As a frequent traveller one thing that I have noticed this year is that a lot of hotels who gave away free Wi Fi in rooms are now back charging up to $25 a day.
It happened to me recently at the Westin Hotel in Waikiki and at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas which is where I will be in January for the 2014 CES show. Both these hotels use to give away Wi Fi or a broadband connection with the room cost but because of the proliferation of mobile phones and tethering, they are now charging to get a broadband connection.
Global roaming on the Optus or Telstra networks are not cheap but because Vodafone own their own networks in several other Countries as well as Australia they are able to deliver excellent packages for Australians who travel.
Vodafone claims that for the cost of a cup of coffee travellers get real value for money with the Vodafone $5 a day package that allows their customers to use their existing call, text and data inclusions while travelling in the UK, US and NZ.
Vodafone Group, is the largest mobile network in the world, and while they own 50% of Vodafone's Australian business they also have a major presence in Europe and the UK.
"We've begun our simplification of global roaming pricing with New Zealand, the UK and the US, which are the countries that 40% of our customers visit most frequently, making up some 50% of all data usage overseas. But our plan is to extend this simple plan to as many countries across the globe as we possibly can," Bill Morrow the CEO of Vodafone said.
Vodafone says that it and other providers currently sell data packs for customers to use overseas, but that the packs don't include calls or texts and customers say they find them confusing.
"Our customers tell us global roaming pricing is confusing, so we want to take the worry out of taking their phone with them when they travel overseas. I am delighted today to announce the first step in offering Vodafone customers on our new plans simple, straight-up pricing for consumers and small businesses alike."
Morrow says customers who do not buy a data pack to use while overseas are charged ridiculously high default rates of up to $20,000 for 1GB of data.
"These prices do not paint a pretty picture of the Australian telecommunications industry," Mr Morrow said. "Global roaming costs are a worldwide issue because of the prices various networks charge each other but the impact on our customers is too great. I am determined to end global roaming bill shock just as soon as I can and make sure Vodafone customers can simply enjoy their holidays."