Vodafone facing pressure to cut high 4G tariffs

14 August 2014 | Kavit Majithia


UK operator Vodafone is facing pressure to cut its high tariffs for 4G mobile broadband or it risks pricing itself out of the market.

Vodafone is applying a premium for faster internet access, and is risking losing market share as rivalling companies charge very little, or nothing in some cases, for 4G access.

Consumers are increasingly moving over to 4G and Vodafone’s high prices is having a negative effect on its overall presence in the market.

The company has opted to offer subscribers free access to content services including music streaming service Spotify as a way to make up for the high prices.

However, at the end of Q2, only one in 10 consumers of 4G in Britain were Vodafone subscribers, according to data submitted from rivals EE, O2 and Three.

Vodafone has moved towards making its 4G offering a premium priced product, and is attempting to bundle in content within its offering.

BT’s plans to re-enter the UK mobile market will also have an impact on Vodafone, with reports suggesting the former UK incumbent has plans to significantly undercut UK operators, as it did to BskyB in the pay-tv space.

Vodafone chief executive Vittorio Colao has been adamant that consumers should be paying more for high-speed internet access, as operators are forced to invest in networks to accommodate the service.

“We are happy with the progress we have made to date and our 4G customers are using three times as much data as our 3G customers,” said a Vodafone spokesman.