Vodafone trials price-cuts to roaming

Vodafone, one of the largest telcos in the world, has announced that it is reducing the cost of international roaming data from $10 to $2 per megabyte for Australian users. Before you get too excited, I'm obliged to warn you that a) the price cuts only apply if you're travelling to New Zealand, and b) the new pricing is due to expire in February 2011, and c) $2 per Mb is still pretty pricey.

However, according to Jason Blair, the head of postpaid services, Vodafone is using this move as a trial, with a view to potentially cutting roaming data costs across the board: "Basically we're offering this to get an understanding of the usage and take-up of data roaming. This is the biggest time of the year when customers are going to be roaming and New Zealand is one of our biggest roaming destinations. More people are also buying smartphones and want to use data when they're overseas. By offering a better data [price], we'd like to see what happens from a usage perspective."

Vodafone has also announced it is removing roaming call surcharges from calls made in Singapore and New Zealand, part of an overall strategy to position itself as the carrier of choice for Australians venturing abroad. The cost of a call made from those destinations will now somewhat reflect the actual rates as laid out in your mobile contract, as opposed to before, when they were just theoretical numbers devised by NASA.