Vodafone NBN pricing announced

Angus Kidman 22 August 2017 NEWS


Bonus data for mobile phone customers and unlimited speed switching on offer.

Vodafone has unveiled pricing for its NBN broadband plans and will offer bonus data for customers who are already on Vodafone mobile plans.

NBN plans will be offered across all four NBN speed tiers, though Vodafone says it won't be actively promoting the low-speed Basic 12/1 package. All broadband plans include unlimited data. You can choose between a month-to-month plan and a 24-month contract. On the month-to-month plan, you'll have to pay $150 for the Wi-Fi hub used for your connection. Here's a full list of plans and what they'll cost over 24 months:

Vodafone NBN plan Monthly charge Speed Total 24-month cost Bonus mobile data
$70 Basic nbn $70 12/1 $1,680 2GB
$80 Essential nbn $80 25/5 $1,920 2GB
$95 Essential+ nbn $95 50/20 $2,280 3GB
$110 Premium nbn $110 100/40 $2,640 3GB

Those prices are broadly competitive with other providers ($70 a month for unlimited 12/1 is a common pricing point). Vodafone is hoping that its bonus data offer and an easier install experience will help it attract customers.

"We really want to change the game when it comes to customer experience," Vodafone GM of broadband Matthew Lobb told finder.com.au. "Customers don't really care about the telco jargon – what they want is simple and easy to personalise plans."

Customers on the Basic and Essential plans will receive 2GB of bonus data which can be used across multiple postpaid Vodafone plans in the same household. On the pricier Essential+ and Premium plans, the bonus data figure rises to 3GB.

You'll also be able to switch between speed tiers once per billing cycle without incurring extra charges or extending your contract. "The incumbent broadband providers have pretty much replicated the old broadband experience on the NBN and the problem with that strategy is that it's not taking advantage of the full set of choices," Lobb said. Initially you'll have to make the change via the Vodafone call centre, but a planned 2018 update to the My Vodafone app will let you make that switch yourself.

Other selling points will include a 30-day network satisfaction guarantee, letting customers cut the contract if they're not happy with performance in the first month. Vodafone says it will conduct a speed test on every installed line within 15 days to make sure it can deliver the full range of NBN speeds.

As well, customers who sign up will be able to use Vodafone's 4G network for broadband access while they wait for their NBN service to be activated, a bonus that was revealed last month.

A big complaint about the NBN this year has been providers not purchasing enough CVC, creating congestion and a poor experience for customers. Having suffered through the "Vodafail" meltdown in 2010, Vodafone says it won't be making that mistake with broadband.

"We're used to dimensioning networks to optimise customer experience. We're confident that we can do that," Lobb said. "We'll be making sure we dimension our networks to give our customers the experience that they expect. Fixed broadband usage is increasing, so that means we have to increase CVC and we intend to do that."

Vodafone isn't launching fixed wireless or satellite plans at this stage, but says these will be added down the track. It will also offer business plans. The initial batch of business plans are priced identically to the consumer plans: the only difference is that you'll need an ABN to purchase them and the 12/1 Basic speed won't be offered. Lobb says that more differentiated business plans with extra features (such as a static IP or faster service times) will be launched in 2018.

While the NBN plans have been announced, you might have to wait a while to take advantage of them. Vodafone is launching an initial trial amongst 300 of its staff and will then expand that trial amongst customers who signed up to express interest in the plans earlier this year.

That expansion will be concentrated across six key cities: Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Geelong, Newcastle and Wollongong. "We'll be market launching in these areas well before the end of the year, and then rolling out in other areas," Lobb said.

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