Vodafone, the world’s largest mobile phone company by revenue, has announced free Internet access as a new feature that will be included with all its price plans. This new feature will be available to all Vodafone mobile users.
Price plans for Vodafone mobile start at £25 per month. Users will be able to access up to 500MB per month, so long as they adhere to the ‘fair usage policy’, which means that teenagers who download too much music or video could get barred from using the service in the future.
In the past, Vodafone users had to buy their Internet access bundle separately for £7.5 per month, and they could only use a maximum of 120 MB per month. Mobile service provider O2 also provides similar services to its iPhone users, but Vodafone will be the first company to offer free Internet access to all users irrespective of the type of handset they use.
This move is expected to fetch them a larger share in the mobile market, which is already over-crowded. Vodafone’s head of mobile Internet and content services, Al Russell says, “Many people already have phones that can browse the internet, so they do not need to buy new ones.”
Until recently, mobile Internet access tariffs were steep and limits on the amount of data one could access made consumers vary of mobile Internet services. Most users are also not familiar with the usage of mobile phones to access the internet.
However, Russell says that the staff at Vodafone stores and their helplines will explain to their clients how their handsets can be easily used to access the Internet, and that now they would not have to worry about the costs either.
This announcement comes around the same time that Vodafone signed deals with Apple to sell iPhones in Australia, India, Italy, Greece, Egypt, Portugal, Czech Republic, New Zealand, South Africa and Turkey.