updated 10:45 am EDT, Thu May 1, 2008
Vodafone's Internet plans
Vodafone UK on Thursday announced it would add 'unlimited' access to the Internet and email to its monthly cell phone plans as it tries to garner a larger share of the country's highly competitive cellular market. The world's largest mobile telecommunications network company does in fact limit the plan to 500MB per month, as per its fair usage policy. The provider noted use of its Vodafone Mobile Internet service has grown rapidly since its launch last summer, with users accessing popular networking sites, news sites and search engines most often.
Vodafone's research shows social networking sites Facebook and Bebo are the most searched websites among UK users on their mobile web service, and also rank as number 1 and 5, respectively, on the most-visited list.
Vodafone says the integration will save £7.50 (near $15) charge for an Internet bundle, with such plans starting at £25 (nearly $50). At the same time, customers who opt for £40 (almost $80) or higher plans can choose from unlimited text messaging, landline calls or Vodafone-to-Vodafone calls. New subscribers will also have the opportunity to have their email set-up on their phones in-store at the time of purchase.
One of Vodafone's competitors in the UK, O2, apparently offers a truly unlimited data plan, at first only for the data-intensive iPhone and later for other handsets, although doubts have risen as to caps and resulting extra charges for going over them.