Vodafone Portugal is offering free access to its 5G network to all customers until 31 January, regardless of their subscription. The offer coincides with the start-up period for its 5G network and is designed to test the interest of its customer base.
After January, 5G will be included free in the Red 10 GB and Red Infinity postpaid plans, as well as with the Vodafone You 10 GB and Yorn X 10 GB prepaid tariffs. Other customers can request the 5G service for an extra €5.00 (US $5.63) per month.
The same terms will apply to business customers, with 5G being automatically available in Red 10 GB, V4 and all Infinity plans, and otherwise available for €4.07 (US $4.59) per month.
From the start, Vodafone’s 5G service will also be available when roaming, starting in Spain and then to other countries over time.
Since operators have invested a great deal of money in creating their 5G networks, uptake is especially important. A strong launch is key, not only in terms of monetization and network optimization but in in terms of momentum. If Vodafone’s new 5G network is to thrive, it must start strong. It is important to ensure that there is a sufficient number of early users in place to experience the network first-hand and spread the word to friends and associates.
The financial sacrifice involved in offering the service free of charge at first is likely to be greatly outweighed by the benefits that come from turning users into walking advertisements for the new high-speed network. This is particularly the case because there are likely to be many users who are satisfied with the 4G/LTE service they currently use and may not go over to 5G unless told by someone they trust and frequently interact with that it is worth it. And the same principle applies to small and medium businesses, if not large enterprises.
Therefore, it is a good move for Vodafone Portugal to make its 5G service available free of charge for almost two months initially, to all users regardless of what plan tier or type they presently subscribe to. And after the universal-free-access period ends, the operator will endeavor to maintain the momentum by allowing free access to those on higher-end plans and making the cost to others relatively low.