Vodacom debuts uncapped call plan
The operator’s new top-end “Red” package offers unlimited calls and text messages. By Duncan McLeod.
Vodacom has unveiled its first contract tariff plan that offers subscribers unlimited phone calls and text messages for a fixed monthly fee.
The new product forms part of a new portfolio called “Red”. The unlimited plan, called Red VIP, provides limitless anytime calls to any network, limitless text messages and 1,5GB of monthly data on a 24-month contract for R1 999/month.
At the same time, the mobile operator, South Africa’s largest by subscriber numbers, has introduced the Red Advantage and Red Premium contract plans. Both offer limitless text messages, while the former includes 700 anytime minutes and 700MB of data per month and the latter 1 200 anytime minutes and 1,2GB of data per month. The plans include the “latest and greatest” smartphones, Vodacom says.
8ta offers a Sim-only unlimited calling plan for R1 199/month; customers wanting a smartphone — a Samsung Galaxy S3 was the only option at launch — pay R1 499/month. Unlike Vodacom’s Red VIP, 8ta’s offers, which also tie in customers to a 24-month contract, do not include bundled SMS and data.
At the same time, Vodacom has lifted the lid on refreshed “Smart” plan contract offerings, which include subsidised smartphones.
These start at R199/month for 75 anytime monthly minutes, 150 text messages and 75MB of data on the “Smart S” plan. At the top end, the “Smart XL” plan provides 400 anytime minutes, 800 text messages and 400MB of data for R699/month.
In the first two months, consumers are offered double the bundled data. Before the end of this initial period, Vodacom will contact them to tell them if they are on the right plan. The company will also offer to buy back users’ current devices, helping reduce any cost associated with their next upgrade.
The Red plans offer dedicated support through a “24/7 Red Crew” and offer 5GB of free online backup space and storage, supplied by Vodacom parent Vodafone.
Vodacom group CEO Shameel Joosub says the new contract tariff plans represent a “fundamental change” in the operator’s pricing.
“The world is moving from voice to data and we need plans that reflect this move to data,” Joosub says. “Let’s give plans that integrate voice, SMS and data and give big bundles of [these].”
Customers on other Vodacom contracts are entitled to move to the new Smart plans. — (c) 2013 NewsCentral Media