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Bill Bennett


Vodafone: Kinder, gentler mobile data plans

Vodafone’s new Pay Monthly and Business mobile plans mean customers no longer run out of data

Source: Vodafone serves up endless data for data-hungry customers

Vodafone’s new mobile plans are a clever charm offensive.

Instead of letting you get to the end of your monthly data and turning off the tap, Vodafone’s new plans slow the stream to a trickle. In the phone business this is known as throttling.

This, in itself, is hardly new. Spark and 2degrees both have high end plans where they throttle speeds when customers use too much data. The difference is this applies to all monthly account customers.

Vodafone calls this ‘endless data’.

For some people reading this, the second part is even more interesting. The new plans all allow hot spotting at no extra charge. Hot spotting, sometimes called tethering, is when you, in effect, turn your phone into a Wi-Fi router. Then you can hook up a tablet or a laptop to you phone.

Throttling means that when you’ve used all the data in your plan, you can still download. But those downloads take place at a much slower rate. The press release says speeds are up to 100mbps at normal times, but will drop to 1.2mbps.

As the release points out this is more than enough to check mail, messages or maps. It won’t be enough to stream HD video or play demanding games. If you use your phone for work and that work doesn’t involve video conferencing, you’ll probably be sweet.

The new plan is a kinder, gentler way of dealing with people who run over their paid-for data. It should pay off for Vodafone which seems to be have something of a renaissance at the moment with its early 5G launch and other initiatives.

It also gives Vodafone another rod to beat Spark with. As things stand the more generous plans are a reason to switch carrier. That is until Spark sharpens its pencil.



12 thoughts on “Vodafone: Kinder, gentler mobile data plans

  1. It’ll be interesting to see how Spark/Skinny/2 Degrees will respond; Spark has pretty much kept the same pay monthly deals for ages so I could imagine the $40 entry level deal will peel off a fair number of those who are on Skinny/2 Degrees bc don’t care about Spark’s ‘freebies’.

  2. Including yours truely. I had a terrible Voda experience years ago, and the last time I called support I wanted to hire a contract killer but I guess that’s improved now?

  3. Same here, I had bad experiences too but then again I’d say the majority of the problems Vodafone are due to the lack of investment into IT to enable customers to do the vast majority of what they want through self service rather than having to ring up and wait on the line.

  4. The most amazing thing I accidentally discovered through the marketing on this is we qualify for a small business plan that is going to almost halve our spend with voda. Amazing how our reps didn’t point this out…

  5. @JohnPhilpin Yep, NZ is extremely expensive with some things, but cellphone and broadband internet are on the cheaper side. I pay $70 a month for my broadband, but if I’d been sensible and bundled it when I switched power companies on a whim, I’d be paying $50 a month.

  6. I’ve just done a road trip in the North Island over the last week. I’m with Spark and my partner is with VF. We traveled down the west coast via New Plymouth to Wellington and then back up the middle to Auckland. I was extremely surprised, even in this day and age, how many coverage gaps that Vodafone still have. Spark has coverage almost everywhere. 5G might be the latest and greatest, but if you can’t get the basics right, customers will not stay. And that’s not even talking about the terrible customer service experience you so often hear about with VF.


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