Data Centre


Vodafone customers moan about sluggish data abroad

No, non, nein says Brit telco's marketing bods, 'we don't throttle'

By Kat Hall


Vodafone customers are complaining their data is being throttled while on hols, with supposedly 4G services dropping to sluggish speeds of 2Mbps.

One affected customer, who has been with the UK-headquartered telco for around a decade, moaned he experienced problems with data roaming in the Netherlands and Cyprus recently.

The punter visited the same place in Holland for the last couple of years and said up until recently the service had been fine. "But since the switch to inclusive and free data it's been shit."

Vodafone's website stated: "We never 'throttle' – at home, or abroad – so you'll always enjoy full-speed roaming."

The issue first seemed to arise last month, even causing Alan Sugar, the normally retiring business tycoon, to vent on Twitter.

Vodafone responded to Shugs to say the issue had been resolved, but the problem appears to have returned for some customers.

In the customer forum under the thread "Data Throttled Abroad", one wrote on August 13: "The issue still hasn't been resolved, currently I'm getting 2Mbps.

"I'm very disappointed with Vodafone's service, especially as the 'unbeatable 4G abroad' is supposed to be their strong point and one of the reasons that I brought my number in from Three."

Another said: "Unfortunately the issue isn't resolved for me. At the time of writing this message I am running on 1Mbps."

Last month O2 admitted to deliberately throttling its network as a "temporary measure" to combat the demand of Brits using free data roaming abroad.

Since the abolition of roaming charges in EU countries in June, there has been some confusion as to what the phrase "roam like at home" actually means.

Three customers were perplexed as to why they were unable to access 4G services while abroad, but the company said it does not have a date as to when it will enable those services.

It said the regulations do not require operators to offer 4G roaming, and its service has always been 3G roaming abroad.

In contrast, EE has agreements with 125 networks to get you 4G abroad and Vodafone has also heavily marketed its lack of 4G restrictions on the continent.

A Vodafone spokesman said: "We don't throttle data and we are not aware of any overseas providers, who we partner with, intentionally reducing speeds. We'd be happy to look into any instance where a customer has experienced slower data speeds whilst roaming." ®

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