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Voda ‘out of touch with reality’ says Ovum

Industry analyst Ovum, said Friday that Vodafone’s flat-rate data announcement Wednesday is neither flat-rate nor unlimited, as the operator claims.

Jeremy Green, principal analyst at Ovum said the company’s marketing around the offer, which includes the phrase ‘practically unlimited data usage’ is “out of touch with reality”.

Vodafone’s latest data tariff gives users what it calls “flat-rate” roaming for Eur12 per day, or 50Mb of data. But Green argues that “a short while browsing BBC web sites can easily rack up 10Mb… that’s not core business usage, but it’s not unfair use either”.

The tariff will be available to Vodafone customers from July 1 and follows on from the introduction of flat rate data tariffs in individual countries over the past year. The tariff adds to the success Vodafone has had with its ‘Passport’ voice roaming service, which has over 12 million subscribers.

The Eur12 (excluding VAT) tariff is applicable when a Vodafone customer is roaming on Vodafone subsidiary networks in Europe. However, if a customer roams onto another network then standard per megabyte charging will apply.

According to Green, the new offer, despite his observations, is “a good thing” but, he added, “the primary response it has generated around Ovum has been one of cynicism. This is an eloquent testament to the almost total absence of goodwill among users towards anything that mobile network operators do regarding roaming,” he said.

Vodafone did not respond to requests for comment.

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