Vodafone's missed opportunity, and the iPhone's gain

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Vodafone appears to be in, what is technically termed, a bit of tizz. It has signed up fewer than 10,000 UK residential broadband customers, despite launching its service a year ago, as against Orange’s 326,000 and O2’s disappointing ‘tens of thousands’. “Converged” fixed and mobile services do not seem to be taking off as planned.

At the same time, the news is out to day that Vodafone has slashed its UK data costs for mobile in an aggressive attempt to generate more revenue from mobile internet services. This, we must remember is the mobile operator which bangs on about the mobile web, while transcoding everything to within an inch of its life (destroying lots of mobile web startus in the process, btw).

But wait? What is generating more data that any other handset out there right now? Yes, folks, you guessed it. The iPhone seems to make its owners eat data like it was a mound of chocolate in front of a playground of primary school kids. Or 30 times more than an average mobile user. But who has the iPhone? Ah. O2.

Hey, has anyone got the phone number for that Nokia’s touch-screen phone department?

  • http://blog.roam4free.ie pat phelan

    Whilst I bet Vodafone are depressed regarding the home broadband sign ups Mike, I feel personally the the iPhone issue is a red herring.
    I would love to see the churn rate on users.
    Every O2 user that signed up to iPhone is a substansial loss in revenue to O2 due to the kickback to Mr Jobs and Co which is spoken in hushed terms to be 18%-21%.
    Obviously users from other networks signing up to the iPhone package is a serious gain for O2 but I think you are going to see carriers seriously evaluate this year the gains or losses for the network due to the incredible demands placed on them by Apple for acquiring the franchise

  • http://www.prashstream.com Prashant Agarwal

    The new monthly price is a pretty good deal at 15GBP. But they increased the flat-rate roaming from 8.50GBP to 9.99GBP per 24 hour period. At the same time the list of countries looks longer than before:

  • Mike Butcher

    Pat – Good point. I guess if Nokia could strike a better deal they could really nail the iPhone. It’s all about the mobile browser now…

  • Vodaboy

    Just to pick up the point from Prashant – I think the £8.50 is excluding VAT, and the £9.99 is with VAT.

  • Jez

    Mike.. recently came to the end of my contract with Orange. So called them up to cancel, but you know I will listen to the retention plan. It may be worthwhile..

    “What do you need Mr Jez?” .. I need a REALLY good dataplan – give me a contract with free data please.. “I’m sorry Mr Jez, we aren’t going to do that; but we will offer you a M3100 smartphone for £149”

    How about you look at the phone I bought 18 months ago? I got the M3100 Smartphone FREE OF CHARGE for a new Orange Contract… unbelieveable

    At least Vodafone, o2 , T-mobile and Three recognise the fact that affordable and worthwhile dataplans are VERY IMPORTANT in any mobile contract in the UK.

    Why can’t Orange???

  • Sam McLean

    I signed up with O2 a few months after the ifone came out at £35 a month. A bit steep but I’m an avid online user. Then O2 changed the package by doubling the talk time and giving unlimited texts, at which point the deal became unbeatable as online usage is unlimited.

    Vodafone still hasn’t got its act together as they’re determined to put add ons onto every price plan offered and their connection rate is very poor. Customer service is poor too but I don’t blame the call staff, they’re only implementing company policy which appears to be screw the subscriber for all they’re worth.

    Don’t take my word for it, thousands of other bloggers have expressed the same concerns and their churn rate reflects how poor their service has become. My advice is go with O2. You know exactly what you’re getting with their deals and they represent the best value for money.

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