… and from Vodafone too

Vodafone UK is combining the fixed-line and mobile services it offers to small to medium sized enterprises under a new brand. ‘Mobility Solutions for Business’ incorporates the full range of Vodafone UK’s mobile voice and data services, including the recently launched 3G broadband (HSDPA) offering.

For users the result should be a simplified account and service management, reduced costs and a single point of contact for service and support. For Vodafone and its resellers, of course, it presents a one-shop, everything-you-need solution that should mean more and easier sales.

Vodafone research shows that 86% of its UK business customers already regard the company as a credible supplier of total communications services.

Elaine Roberts, head of enterprise marketing for Vodafone UK, said: “We believe in true ‘mobility’ – that is, the ability to connect wherever you are, whether it’s fixed broadband to the home desktop or 3G broadband to a laptop out in the field. We are getting a clear message from our customers that they want to consolidate these kinds of services with one supplier.”

The HSDPA service covers the M25 and half a dozen other UK conurbations via Vodafone’s Mobile Connect 3G broadband data card. Full rollout over Vodafone’s whole 3G network is due by the end of the summer; Vodafone customers can also roam over the group’s 3G network in five European countries plus Hong Kong.

Pricing is consistent with existing Vodafone 3G price plans – from £25 plus VAT per month on Data 250 (includes 250Mb of data traffic) with the Data Card available at £99. The Data Unlimited tariff is £45pm, where Data Cards cost £49.

The immediate comparison is with T-Mobile, which is offering unlimited web access (actually a 2Gb limit) for £20 per month on its Web’n’Walk Professional tariff. The data card is free on 18-month contracts, £58.75 on 12-month deals.

Vodafone says it will monitor the pricing situation but still believes that its service and support merits the premium.