Vodafone Greece has announced that it will offer free, unlimited mobile internet (with a “fair usage” policy of 1.5 GB) on phones, tablets, and laptops during the month of August. The offer is available to all current Vodafone subscribers who have data plans. In addition, Vodafone subscribers who do not have data plans will be able to surf the internet free for one week, 6 – 13 August. Vodafone had a similar free-data promotion back in April, so the fact that it is repeating and extending the offer indicates to us that this approach worked before in getting subscribers to increase their data usage beyond the initial promotion period.
In 2009, prior to the present economic crisis, Greece had one of the largest, if not the largest, mobile penetration rates in Europe. In response, operators there constructed enhanced 3G and 4G networks to carry an expanding volume of data traffic. However, the number of mobile subscribers in the country has fallen by approximately 25% since the boom years, likely creating significant overcapacity in the system. From our vantage point, it would appear Vodafone is taking aggressive (and likely appropriate) steps to encourage more data usage per subscriber as a means to offset the loss of a large part of the country’s subscription base.