Vodafone introduces all-Ireland roaming charge

12 Jan 2004

From today, Vodafone’s postpaid consumer and business customers will be able to avail of all-Ireland call charges. The scheme allows users roaming on the Vodafone network in Northern Ireland to make calls to landline or mobile numbers in the Republic at the standard call rate.

The service is available for a fixed monthly subscription fee of €4 excl. Vat to business users and €5 excl. Vat for Pay Monthly customers.

Customers will not be charged for calls received while they are in Northern Ireland. In addition, calls to services such as voicemail and customer care, which use Vodafone short codes, are free of charge.

Mobile roaming charges have come in for much criticism; last year Communications Minister Dermot Ahern TD hit out at what he called “madcap” tariffs where users’ calls could potentially rise from 10-12c per minute to 60 or 70c per minute as a result of straying onto a Northern Ireland-based carrier.

The nature of the border also meant that networks for the North and South have been prone to overlapping. At times, users switched networks to UK operators while still in the Republic. In a statement last year, the Minister said: “I understand some of the difficulties that operators have had to face in scrapping it, but it is completely unsustainable in a small island like ours to have roaming charges.”

By Gordon Smith