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Vodafone CEO calls for end of “free-ism”

Vittorio Colao said Vodafone had been impacted by difficult conditions in Southern Europe

UK-based mobile operator Vodafone was one of the earliest providers to call an end to the all you can eat data buffet and CEO Vittorio Colao believes more tiers are on the way.

During a keynote presentation at Nokia World in London earlier this week, Colao said that the end of the culture of “free-ism” was approaching and data pricing had to adjust accordingly. The Vodafone chief said that streaming music and video were the biggest contributors to data traffic on Vodafone’s network and suggested that every class of service must have its own price – a hint at the more varied and sophisticated pricing strategies expected to come.

In June, Vodafone UK scrapped the fair usage policy on its 500MB Flexi or Value Pack offerings, introducing out of bundle charging for pay monthly customers that go over the 500MB limit. The carrier also introduced a real-time notification service to alert its customers to their usage patterns in an attempt to be completely transparent about these charges and to “protect [its] network from data abuse”.

The company’s German operation has already said that it will cap its LTE pricing plans based on speed when it launches them before year end. The operator will offer 10GB of data at 7.2Mbps for €40 a month, 15GB of data at 21.6MBps for €50, and 30GB at 50Mbps for €60.

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9 comments

  1. anonymouse 16/09/2010 @ 1:39 pm

    This is the most backwards statement I’ve heard from VF yet. Wow. Always room for surprise I guess…

  2. A Wicks 16/09/2010 @ 2:44 pm

    The problem Vodafone are currently having in the implementation of this is the way they are trying to sneak this into the contracts of existing customers. The other large players removed unlimited data, but only for new customers – Vodafone have introduced this unilaterally to ALL customers and in the process managed to create themselves a large PR disaster.

  3. anonymous 16/09/2010 @ 6:01 pm

    Do you see “All you can eat” restaurants disappearing from the world?
    Since you run it this way, what you can do is to set your price.
    VF can stop the way, of course, let’s see how many end users and carriers follow…

  4. Steokt 16/09/2010 @ 6:09 pm

    i think all the operators have to take a similar position otherwise after a while we will be the succers upon the apple’s, google’s, microsoft’s etc are going to celebrate their huge success with minimum investments.

  5. Trimbo 17/09/2010 @ 7:14 am

    Mobile Operators need to go into a dark room and think out their long-term data strategy that makes them some money and provides users wuth value. Why are they trying to compete with fixed broadband (cable and ADSL) when clearly they cannot provide anything like the capacilty. Why do they charge rip-off prices for broadband roaming when clearly it should be no more expensive to deliver than local data – just a bit more costly to track and bill – maybe a few € per day.

  6. Rónán 17/09/2010 @ 10:51 am

    this is why i am not on Vodafone in Ireland!
    VF are a high-priced, overcharging global monster who do not bring any value to the consumer! that is why i am staying on the Meteor network!

  7. Ash 17/09/2010 @ 5:05 pm

    I would like to see this approach even thought of in India..

    Can VF afford to take that challenge??

    Lets see…

  8. JD 20/09/2010 @ 2:42 pm

    Data usage isn’t really the issue, it is poor management, infastructure and poor planning.

    I just switched to GiffGaff that offer truley unlimted data with no FUP because the have come up with a unique business model that so saves money with its minimal overheads.

    Weird thing is, now that I have unlimited data with no FUP over my head, I actually use less data. Guess it is just a phsycological thing, where I wanted to get my moneys worth in the past.

  9. Pete R 22/09/2010 @ 9:24 pm

    You can introduce more tiers if you like, its still not going to change the fact that you still cannot admit to constantly LYING about using the word “unlimited” when in fact it wasn’t true at all.

    I used Vodafone for a while, they lie about various things. I got stuck on a contact, even though I didnt ask for one.The contention and “ping” is awful and data through is sluggish.

    Someone above mentioned Giffgaff, I too am on this, its truly wonderful and all networks should take a look at their post-it notes.

    THERE IS NO VALUE IN VODAFONE!

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