XT.

See this post for more information: http://www.geekzone.co.nz/sbiddle/7366


One of the great features of GSM & UMTS networks is the ability to roam on foreign networks while travelling, and seamlessly use your mobile phone just as you would at home.

Pricing between both networks is similair in many respects but there is one key difference between both networks and that is the handling of voicemail support while roaming.

If somebody calls your phone you have two choices - answer the call or let the call divert to voicemail. Neither Vodafone or Telecom charge for voicemail deposits while you are inside New Zealand.

While you're roaming it's another story - due to the way roaming works if you do not answer your phone while roaming the call needs to establish a return path back to New Zealand and to the voicemail platform. This is where Vodafone and XT differ significantly.

If you're a Vodafone customer who's roaming call return to voicemail is not available on all networks.

On networks where it is not available the party calling you will receive a disconnected tone once you voicemail timeout is reached. They are not automatically diverted to your voicemail like they are in NZ and are unable to leave you a voicemail message, something many people find extremely annoying. On networks that do support a return path to the voicemail platform you ARE charged the normal inbound roaming rate of $1 per minute when people leave a message. If somebody leaves you a 3 minute voicemail message while you are roaming you're suddenly $3 out of pocket.

On Telecom XT a return path is available on all foreign networks while roaming and call return to voicemail is available on all networks. The mobile owner is also NOT charged for voicemail deposits left while you are roaming and a call is returned after the voicemail timeout period expires. This means there is no $3 bill when somebody leaves you a voicemail message.

If you're a regular roamer overseas and staying in contact is important then this significant difference may be of great importance to you and is something to factor in when deciding between mobile operators.

Other related posts:
No, AT aren’t stealing your money. How Stuff confused a nation.
The perils of using Airbnb during big events
How to remotely control your heat pump from your phone for under NZ$25

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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