Feeds

Vodafone does close-up magic on roaming charges

New data policy is hey look what's that over there?

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Vodafone's magnanimous gesture in waiving roaming charges over the summer amounted to a nifty bit of misdirection - few noticed that it also slipped out some radical changes to the price of data for the traveller who can't be without their email.

The changes to the cost of roamed data were posted onto the company website without press release or notification. However, one keen-eyed Reg reader noticed a footnote on their bill and decided to check out the changes, only to discover the details are obscure and the company support was unable to clarify how much it will cost to use data abroad from July 1.

In general the changes seem for the better, though you wouldn't guess it from the company's explanation. The world is split into three zones, and users into those with a laptop-connected dongle and those on a phone.

Zone one covers Europe and surrounding area, and will cost a fiver per 25MB for a phone, doubling to a tenner for the same amount of data downloaded to a laptop using a dongle. Zone two includes most of the rest of the world including America, and will cost three times that: £15 for a phone, £30 for a laptop. Zone three includes some of the more obscure destinations and remains at a fiver per megabyte.

The confusion arises when it comes to users who don't touch those figures - the BlackBerry user who downloads an email on the Eurostar, or the lost walker who checks Google Mobile Maps while in Germany - with Vodafone's support being singularly unhelpful when it comes to how much such minimal usage will cost.

Even we had trouble getting figures out of the company, whose people just wanted to talk about how great Voda is at cutting the cost of voice roaming; but we eventually established that in zone one users will pay 50p for each 100KB (or part thereof) of data while roaming, up to a total of 1MB at which point the fiver-for-25MB rate automatically kicks in. Those figures double for zone two and don't apply to zone three.

Overall the deal seems good, and should make using data abroad less of a crapshoot for those who didn't check tariffs before leaving, as well as putting the cost of data well below the €1-per-MB wholesale rate mandated by the EU. All of which makes Vodafone's reticence to discuss it, even with its own support staff, all the more mysterious. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Mighty Blighty broadbanders beg: Let us lay cable in BT's, er, ducts
Complain to Ofcom that telco has 'effective monopoly'
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?
Speedy network claims only apply to 10% of customers
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.