Mobile operator Vodafone Ukraine has launched a new cloud-storage service called Vodafone Cloud. It enables customers to store on remote servers images, music files and other content that can be accessed on smartphones. Storage is being offered to Vodafone subscribers in various increments at various prices, with the lowest option, 8 GB, available free of charge.
Subscriptions can be had on a daily or monthly basis. A daily subscription for a 64 GB site totals UAH 1.00 (US $0.03), and the monthly rate for it is UAH 30.00 (US $1.13). A daily subscription for 128 GB costs UAH 1.83 (US $0.07), while the monthly rate totals UAH 55.00 (US $2.07). For 512 GB, customers pay UAH 3.67 (US $0.14) per day or UAH 110.00 (US $4.15) per month. No internet traffic rate is charged when using the storage under paid tariffs.
Vodafone Cloud can be used on Android (4.4 and higher versions) and iOS (version 8 and higher) devices.
Cloud storage is one of the value-added non-traditional services that MNOs can offer their subscribers by way of increasing their appeal and relevance. Of course it is not one of the most innovative or distinctive, in that cloud storage is available from a wide range of providers of different types, including through one’s own smartphone manufacturer, if one is an iPhone user. On the other hand, obtaining storage space through one’s mobile service provider has the advantage of a certain comfort level, as well as that of uniform payment through one’s phone bill. The comfort has to do not only with brand loyalty but also with the confidence that one’s data will be safe because the operator depends on the ongoing loyalty of its subscribers.
Beyond that, Vodafone Ukraine’s offer is interesting in that it provides storage on a very short-term basis, with cost prorated. Users can buy storage at reasonable per-diem prices, which we imagine would be appealing to those who need to store content such as images and music files temporarily, to enjoy them without overburdening the storage space on their mobile devices or as a stopgap while they arrange a more permanent storage solution. While not many will likely want the storage for one day only, storage periods less than one month can be paid for as needed, rather than having to pay a monthly minimum. In this way, users will feel that they are getting better value and fairer treatment. This perception would tend to bolster loyalty and confidence in the operator and thus aid retention.
One thing to note is that there is no savings offered on the monthly prices, which are 30 times the daily price regardless of the level of usage. It seems to us that Vodafone would promote the service better by giving users some kind of discount for purchasing monthly cloud storage. On the other hand, it is a nice feature to spare the subscriber the internet-traffic costs of upload when moving data into Vodafone Cloud.