Vodafone Scraps Roaming Charges In 40 Places

By Holly Brockwell on at

Good news if you're on Vodafone: they're getting rid of roaming charges in 40 places worldwide, which means 80% of customers' holidays will now be included in their data plans.

However, it only applies to "new and upgrading pay monthly consumer and small business customers," so if you're on PAYG or you're not taking out/renewing a contract, you won't get the benefit.

The destinations include more than the upcoming mandatory EU roaming destinations, which will be rolled out this summer – Vodafone's included the Channel Islands, Turkey and Switzerland too, for instance. Beyond that, 60 more places will be 'Roam-further' destinations, where you can use your home data allowance for an extra £5 a day.

Telecoms expert Ernest Doku from uSwitch thinks it'll be a popular move:

"This is bound to go down extremely well with frequent flyers and business customers who represent a relatively large proportion of Vodafone’s client base, and with consumers, positions Vodafone as a strong contender against iD’s Takeaway plans - their continuing commitment to offer customers 4G roaming abroad in 117 countries around the world will also keep the network a nose ahead of its competition. For now, at least."

It's a battle that's likely to hot up this summer, he adds:

"With EU roaming charges due to be abolished for UK customers as of 15 June and with uncertainty over what Brexit will mean for roaming charges in the longer term, Vodafone are firing the starting gun ahead of time, keen to steal a march on its rivals and put their current customers at ease."

Vodafone's phrasing makes it clear which rival in particular they're taking aim at: "customers can now use their phones as they do at home" sounds an awful lot like Three's 'Feel At Home' marketing for their own roaming scheme.

Similarly, Vodafone's new Flexible Upgrades programme resembles the model popularised by O2 Refresh: from today, existing customers will be able to upgrade their phones as soon as they've had them for six months, trading in the existing phone for credit against the upgrade fee. Handy for people like me who watch too many smartphone announcements and have no self-control.

You can check your holiday destination against the full roaming list here.

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