Vodafone launches VOXI sub-brad with zero-rated products
Vodafone has launched a new UK brand, VOXI, targeting customers aged under-25 with a number of zero-rated products included.
The mobile operator says the VOXI brand, which will go live on 8 September, will allow customers to use selected social and chat apps without using their data allowance.
Packages will include unlimited calls and texts, with no contract. The 30-day plans will include 4G connectivity, costing £10 for 2GB; £15 for 5GB; and £20 for 15GB.
Customers with data left on their plan will have unlimited use of apps including Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp, Pinterest, Snapchat, Twitter, and Viber, although these apps could be subject to change. This is only applicable inside Vodafone’s Europe Zone of countries – made up of 50 countries, including non-EU countries such as Turkey and Switzerland. Anywhere else, standard rates apply.
One concern with any zero-rated data plans is around regulation. Last year, the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) introduced new rules around net neutrality, which outlined the circumstances in which zero-rating would not be allowed.
Voxi will be led by segment marketing manager Dan Lambrou, who becomes head of VOXI. Lambrou told Capacity that Vodafone had worked closely with regulatory experts to make sure its zero-rated offer is compliant with relevant net neutrality regulations.
“We’ve worked very closely with our regulatory team and we are fully compliant with BEREC and net neutrality both in terms of the non-discriminatory nature of the social and chat category – it’s an open sign up process, so any partner who meets our criteria can sign up. So we expect that to grow over time, and there is no cost for that.
“We are applying differential pricing to a category but it is not restricting access to any other service, so long as our customers have data.”
VOXI will run entirely on Vodafone’s UK mobile network, although Lambrou said it had developed technology to support the zero-rated products.
Nick Jeffery, CEO of Vodafone UK, said: “Vodafone has been working hard to understand the specific needs of our customers. We know today’s young generation use their phones in a completely different way, with social media at the very centre of their lives.
“They want services that put their needs first. VOXI gives young people just that: access to the content and channels they love, simple and cost-effective price plans, and a mobile network they can count on.”