Vodafone has abolished worldwide data roaming charges for its customers with a new service that allows customers to use their UK allowance in a handful of countries.
WorldTraveller lets Vodafone customers use UK minutes, texts and data in eight countries around the world and it’s almost the same as Three’s offering except for one difference – it costs £5 per day.
The service, which can be activated for free by calling 5555 from a Vodafone handset, is available in the US, India, Australia, New Zealand, Egypt, Ghana, South Africa and Qatar.
In comparison, Three offers customers the chance to use UK minutes, texts and data as if at home in 16 countries including the US, Australia, Italy, Israel, France, Norway and many more at no additional cost.
For European customers, Vodafone has its EuroTraveller package that costs £2 per day up until 31 August when it will rise to £3 and thus still costs considerably more than Three, the only other company to have scrapped roaming fees in other countries.
Vodafone choosing to scrap roaming charges comes after the European Commission announced new roaming regulations last week. Under the new rules there are maximum charges of 11p per minute for voice calls, 4p for outgoing text messages and 12p for each MB of data downloaded.
This could be the precursor to roaming charges being completely abandoned across the European Union and certain operators have already spoken of worries that bills will increase as a result.
"There is a risk that domestic tariffs for European consumers will increase. Roaming might not be subject to surcharges anymore, but the overall level of tariffs would increase, and non-roaming customers might effectively foot the bill for roaming customers,” stated a roaming coalition of 15 operators including Three and Virgin Media.
All eyes will now be on the likes of EE and O2 to see if a similar scheme is rolled out in the coming weeks.