O2 Vs Vodafone: O2 Priority Rewards or 77 inclusive roaming destinations?

O2 & Vodafone are two of the longest standing UK networks with millions of people using their services every day. Both networks offer 99% 4G coverage and great value apps with O2 priority & VeryMe awards giving customer discounts & freebies at popular high street shops. Despite their similarities, they have a few distinct differences with Vodafone offering roaming at up to 77 destinations worldwide on their premium plans & O2, with over 7,000 national Wi-Fi hotspots – save their customers plenty of data. Read on to find out more about how O2 & Vodafone compare.

Mar 28th, 2019

o2 vs Vodafone ReviewO2’s has always been known for quality when it comes to the UK mobile network market, but that reputation also means customers can expect to pay slightly more. O2 customers get access to excellent perks such as O2 priority which offers customers discounts and freebies from well-known retailers & exclusive early access to purchase tickets for gigs & concerts. O2 still get the basics right with 99% UK 4G coverage, but they are tracking behind the other big Mobile Network Operators when it comes to data speeds.

Pro’s

  • 75 roaming destinations with O2 travel
  • Weekly savings with O2 priority
  • More than 7,000 Wi-Fi hotspots across the UK

 

Con’s

  • Data rollover limited to PAYG plans
  • Doesn’t offer any free subscription perks

 

Click here to read our full O2 Review.

o2 vs Vodafone Review
Vodafone provides customers 99% population coverage with good 4G speeds of 20 MB/s. Vodafone has also recently invested in improving its customer perks with their new rewards app VeryMe rewards. Customers get weekly offers, such as free coffees from Costa. Customers can also get access to roaming at up to 77 destinations worldwide & a choice of premium subscription services including Amazon Prime video & NOW TV. However, the perks with Vodafone come at a price as you have to be on a premium Red plan.

Pro’s

  • Subscription services with premium plans
  • Free & discounted perks with VeryMe rewards
  • Roaming access to 77 destinations with a premium plan

 

Con’s

  • Most complaints per OfCom data
  • Perks only on premium plans

 

Click here to read our detailed Vodafone review.
 
To see the latest deals from both Vodafone & O2 click here.
 
Alternatively read on by selecting from the contents below to find out how Vodafone & O2 compare in each of our categories.

Table of Contents

Network Coverage & Speeds

o2 vs Vodafone Network CoverageO2’s 4G network speed is the slowest out of the big 4 operators. The average download speed offered by O2 is 15 MB/s, tracking behind EE, Three & Vodafone. However, O2 performs well when it comes to network coverage, winning the uSwitch mobile awards in 2018. Despite this, O2 has been investing a lot in its 4G infrastructure and now has 99% indoor coverage.
 
Vodafone, like O2, has 99% 4G coverage. With either network you will be covered but we recommend checking out their coverage checkers to ensure you get good coverage where you live.
 
Vodafone also provides solid network speeds, tracking ahead of O2 with 20 MB/s 4G download speeds vs. 15MB/s for O2. You wouldn’t have a problem browsing the internet on either network but when it comes to watching HD videos & downloading large files you can expect a better experience with Vodafone.
 
Looking for the fastest network speeds in the UK? Check out our EE Review!
 
Half Cooked’s Winner: o2 vs Vodafone Review
With comparable network coverage, Vodafone wins with their faster 4G download speeds.

 

 

 

 

Voice Call Quality

o2 vs Vodafone Voice Call QualityMaking calls isn’t an issue but O2’s voice call quality drops off compared to its competitors. It came last out of the big 4 mobile networks in 2018 tests with a score of ‘satisfactory’. However, with the introduction of 4G calling this is expected to improve.

Vodafone on the other hand performed well in recent tests with strong results in terms of call quality and drop rates in larger cities.

Half Cooked’s Winner:

o2 vs Vodafone ReviewWith either network, you won’t have an issue making a call but with Vodafone performing well in recent tests – it comes out on top.

 

 

 

Tethering

o2 vs Vodafone TetheringTethering refers to turning your phone into a Wi-Fi hotspot for personal use. It enables other Wi-Fi compatible devices to access the internet by connecting through your phone. This can limit the speed of the network if there isn’t enough capacity. As a result, many networks don’t allow tethering.

O2 performs well in this area. It allows all its customers to use their data the way they wish. Whether you are a contract or PAYG customer you can enjoy complete data freedom with O2. Several networks fail to offer this benefit to their customers.

Just like O2, Vodafone also doesn’t limit tethering on its network. Once you purchase your Vodafone SIM, you get the freedom to tether as much as you need. However, while tethering, makes sure to keep an eye on your data consumption. You tend to burn through your data a lot faster when tethering other devices.

Half Cooked’s Winner:

When it comes to tethering, both O2 and Vodafone offer the same perks to their customers. So, it’s hard to choose a winner in this area.

International Roaming

o2 vs Vodafone International RoamingBecause of EU roaming regulation changes in 2017, all the mobile network operators operating in the UK must offer free access to all EU roaming destinations inclusive of customer plans.

On top of the standard, inclusive 48 EU destinations, O2 offers inclusive roaming to additional destinations. It has recently introduced the “O2 Travel” package with 75 roaming destinations. This means O2 offers access to another 27 destinations including Thailand, UAE, and USA.

To acquire O2 travel, you will need to purchase a 12-month SIM plan. This plan costs around £20 or more monthly. Alternatively, you can get this service by purchasing an O2 refresh tariff with 15GB or more data. If you are planning to travel outside these 75 roaming destinations, you can subscribe to a daily bolt on for £4.99. This package provides you with 120 texts, minutes and unlimited data.

With Vodafone, you will get the standard 48 EU destinations. If you’re looking to get access to the 77 destinations offered by Vodafone, you will need to purchase a premium plan. These start from £20 a month. The other option for customers is to pay £6 daily – this enables customers to roam in 104 different destinations worldwide using their home plan.

Half Cooked’s Winner: o2 vs Vodafone Review

Both networks offer strong deals to their premium plan customers, but Vodafone edges this will a couple additional inclusive destinations & no speed capping abroad.

 

 

Wi-Fi Calling & Wi-Fi Hotspots

o2 vs Vodafone Wi-Fi CallingWi-Fi calling enables customers to make calls and send text messages through a Wi-Fi network rather than using their 3G or 4G networks.

O2’s Wi-Fi calling service isn’t the best, with it being limited to specific handsets and in many cases only working with devices purchased directly from O2. Generally speaking, if you have an Apple iPhone 6 or newer – Wi-Fi calling should work, but there are a number of android devices that it fails to work on.

However, O2 performs exceptionally well when it comes to Wi-Fi hotspots. As an O2 customer you can access over 7000 O2 Wi-Fi Extra hotspots. Moreover, once you have connected your phone to a Wi-Fi hotspot at one location, it will automatically connect itself to the other O2 Wi-Fi hotspots when in range. The O2 hotspots can be found at various public locations such as restaurants and shopping centers.

Vodafone offers Wi-Fi calling to customers only if they own a pay monthly Red Extra, Red Entertainment or Red Value plan. Moreover, this feature is only available on specific compatible devices, of which you can find a list on the Vodafone website.

In terms of Wi-Fi hotspots, Vodafone customers get access to Wi-Fi on the underground at over 250 stations. On top of this, customers can access BT Wi-Fi premium hotspots, of which there are 5 million in the UK. But this is only on specific premium plans.

Half Cooked’s Winner: o2 vs Vodafone Review

O2 offers Wi-Fi calling on all plans, with 7,000 O2 extra Wi-Fi hotspots and because of this comes out on top in this section.

 

Data Rollover

o2 vs Vodafone Data RolloverData rollover means you can roll your unused data from one month to the next.

O2 offers data rollover only to its Big Bundle plan PAYG customers.  This service is not available to any contract handset or SIM only customers. Moreover, the amount of rolled over data depends upon the plan you have. The Big Bundle that costs you £15 for 5GB allows you to roll over 10GB of data. Whereas the Big Bundle costing £25 for 8GB enables you to rollover 16GB monthly.

Just like O2, Vodafone only allows data rollover to its PAYG customers. They need to have a ‘Vodafone Total Rollover’ plan in order to rollover their data.

Half Cooked’s Winner:

Both O2 & Vodafone allow data rollover only on their PAYG plans. So, we don’t have a clear winner in this area of network performance.

Multi Buy Discounts/ Family Plans

o2 vs Vodafone Multi Buy DiscountsWhen it comes to family plans, O2 offers two propositions including:

  • O2 Sharer Plans: Enables customers to share their data between O2 plans. In order to benefit, you need to have a phone or tablet with an O2 Refresh SIM. Your SIM should have at least 1GB of data. You can share this data with around 9 different O2 devices.
  • O2 Family Plans: With O2’s Family Plans, you can get up to 50% off multiple plans with O2. However, this option is not available for PAYG or Business tariffs with all customers required to be signed up from the same address.

  In the category of family plans, Vodafone performs well offering:

  • 15% loyalty discount to their customers.
  • 15% discount to existing customers for an extra cellphone, SIM only deal and tablet plans.
  • Refer a friend earning you £25 worth of Amazon vouchers on each referral.

Half Cooked’s Winner: o2 vs Vodafone Review

You can’t beat up to 50% off with O2’s family plans, and if that doesn’t work for you – the data sharing plans helps limit family members going out of bundle.

 

Customer Rewards

o2 vs Vodafone Customer ReviewsO2 offers its customers rewards and perks with O2 priority including money off or freebies from popular high street brands and exclusive early access to tickets for gigs/concerts. Whether you are on a pay monthly or PAYG plan, this customer reward is available for all.

Vodafone recently launched VeryMe rewards, which is similar to O2 priority. Access to these rewards are available to all pay monthly customers but only to PAYG customers if they top up at least £10 in a 6-week period. Some of the perks include free coffee, lunches, dinners, and discounted cinema tickets.

Half Cooked’s Winner: o2 vs Vodafone Review

With no limit to any customers and the unique perk of exclusive early access to gigs, O2 wins here.

 

 

Other Perks

02 vs Vodafone Other PerksOffering alternative perks to their customers has become a common practice of a number of mobile networks, with the likes of Three offering unlimited streaming on popular apps such as Netflix.

O2 falls behind its competitors as it doesn’t offer complimentary entertainment subscriptions or data saving offers to its pay monthly and PAYG customers.

Vodafone offers a choice of free premium subscription to only its Red Entertainment Plan customers. The price of these SIM only plans range from £20-£30. Customers can choose from one of the following free subscriptions:

  • Sky Sports Mobile
  • Spotify Premium
  • Amazon Prime Video
  • NOW TV

Neither network offers free streaming, which is now becoming a popular perk, helping customers save on their data usage. Voxi, which runs on the Vodafone network, has now begun to offer free streaming on several popular social platforms.

Learn more about Voxi by clicking here.

Half Cooked’s Winner:

o2 vs Vodafone ReviewVodafone comes out on top here with O2 tracking behind its competitors by not offering anything in the form of subscription services or free streaming.

 

 

 

Half Cooked’s Overall Winner

O2 & Vodafone are comparable when it comes to coverage, with Vodafone taking the edge when it comes to speeds. Both networks offer strong international roaming perks with inclusive roaming at over 70 destinations worldwide. O2 has been the gold standard when it comes to customer rewards with their priority app, but Vodafone has recently introduced VeryMe rewards which is comparable when it comes to free weekly coffees & meals. With the mobile industry becoming increasingly competitive, networks are offering subscriptions to differentiate themselves, with Vodafone offering premium plan customers access to expensive subscription services such as Sky Sports Mobile. Because of O2 tracking behind in terms of 4G speeds & no compelling customer subscriptions, Vodafone comes out on top as our winner. o2 vs Vodafone Review