Vodafone’s 4G customers are now able to make the most of ultra-fast mobile internet in selected European countries. They can also use Vodafone’s EuroTraveller service to take their voice call minutes, texts, and data allowance with them when they go abroad.
Vodafone has announced that customers on its Red 4G plans will have access to 4G if they travel to Italy, Spain, Portugal or Greece. They will be able to use 4G enabled smartphone and tablets on Vodafone’s own 4G network within these countries. UK customers were first able to access Vodafone’s 4G network in Greece in March, and following this successful launch the other three countries have followed suit.
Access to 4G whilst abroad means that holiday makers will be able to interact via social media, stream movies, search for information on their travel destination, and download local maps. Business travellers will be able to hold video conferences, download large files such as presentations, and keep up to date with work e-mail.
In addition to increased 4G roaming, Vodafone customers on pay monthly contracts are also able to opt into the Eurotraveller service. This means that they can take their allowance of voice call minutes, text messages, and data with them to be used in Vodafone’s Europe Zone, which consists of around 40 destinations.
The EuroTraveller facility is currently available at a reduced cost of just £2, for each day that the mobile is used abroad, until August 2014. This fixed daily fee means that customers can use their mobile devices, whether calling home, texting travel companions, or browsing the web, without worrying about excessive bills. Calls received while travelling in the Europe Zone are free when subscribed to EuroTraveller.
If you are planning to use your Vodafone 4G device abroad, there are a few things you should do first:
- Check that your phone isn’t barred from working abroad. If you are taking your phone on holiday for the first time you may have to have it unlocked for use outside of the UK.
- Set up a security code so that you can use your voicemail while you’re away. Calling your voicemail whilst abroad will cost the same as a standard call to the UK.
- Check how much calls, texts, and browsing will cost while you’re away. If you’re likely to use your phone a lot consider a service like EuroTraveller to give you peace of mind and limit your bills.
So far Vodafone is the only 4G network to provide overseas 4G roaming for its customers, although other networks are considering it. EE now provides 4G access to U.S. visitors to the UK, and hopes to build reciprocal agreements with other countries to allow 4G roaming to UK customers when they travel. In the meantime EE is focussing on providing 4G on the Eurotunnel and at airports to help travellers with the first part of their journey.
Three has stated that it is prioritising free roaming in more countries over getting 4G into those countries, with CEO David Dyson saying “We’ll look to consumer feedback and the demand. But what I’ll say right now is that 4G overseas is a smaller priority than actually free roaming overseas.”