Vodafone gets more transparent with Red offers

Monday 4 March 2013 | 15:37 CET | Background

Vodafone has launched its new postpaid proposition Vodafone Red in the Netherlands. From 04 March, the consumer and business plans at the mobile operator will see major changes. The current consumer offer, based on the series Bel+SMS and Bel+SMS+Web and available in 21 variants, will be replaced by five plans where the consumer can choose whether he wants an expensive or cheap handset. Customers who choose the Sim-only version will receive a discount on the standard subscription fee. The per-second billing plan and the Sim-only offer Scherp will also still be on offer at the operator.

The new range is as follows:

  • Billed by the second after the first minute
  • Calls outside the bundle cost EUR 0.25 per minute
  • No rollover of monthly bundle credit
  • There is a choice of five handset categories. The monthly cost here is based on a handset in the price category including the iPhone 4. A more high-end phone costs more per month.
The first three subscription plans are standard offers, and the same as the more expensive plans, include unlimited SMS. The data bundles are somewhat small, but can be increased by 300MB for EUR 2.50 per month. 

A comparison of the Red Essential subscription with for example a Simpel Sim-only subscription gives the following: a similar amount of minutes and MB, and the customer can choose to add 100 SMS per month (generally enough for a smartphone user). This would see the Vodafone customer pay EUR 34 per month, while at Simpel the offer costs EUR 25 per month. However, for EUR 9 per month less (-36%), he will be charged by the minute, pay a higher out-of-bundle tariff and receive internet at 384 Kbps, versus up to 14.4 Mbps at Vodafone.

Vodafone's more expensive bundles are priced below KPN's rates. Example: for EUR 39 per month Sim-only, a Vodafone customer gets unlimited calls and SMS, 1GB data and a high speed. At KPN the same offer costs EUR 45 per month. AT T-Mobile, a customer will pay at least EUR 80.50 for unlimited calls (promotional price EUR 50.25), with 600MB and the handset subsidy included.

Red subscribers can add the service MultiSim. This gives the customer a free second Sim to use for example in a tablet. The data bundle is then shared over the two devices. The service costs EUR 5 per month with Red Essential and Red and is included free with Red Super.

The business range has also been updated, and the iPhone zakelijk and Ondernemersbundels will be replaced with new subscriptions. Vodafone inBusiness will still exist, as will the corporate plans.

The business subscriptions are as follows:

The business versions of the Red plans cost more than the consumer offers, but they also come with more. A Red Essential business subscriber gets unlimited calls and twice the amount of data as a consumer on the same plan.

A nice addition to the two most expensive plans is that the bundle can be used in all the Vodafone Voordeel countries, meaning unlimited calls to and from other Vodafone countries. The most expensive plan also includes 150 minutes per month from the Netherlands to EU countries. This makes the plans a good proposition for business users who travel often.

Customers can also add a smartphone to the new subscriptions. The phone is bought on installment for a monthly fee on top of the subscription. Red customers also receive a free handset replacement service. With this Vodafone appears to have learned from the problems with KPN's handset lease construction. Vodafone offers just five categories of handset to choose from, rather than the 14 at KPN, and rather than giving the option to buy the phone at the end of the contract, Vodafone customers own the handset immediately, making the total price more clear. 

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