Vodafone has announced that all its 12 and 24 month bundles will now include access to 4G so that customers can “feel the benefit of faster downloads and smoother streaming whenever they’re in an area of 4G coverage, with larger data allowances.”
The operator lags significantly behind UK market leader EE in terms of subscriptions. What’s more, the company now faces a new adversary with BT’s plans for an aggressive return to the consumer mobile market, with 4G offers aimed at undercutting key rivals.
It is believed BT will target its mobile offering at existing customers, so stoking the market further for bundled packages of fixed and mobile products.
Vodafone’s new strategy includes getting rid of “pay monthly price plans” choosing to call them “pay monthly bundles” instead, “a change to reflect the additional value we’re bundling in”.
Standard Bundles start from £17 per month and will offer either 500MB or 1GB of monthly data while Red Bundles will let customers choose from 2, 6, 10 or 20GB of monthly data.
Red Value Bundles will offer 2, 4, 6, 15 or 25GB of monthly data, along with access to one of three 4G entertainment packs (available if 4GB or more is chosen) which includes Spotify Premium, Sky Sports Mobile TV or a NOW TV Entertainment Pass for up to 24 months at no extra cost. Content has been a major part of Vodafone’s 4G strategy.
As part of the Red Value Bundle, the Samsung Galaxy S6 is available to pre-order from £44 a month while the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge is available to pre-order for £54 a month with £9 upfront cost.
Also available on this bundle is the HTC One M9 with 4GB data for £44 a month when you trade in an HTC One.
Those on an existing standard 3G plan can upgrade for a one-off fee of £20 – or for free if their new 4G bundle costs at least £5 more each month.
The company is also offering EE and O2 customers £20 if they switch to a Vodafone pay monthly bundle until 30 June.
Back in January, Vodafone UK CEO Jeroen Hoencamp defended the company’s strategy to focus on content rather than achieving high network speeds, and said strong signals were more important than extensive 4G coverage, in an interview on the company’s blog.
The company is also reportedly planning a spring launch in the UK of a consumer broadband service which will be followed by a cloud-based TV service later in the year.