Vodafone Australia opens borders to New Zealand

Australian travellers to benefit from exciting new roaming offer

Vodafone Australia announced today that Red and SIM Only customers using Vodafone’s popular $5 Roaming can now use their mobile phones in New Zealand – Australia’s most popular international holiday destination – at no extra cost.

In its latest move to revolutionise the roaming industry, Vodafone is waiving the $5 per day roaming fee for Red and SIM Only customers travelling to New Zealand until 31 January 2017.

The offer builds on Vodafone’s award-winning $5 Roaming offer where customers can use their normal mobile phone plan in over 50 selected countries for the cost of a large coffee per day.

According to Vodafone Chief Marketing Officer Loo Fun Chee, the company’s latest roaming initiative demonstrates its commitment to giving Australians a fair go when they travel.

“Two years ago, we took the industry’s first steps to help end widespread confusion and bill shock surrounding international roaming with the introduction of a new standard: $5 Roaming,” said Ms Chee.

“Today, we’re taking another big leap forward to change the industry because we believe that roaming matters.

“Many Australians travelling overseas continue to be denied the right to use their phones like they would at home, and are instead spending their holiday downtime searching for free WiFi or worse still, paying excessive mobile roaming rates. This is something Vodafone is working hard to change.”

As one of Australia’s closest neighbours, New Zealand attracts more than a million travellers across the Tasman every year*, and more than 600,000 New Zealand born residents now live in Australia^.
Ms Chee said New Zealand was an obvious choice for the company to trial its evolved $5 Roaming product.

“Australia and New Zealand have a wonderful cooperative relationship. As allies, we have many ties across business, industry and government, as well as on the sporting field. Today I am pleased to announce that Vodafone Australia is strengthening its ties to New Zealand by opening its ‘network borders’ to include New Zealand,” said Ms Chee.

Vodafone: committed to changing the game on roaming

While Vodafone’s competitors took notice of $5 Roaming, Ms Chee said she believed many of their products continue to be fraught with complications and hidden catches with subsequent high costs.

“When you think that today close to 70 per cent of our network traffic is video, and no one sees that slowing down, the fact that some of our competitors are imposing daily data usage caps, and charging data overage up to 50 times more than their normal domestic rate when their customers roam, you have to wonder how serious they are about changing things,” said Ms Chee.

“The fact is many Australians are not able to roam with confidence and ease. We know that sometimes paying your regular mobile bill can be difficult enough, but imagine paying for hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in roaming. I’m not surprised that many people feel the best solution to avoid the roaming rort is to leave their phones at home when they travel overseas.”

Ms Chee said she believed Vodafone’s ‘roam like home to New Zealand’ offer not only outpaced local competitors, but also international providers because of its simplicity and benefits such as international calling, a feature of many Vodafone plans.

“While there are a handful of similar roaming offers around the world, many restrict how you use your phone. Having the freedom to use your plan’s inclusions, such as international call inclusions, as you would in Australia is what sets Vodafone’s ‘roam like home’ New Zealand offer above the rest,” said Ms Chee.

Vodafone keeping the ‘roam-mance’ alive on Red

According to company figures, $5 Roaming has been used more than three million times and customers have used 462 million megabytes of data while roaming since the start of 2014.

Ms Chee said the company’s plan to deliver simple products and greater transparency is a sustainable strategy.

“We’ve proven that if you have the right products that are easy for people to use and, most importantly, you charge a fair price, people will use them, and they will love them,” said Ms Chee.

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Notes to editor:
According to a recent study commissioned by Vodafone:

  • The most popular methods for avoiding roaming bill shock are:
    • Buy and use a local SIM (37 per cent)
    • Keep their phones switched off to avoid excess charges (25 per cent)
    • Leave their phones at home when they go overseas (21 per cent)
  • Less than one in five Australians (17 per cent) use mobile roaming
  • More than 40 per cent have never used mobile roaming because they think it’s too risky and complicated
  • Close to 70 per cent of Australians (67 per cent) do not understand roaming costs
  • 57 per cent of people are unlikely to use roaming the next time they are overseas
  • Over 80 per cent of Australians don’t use their phone as they normally would when overseas
  • On average, respondents estimated that the cost of using your phone overseas for a week would cost $108. Vodafone users estimated it would cost $70.30, Telstra $141.50, Optus $106, Virgin Mobile $82.60 and Amaysim $81.80

*Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics – 3401.0 Overseas Arrivals and Departures, Australia, Jun 2015
^Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics – 3412.0 Migration, Australia, 2011-12 and 2012-13
Free $5 Roaming in New Zealand available to Red and SIM Only customers using $5 Roaming until 31/1/2016