Vodafone slashes data tariffs

20 Jul 2005

Heavy users of Vodafone data services will be paying much lower prices from today as a result of a new tariff plan launched by the mobile operator.

The network has launched a new Super User tariff, which reduces megabyte (MB) pricing by up to 400pc. Under the new pricing plan, customers using the Vodafone 3G Mobile Connect Card can purchase a 1GB data bundle for €99 (excluding Vat) per month, which equates to 10 cent per MB. The company is also offering customers who sign up for the new tariff a 3G Mobile Connect Card for €29. This compares with a normal retail price of €149.

The new tariff is aimed at very heavy data users — such as architects emailing drawings and press photographers filing photos. As the company points out, 1GB is sufficient to send or read 41,900 standard emails, view 17,500 standard webpages, stream 58 hours of streamed music or video or download 400 MP3 songs.

The new Super User tariff replaces two previous package plans, under which customers purchased 250MB and 500MB of data per month. However three other existing lighter-usage bundles will remain in place: 20MB per month (€25), 60MB per month (€55) and 100MB (€70).

According to Eavann Murphy, head of business customer marketing, the 250MB/500MB bundles had become outdated as data usage increased and the new tariff was aimed at offering better value to the growing number of users that were falling into the heavy-user category. The Irish market was now one of the leaders in terms of data usage within the Vodafone Group, she added. “Since we launched the 3G data card last year we have met and exceeded our usage targets from a global perspective and the Irish market is fully in line with that,” she told siliconrepublic.com.

Meanwhile, Vodafone Ireland has announced it is to open a new retail outlet on Grafton St later this year. The store, located at 48 Grafton St, in the premises formally occupied by FX Kelly, will be used to showcase Vodafone Ireland’s mobile products and services. The opening of the new store will see the company relocate from its existing, smaller premises, at 55 Grafton St. Vodafone also has a second outlet on the famous shopping thoroughfare, at No 3.

The new premises comprises a four-storey-over-basement building extending to 305sq m, which has approximately 75.5sq m of retail space located at ground floor level. Vodafone Ireland has rented the property under the terms of a new 35-year lease incorporating five yearly upwards-only rent reviews. It is believed the annual rent for the premises will be of the order of half-a-million euro. The company declined to say how much it would cost to fit out the large new premises.

Speaking about the new store, Paul Cahill, managing director of Vodafone Retail, said: “Vodafone Ireland has dramatically increased its range of products and services on offer over recent years. In order to be able to fully demonstrate these new products and services to customers, we required additional space. In particular, the success of our 3G products and services since launch convinced us that now is the right time for us to move to a bigger, more practical premises, which will give us the space we need to showcase these products. Our new location will allow us to offer our customers a higher level of customer service in one of Ireland’s premier shopping locations.”

By Brian Skelly