Vodacom slashes data roaming rates

Vodafone’s South African subsidiary Vodacom is slashing its regional data roaming rates by 70% in six countries, but only if customers use one of its approved local networks.

The operator is cutting the price of data roaming from 17.50 Rand (€1.70) per MB to 5 Rand for customers travelling in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Mozambique, and Tanzania. The firm says it is able to offer the lower rate by leveraging local subsidiaries in those markets, and is backing the program with free incoming voice calls for roaming customers.

Outgoing calls are billed at 2.90 Rand per minute for local numbers, and 5 Rand per minute for calls back to South Africa. Sending SMS will cost 1.50 Rand per message, but incoming texts are free.

Romeo Kumalo, Vodacom’s chief commercial officer, says the “aggressive data rate” removes the worry about roaming bill shock for customers. “They now have one low roaming rate across our African family of networks,” he notes, adding the move will give subscribers “peace of mind when travelling.”

While the lower rates are automatically applied for travelling subscribers, they will need to keep a close eye on which network they roam onto as standard rates apply if not on a Vodafone or Vodacom partner network.