Vodafone Germany will launch a new unlimited-data flat-rate tariff for business customers on 26 October, according to a report. The new Vodafone Business Black+ tariff will cost €169.00 (US $189.00) per month net, or €200.00 (US$223.00) per month gross. The price of €200.00 is the same as that of the existing Vodafone Black tariff, which is currently available to private and business customers alike and offers a flat rate for calls and texts plus 30 GB of mobile data.
Unlimited data is a great deal for customers but can be a bad one for operators. We have seen large sectors of the mobile market move away from unlimited-data offers due to high costs, considering them unsustainable. In some cases, they have offered it essentially in name only—either throttled to near-unusability after a limit is reached or with other stipulations that limit data consumption in other ways for certain customers. If Vodafone Germany’s new Business Black + truly has unlimited data, then it is a bold move that could grab market share for the operator in the enterprise sector. The pricing is on the high side for a monthly postpaid plan, but with unlimited data rather than an allotment of 30 GB (generous as that is) it represents a major improvement on the comparable consumer plan, which makes it attractive. In general, we do not imagine business mobile customers being as gluttonous about data consumption as consumers are, since massive video and music streaming are the biggest data hogs, and neither is a part of most business use.
In addition, offering the unlimited-data option to business customers may make more financial sense to the operator than offering it to all customers, in that the client base is smaller and therefore the potential cost damage would be limited. On the other hand, if the pricing is right, Business Black + could end up being not a loss leader but a profitable and sustainable option for Vodafone.