Vodafone vs. Zain Data Roaming

Vodafone

I have been planning to write this post since I was getting fantastic service from Vodafone UK while traveling in Europe. And the funny part is the day I landed in Kuwait I get a text msg from Zain stating “Welcome back your loved ones are waiting for your call”, then an hour later my phone gets disconnected, luckily it isn’t my primary phone.

Data Roaming Pricing Structure

Zain

  • 0.006 KD per Kilobyte so about 6.144 KD per 1MB

Vodafone:

  • Europe: 85p a MB up to 5MB, then £4.25 for each 5MB after that
  • Rest of the world: £3 a MB up to 5MB, then £15 for every 5MB after that

ZainBlackLogoSM

What Vodafone does better then Zain:

  • There is a charge of 50 British Pounds for data, not including normal call charges
  • This charge cap can be removed if requested by the user, also you get notifications when you are 50%, 80%, or 100% at the Cap where ever you are roaming
  • They disconnect the Data and not your phone line when you reach the cap, unlike Zain who disconnect everything and no notification
  • Also a side note if you have a Vodafone plan then you can also get a package for 40 British Pounds per month to get 25 MB a day to use with your phone line which is very useful and more then enough for your phone

Overall my normal phone with the vodafone line used about 300 MB worth of data in one week, it was my only access to the net so it was very Data intensive period for my regular phone. This cost me a total of 255 British Pounds or 113 KWD, if I did the same type of data roaming on Zain it would have been 1843.2 KWD which is insane. I had my Blackberry on which had a Zain line in it, I would never call from it or do anything with it except replies to BBMs, and as soon as I arrived back in Kuwait they sent me a welcome message and disconnected my phone within an hour, no notification, no call, no nothing. TMobile & Vodafone both manage to contact the customer even when abroad for irregular activities and make sure that the charges aren’t ridiculous but Zain doesn’t mind cutting off the customer in the middle of no where.

I can understand Zain saying that they can’t provide the same prices in Europe as Vodafone has, since Vodafone does cover Europe. But even in the Middle East where Zain is based we get charged insane prices, they don’t have agreements across their own networks when it comes to Data. I know that Kuwait’s international phone lines are controlled by the Ministry of Communication so they can’t give us local calling all over the Middle East but at least Data is controlled by the operator, you would think they have a system in place for their Data charges or have packages in place, and they would be able to come to an agreement between STC and Etisalat to provide mutual data services across each of their networks, it is a long process but something that would benefit the customer at the end of the day. But with the way things are now we will always get the short end of the stick.

A guy who is just trying to enjoy life!

5 Comments

  1. ms

    vodafone is awful outside the uk. forget getting any assistance or top-up if you are in belgium or the czech republic

  2. omaralrashdan

    I use my line from etasalit from uae for blackberry roaming it costs 120 dhs for unlimited social and 280 dhs for unlimited everything.
    if you want more information email me

  3. @ms – I used prepay in Italy, France, and Germany. And I could top up with the local top up cards, thats why I thought it was pretty good!

    @omaralrashdan – Thats pretty damn good! I will be sure to check it out! Thanks for the update!

  4. Erwin

    I think VIVA has the best rates whun it comes to data roaming.

  5. q8ininja

    Hi, First of all an amazing and a love to read blog. Wanted to inform you that Wataniya has started to send daily SMS alerts mentioning the data usage done exceeding 20KD to prevent a bill shock at the end of the month.

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