In a rather uncharacteristic and unprecedented move for a cell phone operator, Vodafone is preparing for a three-month trial aimed at making things much cheaper for its users. Starting on June 1, the company will be doing away with all its roaming fees, enabling both pay-as-you-go and pay monthly customers to talk, text and send picture messages from over 35 European countries for the same price they pay at home.
The offer is open to anyone who subscribes for Vodafone’s Passport scheme, a free-to-sign-up service which already offers zero roaming fees for incoming calls and a one-off connection charge of 75p for each call abroad which then drops to the usual rate. This removes that fee for the duration of the trial, until the end of August.
While this is certainly good news for customers, it’s also an attempt by Vodafone at garnering some good PR, seeing as the announcement comes ahead of a cap on roaming charges set by the European Parliament that will come into effect in July. Even so, one has to wonder when mobile operators stateside will follow suit, if ever.