‘Red’: Vodafone overhauls plan structure


blog Bit by bit, cell tower by cell tower upgrade, customer by customer, Vodafone is attempting to bring its ailing operations in Australia back into the black. And although it’s not working so far, with its losses continuing to accelerate. That doesn’t mean the company isn’t going to keep trying. Today’s new initiative from the big V is a new mobile plan structure which will see three price points established with “infinite standard calls” and “infinite texts”. The full details are in the company’s media release here. Here’s a select few paragraphs:

Australia’s number three mobile provider has thrown down the gauntlet to Telstra and Optus by announcing new plans featuring unlimited calls and texts, generous data allowances, Australian-based customer service and $5 a day international roaming in the US, UK and NZ.

Vodafone’s new postpaid plans, called Red, are $65, $80 or $100 a month, and include infinite national calls and local and international texts, with a generous 1.5GB, 2.5GB and 5GB of data per month respectively.

At the same time, Vodafone is offering Red SIM-only plans for $15 off the various postpaid price points.

“These are the plans without equal,” Vodafone’s chief executive officer Bill Morrow said today. “Vodafone Red keeps it simple with infinite standard national calls to mobile and landlines, and texts both here and overseas. The reality is people want to be able to use their phones without having to think about which network they’re calling or what time of day it is.

“Vodafone Red is for people who live to communicate,” said Mr Morrow. “Our customers are active social media users who share images and videos with loved ones as they happen, and email who they want when they want.”

“We are determined to buck the industry trend of shrinking included data while keeping the price of plans the same. Vodafone Red offers the most generous data inclusions of all the big providers. Not only that but our SIM-only options mean customers who bring their own phone pay $15 less per month to get all the same inclusions.”

Vodafone ‘Red’ customers will also receive guaranteed customer support from the company’s Australian call centre, and for $5 more per day they will be able to use their plans in the US, UK and New Zealand.

Will these plans do much to reverse the massive downward trend which Vodafone continues to witness in its operations? I’m not sure right now, but they do represent the kind of innovative simplistic offer which Vodafone used to be known for. I would bet that quite a few people will be interested to check them out, even if Vodafone’s continuing reputation for poor coverage will keep many away.


  1. So I’m currently on the ‘old’ Red plan.

    $60/month with $700 calls
    Infinite txt
    1.5Gb data

    So I guess these new plans are good for people who make lots of phone calls?

    I’ve never had coverage issues with Vodafone.

    Also if the only difference between these new plans is the extra data, that they all have infinite stuff.
    Then you’d be better off getting the $65 plan and adding a 2Gb datapack for $20, sure it costs you $5 more but you’re gonna get a whole lot more data!

    • Yep, the main points of difference between Red and existing plans are Infinite calls and texts, also guaranteed Australian-based customer service. Plus there’s the $5 a day offer built-in so you can use your existing allowance in the UK, US and NZ. you don’t have to call up or anything to activate it, just comes standard and is activated only on the days you are overseas AND use your phone.

      Also, you are quite right about data packs … we are seeing an increasing number of customers tailoring their plans by buying plans with smaller call/txt allowances and then adding on lots of data.

      Thanks for being a Vodafone customer! We heart you.

      Elise (I work for Vodafone)

      • Still not happy though that you guys changed the charging model, I used to pay $10 for 2Gb, now having to pay $20 for 2.5Gb.

  2. A great move on Vodafone’s part, once they fix their network issues they will be worth considering (maybe in a year or so). The question I have about their network upgrade is whether they’re adding additional towers to address their blackspot problems as they add 4g? A consistently reliable network is more important than an occasionally fast network, particularly when the network isn’t even good enough to support voice.

    Perhaps the greatest benefit will be the potential response from the other networks to attempt to reman competitive and retain customers. Even with all the negativity surrounding the Vodafone brand, people’s memories are short, particularly that of the younger generation who didn’t personally experience the Vodafail saga, who live, work and play in areas consistently covered by the new network. They will provide an important new revenue stream to stem the tide of exiting customers while network upgrades continue.

    I think Vodafone could go one step further here, too – if they offer some sort of existing customer/early adopter bonuses that provide real advantages or benefits (unlike most lip-service ‘loyalty bonus’ programs offered by everyone else) that might accelerate initial uptake and stem the exodus more quickly.

  3. I imagine there are some people that Unlimited Texts and Calls actually mean something to but I’m not one of them. $65 per month for 1.5GB of data doesn’t seem that generous. I get twice as much data for $40 with Boost and that’s one a network that I can confidently say has better coverage and reliability that the Vodafone network.

    Admittedly Boost doesn’t do 4G but whats the use of all that speed with barely any data to let you use it (the big three are all guilty of this)?

    • Taxi drivers will love this voice option.
      Have you been in a cab and the (often) Indian or middle eastern driver is talking to relatives or other drivers or friends on the phone? Their service has been fine so I never minded.
      Im sure that there are other industries which leave the worker free to think and talk without impacting their work

  4. with the 15 off it would be $50 a month for unlimited calls/text and 1.5 gig of data, pretty good if u live/commute/work in an area with coverage. Where I am I do not but I have friends who live a couple minutes away who do so it’s just a matter of finding someone you know on Voda and borrowing their phone for a few hours before switching.

  5. Red does seem very attractive for the simplicity (and generosity) of its offerings. But…

    My contract finishes in a year (I’m on a cheap Vodafone plan now), and I’ll probably judge whether I’ll move away from Vodafone or within Vodafone’s plans based on their Perth 4G coverage in mid-2014. As it is, I’m not prepared to pay around double what I’m currently paying now for a mobile service (even though paying $60+ is fairly standard for others) as I don’t use my mobile as much as, say, my desktop computer. Mobile (phone or tablet) will certainly never be my preferred service or device for browsing the internet.

    I might even buy my phone outright and move back to pre-paid. Who knows?

    I’d be curious if there are any companies who offer pre-paid ‘packs’, so for example you could pay $W for X MB of data, or Y minutes of calls, or Z texts (the person would select which when they recharged); so people could tailor their “plans” to their own usage, for an amazing amount of flexibility. I’m sure there’d be a market for it, and you could charge a slight premium (as compared to the comparable price of each of these things on monthly plans).

      • Thanks. Yeah, I think their premium’s a little too much there… Seems to be more of a custom monthly post-paid plan with as well, rather than the pre-paid “value packs” I was imagining.

  6. Amaysim have a plan with unlimited national and mobile calls, unlimited text and MMS, and 4 gigs of monthly data on the Optus 3G network. I believe it’s $40/month. I’m still not sure why anyone pays more than $40/month for a phone plan unless they really need a faster (4G) or more expansive (Telstra) network.

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