back to article Vodafone's new pricing model excludes VoIP and P2P

While ADSL providers are imposing caps and resorting to traffic throttling, Vodafone has slipped in a clause allowing it to charge different amounts for mobile bandwidth depending on the application, though how it will do so is unclear. Vodafone's new pricing model for data comes in on 1 June and at a glance seems fair enough …

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Who cares about Vodafone data anyway?

Does El-Reg need to waste bandwidth reporting on Vodafone's data costs when T-Mobile have data plans that mean you don’t have to worry about every single byte?

The only worry I had when I came across the T-Mobile data plans was "what's the catch?" and so far there isn’t one.

Ok T-Mobile still use "unlimited" to describe 1,3 and 10Gb limited services and there are restrictions on use: the 1Gb plan is limited to 'phone based web browsing, the 3Gb plan allows you to use the phone as a mobile modem but not VoIP and there are no usage limits on the 10Gb plan, but the marketing men have to have something to do all day.

I think T-Mobile should be applauded for offering useable data plans and other operators derided until they follow suit.

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Con

This is such a con. The only reason for barring these services is to protect their own revenue. And without a definitive list of banned services or the methods by which they determine what services you are using some people are going to be in for a nasty shock when they get their bills. I don't know how the mobile operators are allowed to get away with such unfair and protectionist practices.

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Anonymous Coward

T-Mobile not a con???

Jamie,

Why do you feel that Vodafone charging extra for some services is a con but when T-Mobile tell you outright that you cannot use a particular service that is ok?

I'm not defending Vodafone btw, I'm a Nokia N95 user on Vodafone so I'm hit by the double whammy, I've got a crippled phone and I'll now be charged varying data rates.

Simon

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Anonymous Coward

*I* care about Vodafone data

Jamie Mitchell said: "Does El-Reg need to waste bandwidth reporting on Vodafone's data costs when T-Mobile have data plans that mean you don’t have to worry about every single byte?"

Yes. Not everyone has a T-Mobile contract and not everyone is in the position to switch to T-Mobile today. I have a Vodafone contract, so the data pricing is important to me, and hundreds of thousands of other people.

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Anonymous Coward

Glad to leave Vodafone

I am in the process of leaving Vodafone after 7 years - mainly because they didn't have the handset I wanted. But their approach to pricing has become progressively worse over the last few years.

£2.30/MB is ridiculous (although this is not exclusive to Voda), and their recent behaviours, such as removing MMS from the "texts" bundle, and disabling VOIP on flagship handsets smacks of anticompetitiveness.

Now, all Voda can offer in a competitive marketplace is superior coverage, but as more subscribers move to other networks they'll be able to invest in their infrastructure.

I'm now with T-Mobile, who's approach to pricing is much fairer. More usable and more honest. I can live within my £7.50/mo for a GB of data, and if I can't then I'm obviously needing to move enough data to justify the charge.

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Anonymous Coward

Good offer for occasional data users on laptops

Jamie:

I am with T-Mobile now, with 7.50 web'n'walk offer, and I'm quite happy with that. But when you ask "where's the catch" with wnw offers - there is one: they *do not* allow officially using wnw in modems for laptops. New Voda's offer allows that, and while 15 MB seems like not much, it should ok for those users, who occasionally connect to internet from laptop on the move. I'm such a user - I have broadband both at home and work, where I spend 95% of my time. However, when I'm away (weekend, holiday, whatever), it could be nice option to check email or get in touch with friends on some IM. On the other hand, Voda allows VoIP/p2p with extra charges, while T-M does not allow that at all with their 1-pound-a-day or 7.50-a-month wnw offers.

I still prefer T-Mobile overall, but Voda's option is not that bad either - I think.

Regards,

David

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Anonymous Coward

WiFi and unbranded is the way to go

Subsidised phones aren't always as cheap or "free" as people think, especially considering the tariffs required, ever increasing monthly costs if you sign up to new contracts (£19 a month minimum Tariff now on Orange!), and still excessively high data rates with all kinds of restrictions and phones locked down.

With WiFi now being provided in phones you now have the chance to be free from the shackles of the mobile operators (*if* you can find a hotspot). You do have to buy unbranded, but chances are the long term cost is the same as that expensive contract to get the phone free. If you do this and stay on your old contract, chances are the monthly is a lot cheaper than new contracts.

Though the down side is you may be denied some services if you haven't bought the phone from the operator (for example, you can't get a 3G sim from Orange on contract without buying an Orange branded phone).

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That's not all...

Your article fails to notice that the Vodafone Live portal will no longer be free. Right now I can check the football scores for free but I won't be able to from next month. It'll cost me the best part of £1 each time. I'm sure Vodafone will put as many images and extra links between the home page and the information we want.

If our contract didn't already say that they reserved the right to pull Vodafone I would be cancelling my contract right now.

I am however interested in the monthly tariff - especially if it can be used with push mail but with a month to go there are NO details whatsoever.

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Images off!

I use Orange PAYG web access, I seem to get pretty good value for money at this level switching images off in the phone - loads 'loads' faster as well. £1 gives a days access, actually pegged at 25 megs, ideal for laptop/Palm use again without graphics where feasible.

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Overpriced?

Why are data charges so high (and don't let's even start to talk about sms)?

I just got back from holiday in India where I was offered 'unlimited' always-on gprs for Rs 15 a day (<£6 a month).

AndyD

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Some users are terribly affected.

Have a read of this:

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Changes in Data charges

I have just received a text from yourselves informing me of the changes in data charges and directing me to vodafone.co.uk/dataprices, (which is not yet working.)

After speaking to 191 I have been advised of the changes and how they affect me.

To explain my position I extended my anytime 200 + 500 texts on the 17th of March specifically to give myself the inclusive data that came with the anytime plans and their text packs. I asked the sales/retention gentleman specifically if this would allow me to keep my data and was assured that it would. Indeed I have a recording of him offering this assurance.

I have been advised this morning that 1) on the first of June I will lose my data allowance, 2) the sales team knew about this at the time. As I'm sure you can understand I'm, and I chose my words carefully, a bit annoyed by this, not least because this is the second time vodafone have changed my contract midway through.

I estimate based on a crude calculation that this change, based on my previous usage, will cost me around £16pcm more than I am currently paying, and under T&Cs 8 a) I, this would comfortably allow me to cancel my contract.

My contract is without a handset. I pay £15pcm for my tariff. By way of a solution, I would suggest the following: I keep my existing arrangement until the 1st of June at which point I be allowed to break my contract and move to a new one with inclusive data bundled.

I would appreciate your thoughts on this matter.

kind regards Nigel.

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So basically this change will more than double my bill....

Have a read of vod's responce. It may make you laugh, it made me cry.

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Dear Nigel,

Thank you for contacting Vodafone Customer Services regarding data charges text message received by you.

As market research conducted in the past few months we have analysed that our customers like the simplicity and reassurance of a monthly data pack and they want it to be similar to their monthly home broadband package. For this reason we have revised

If you access Vodafone live/internet you will receive 15MBs for that day and you pay only 1 pound for that day

What’s exciting is that you can use any of the following up to 15 MBs of data:

– 20 live! or made for mobile pages (EBaymobile.co.uk)

– 10 Sky Sports pages

– 20 BBC homepages (WWW pages not mobile pages)

– 5-10 CCN pages

– 5 EBay pages

• Examples of 15MB:

– 15 minutes of video streaming e.g. TV

– 600 Vodafone live! pages

– 150 pages of EBay auctions

– 7 music tracks (average live! full music tracks are 2MB)

Please note if you access more than 15MBs of data in one day you will be charged according to your price plan.

Please note that we have not breached the Terms and Conditions as according to the Airtime Terms and Conditions, Vodafone has the right to introduce new prices from time to time providing a 14-day prior notice.

If you wish to view the Terms and Conditions, please visit www.vodafone.co.uk

If there is anything else we can assist you with, please feel free to contact us.

Kind regards,

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