Vodafone has become the first UK mobile operator to scrap roaming charges across 40 countries.
The changes, part of a charm offensive aimed at UK customers, come two months before the introduction of new rules forcing all mobile operators to get rid of roaming charges across EU member states.
Vodafone said it has listened to feedback from its customers and among other changes included the ability for people to upgrade their phones after just six months.The plan comes hot on the heels of a similar initiative launched by new entrant Sky Mobile earlier this month.
All of its changes will be effective immediately.
“Customers have told us they want us and the rest of the industry to change," said Vodafone chief executive Nick Jeffrey, adding:
Ernest Doku, a telecoms expert at comparison website Uswitch said the move to implement changes ahead of time was an attempt to "steal a march on its rivals".
“It’s also an interesting echo of when networks under public, regulatory and price pressure abandoned charging for texts which were a significant expense when mobile phones first shot to popularity in the late 1990s," said Doku.
This will also affect the new VAT charge added to non-EU roaming as Vodafone is effectively cancelling the tax for its customers using data in countries such as Turkey, Switzerland and the Channel Islands. An impressive move – and one that raises the bar for other providers.