Vodafone's LTE network is a little older than a month old, but the telco has just announced that it will be introducing new plans in August that will allow customers to use their mobile phones in NZ, US and UK for just $5 extra a day to help stem international roaming bill shock.
"I'm appalled and shocked at some of the type of bills that we've issued to our customers and our competitors have issued to people that we've spoken to," Vodafone Chief Executive Bill Morrow said at a media conference held in Sydney today.
"Someone told me that just posting a Facebook picture while they were on holidays cost them $40. We're tired of this. It is no more for Vodafone."
This means that if you make or receive calls and use data while overseas, for each day that you do, you will be charged a standard $5, as long as your use is within that of your mobile phone plan.
Receiving SMS will be free, as will receiving calls but not answering it, however if the call goes to voicemail, you will be charged the $5 cap.
Though this is not available to all Vodafone customers, those who are on the eligible plans will have this automatically activated when they arrive in NZ, US or UK.
To be announced in August, Morrow said that the pricing for the eligible plans will be based on Vodafone's current most popular plans.
A report by the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman found that complaints about global roaming charges soared by almost 70 per cent in 2011-2012, and more than 10 per cent of these disputes were over amounts of more than $5000.
To help give customers more control and better awareness of global roaming charges, the ACMA introduced the new International Mobile Roaming standard to be implemented by September 2013.
"Global roaming costs are a worldwide issue because of the prices various networks charge each other, but the impact on our customers is too great," Morrow said.
But while the eligible $5 roaming plans haven't yet been announced, Vodafone's new roaming cap is sure to shake up the market.
Morrow explained that this is just one more step in recovering Vodafone's brand, citing its new "fastest 4G network", the creation of local call centre and this new roaming plan as its specific points of difference.
"No one else has been able to address this issue with this simplicity and this low price."
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