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Who is Vodafone?
Launched in 1984, Vodafone is the oldest mobile network in the UK and it’s also one of the world’s largest telecommunication providers. Vodafone’s impressive infrastructure goes beyond the UK, being well established in 25 countries. The network offers 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G coverage in the UK and in some other countries. Vodafone is the first UK network to bring 5G coverage to its customers.
Vodafone offers a great variety of plans to choose from, including pay monthly, pay as you go, data only, Vodafone Red and multiple unlimited plans, as well as handset deals.
The network offers good coverage, quality voice calls, decent internet speeds, great roaming options, interesting rewards and also features you won’t find with most other providers. However, these advantages make Vodafone a costlier option.
- Entertainment subscriptions bundled with premium plans.
- Great perks such as VeryMe rewards.
- 81 inclusive roaming destinations with Unlimited Data Max Plan.
- Many different plans to choose from.
- Most complaints per 100k customers per Ofcom data.
- Generally, more expensive plans.
Half Cooked’s overall rating for Vodafone: (4 / 5)
Skip to the Half Cooked breakdown to find out how Vodafone performed in each of our main categories by clicking here
Otherwise read on for our full review. You may also skip to a specific section by clicking on the table of contents below.
Table of Contents
Vodafone Plans & Pricing
SIM Only Deals
If you’re looking for a new phone contract or SIM only deal from Vodafone, there are currently three types of price plan you’re able to choose from. These are Vodafone Basics, Vodafone RED and Vodafone Unlimited. All price plans, regardless of their type or contract length, come with unlimited minutes and unlimited texts.
Vodafone Basics are the cheapest deals available on the network, starting at £6/month with 4G internet speeds. There’s no speed cap on Basics, but available data for these plans start from 2GB and they reach as high as 100GB data for £20/month. Basics aren’t flexible at all, as Vodafone locks you in for a year long commitment.
By being on Basics, you are also giving up on features like inclusive EU roaming, 4G Calling and Wi-Fi Calling. Basics automatically opt you out of all the entertainment services as well. You are allowed to tether with your data but each Basics plan comes with a limit of their own.
|All Vodafone Basics plans come with unlimited minutes and texts and are 12 month contracts.
Vodafone Red price plans start at £11/month for 1GB data. Vodafone Red contracts start from 30 days, the other two options being 12 months and 24 months. The longer your contract is, the better value your plan gets. Red plans come at uncapped 4G and 5G internet speeds and you benefit from all the other features such as 4G Calling, Wi-Fi Calling, inclusive EU roaming and entertainment services (for an extra £7/month).
The entertainment package lets you choose from the following list of premium services: Amazon Prime Video, Spotify Premium, NOW TV or Sky Sports Mobile TV.
|All Vodafone Red plans come with unlimited minutes & texts.
You can pay an extra £7 and add the entertainment option to your Red Plans. Monthly rolling Red Plans and 1GB Data plans are excluded.
Vodafone Unlimited deals come in three types; Unlimited Lite, Unlimited and Unlimited Max, with the first two picks subject to speed caps. Unlimited Lite customers are speed restricted to 2Mbps max speed, the Unlimited plan however ups this to a 10 Mbps download speed. The only plan with no speed cap is Unlimited Max and it comes with access to both 4G and 5G.
You also get more free-roaming destinations on the Max plan, letting you roam like at home in a total of 81 locations. That being said, Vodafone’s unlimited data plans are subject to a roaming cap of 25GB a month in inclusive roaming destinations. Unlimited plans get all the perks Red members do and then some more. These price plans start at £22/month and reach as high as £37/month.
|Unlimited Lite||Unlimited/2Mbps Max||£28.00|
|Unlimited Lite||Unlimited/2Mbps Max||£24.00|
|Unlimited Lite||Unlimited/2Mbps Max||£22.00|
|All Vodafone Unlimited plans come with unlimited minutes & texts.|
Pay As You Go
Vodafone’s pay as you go plans are called Big Value Bundles and there are five different bundles you can choose from. Vodafone also provides a unique PAYG option called Pay As You Go 1 for occasional mobile users, who don’t want to top-up every month.
Vodafone Big Value Bundles start at £10 (3GB data, 250 minutes), followed by £15, £20 and £30 deals. The Unlimited Big Value Bundle is the most expensive PAYG deal, priced at £50 and it comes with unlimited minutes, texts & data. The £30 & Unlimited Bundle are the only 5G ready bundles.
Vodafone PAYG Bundles
|All PAYG tariffs come with unlimited texts.
£30 and £50 Unlimited Bundles are 5G Ready.
All the bundles come with Vodafone’s Total Rollover perk, VeryMe Rewards and allow you to roam for free in 48 European destinations.
Vodafone’s Pay As You Go 1 offer is available to all the new and existing PAYG customers. On this tariff you’ll never pay more than £1 on the days you use your phone, and for the days you don’t use your handset, you won’t pay anything, that simple. Tariff’s rates are 20p/minute, 20p/text and 20p per 5MB of data. If you reach your daily cap of £1, you are still allowed to make unlimited phone calls and send texts, but your data is capped at 500MB. Customers can buy an extra 500MB data allowance for £1, but this add-on can only be bought once per day.
Pay Monthly Phones
Looking at Vodafone’s shop you won’t be surprised to see that it’s got a great variety of handset options. The network offers a wide range of handsets combined with price plans, however the best Vodafone deals lock you in to a 24 month contract.
Vodafone gives you the option to pick a handset without committing to a long-term SIM plan, however selecting this option things get even pricier.
Network Coverage & Speeds
2G, 3G & 4G Coverage
Being the oldest mobile network in the UK, Vodafone provides a good service and as of 2020 its network coverage on 2G, 3G and 4G reached above 99% of the population. It is also ranked as the second best in the landmass coverage, being behind only the EE Network.
According to Open Signal’s April 2020 speed tests Vodafone’s average download speed hangs around 23.0Mbps and upload speed at 8.2Mbps. Both results prove that as long as you get decent coverage you can freely stream videos, surf the web, make video calls, play games etc. without having to worry about any hiccups. Vodafone’s 4G download speed is peaking at around 60Mbps, which is pretty good, and dipping down as low as 4Mbps at times. Though this is mainly because some of the Vodafone plans have their max speeds capped, bringing the average down quite a bit.
Vodafone is improving its network at a steady pace, and although it has the potential to be a contender for the top spot, the best 4G coverage and the fastest download and upload speeds still belong to EE in the UK. Check out Half Cooked’s best 4G networks in the UK guide to learn more about which company offers the best service and why. You should also have a look at Vodafone’s network coverage map to ensure your frequent areas get good signal.
5G is the newest and fastest generation of mobile networking and Vodafone customers benefit from this new technology. At the time of writing, Vodafone offers 5G in 44 locations in the UK and also in 70 other locations in the EU across Germany, Spain, Italy and Ireland. Vodafone provides 5G Coverage in a total of 114 places and aims to build on it in the near future.
We still strongly recommend you to use Vodafone’s coverage checker to ensure your frequent areas are included and that you get the best of what the network is providing. To access Vodafone’s 5G you’ll also need a 5G-ready mobile phone.
Voice Call Quality
In the most recent network tests done by umlaut (an independent testing body who’s been widely accepted as authoritative and highly objective) Vodafone is second only to EE. However, Vodafone also has the highest score improvement in the benchmarks and voice call quality is among one of the most improved categories for the provider.
Given how it also supports both 4G Calling & Wi-Fi Calling, which can improve your voice calls, Vodafone is quite reliable
Wi-Fi Calling & 4G Calling
Thanks to Wi-Fi calling you can make high definition voice calls, simply by using an internet connection over a Wi-Fi network. This process will allow your phone to use a Wi-Fi connection, instead of your provider’s network and keep you connected with your family & friends.
4G Calling (also known as VoLTE) is a free of charge service, allowing you to make phone calls over a 4G network. If your device and network provider supports 4G Calling, indoor blackspots will become less of a problem.
Except the basics SIM only plans, all the Vodafone tariffs have both of these handy perks. If your handset and your Vodafone plan supports these features you can easily activate them. There won’t be any extra charges for using either feature.
If you are interested in a low-cost network which supports both these features, Half Cooked recommends you to check iD Mobile. It’s the only MVNO with both 4G Calling & Wi-Fi Calling. You might want to read our best networks with Wi-Fi Calling in the UK guide to learn more about these voice call improving perks.
Vodafone customers have access to several Wi-Fi hotspots throughout the UK. Members with a pay monthly plan or PAYG big value bundle get Wi-Fi access on the underground. This perk provides Wi-Fi access at over 250 stations to Vodafone members. Some specific Vodafone deals also allow members to access BT’s Wi-Fi premium spots.
Wi-Fi hotspots aren’t as life saving as they used to be, given how most restaurants, pubs etc. supply free Wi-Fi, but it’s still good to have a back up option. It was possible to access to BT Openzone Wi-Fi hotspots on some of the Vodafone premium plans, but as of 30 April 2020 this no longer exists.
Tethering is turning your handset into a personal hotspot. By doing this, you let other compatible Wi-Fi devices use your data to gain access to the internet.
Most price plans on Vodafone offer customers unlimited tethering, but there are some with data caps. You may share all the data you have with other Wi-Fi enabled devices on any of the unlimited deals, but keep in mind, Unlimited Lite has a max speed of 2Mbps. This is a bit slow by today’s standards and could lead to a slow performance for any device that is connected.
You may also tether on PAYG (big value bundles) and the Pay As You Go 1 plan. But keep in mind, tethering eats up data at a much faster rate. You might want to check out all the networks which offer unlimited data plans in the UK first.
With the new EU roaming regulation changes, all the networks in the UK have to offer inclusive EU roaming.
Vodafone Global Roaming lets members use their UK data, minutes and texts abroad in up to 152 worldwide destinations in total. While this number seems vast, only 52 of these destinations are free of charge. However, the Unlimited Max plans include the ‘Global Roaming Plus’ perk, which adds more destinations to inclusive roaming. The number goes up to 81 locations around the world. All of Vodafone’s unlimited data plans are subject to a roaming cap of 25GB a month.
Vodafone members are given the choice to pay £6 a day to use their home plan to roam in another 104 different worldwide locations, but this could end up getting pricey real fast. Although, Vodafone is the number one choice, when it comes to international roaming, we’d still recommend you to check out all the other options before you make your final decision.
Being on Vodafone means you get many cool perks, features and rewards. These include a couple good choices for entertainment and you get essential perks like 4G Calling and Wi-Fi Calling, which improve your overall voice call quality.
Vodafone’s loyalty programme, available to all Vodafone users, is called VeryMe Rewards and more often than not you’ll find some great value rewards available to use each week. On this programme, Vodafone members get discounted cinema tickets, free hot drinks, high street discounts, and many other great deals from their network provider. The more you interact with the VeryMe programme the more personalised it gets, offering you some unique rewards in return.
On Vodafone, only Red 5GB (on 12 months contract), Red 20GB, Unlimited and Unlimited Max customers are eligible to get their hands on the entertainment packages. You must pay an extra £7/month to include an entertainment option to your plan. The package lets you choose between Amazon Prime Video, Spotify Premium, NOW TV and Sky Sports Mobile TV membership for the duration of your contract (12 months or 24 months).
Another major network operator in the UK with great rewards and perks would be Three. Their advanced plans have ‘Go Binge’, which allows unlimited streaming on some applications such as Netflix & Apple Music.
Unlimited Data Plans
There are three different unlimited data plans on Vodafone’s SIM only deals and a £50 bundle on PAYG. These plans come with unlimited minutes and texts, with no exception. Unlimited Lite, Unlimited and Unlimited Max plans’ prices differ depending on the length of the contract. Customers can also add the entertainment package for an extra £7 to Unlimited and Unlimited Max plans if they are on a long-term contract. Unlimited Max plans increase the number of inclusive roaming destinations to 81 locations all around the world, thanks to Global Roaming Plus perk.
All the SIM only unlimited tariffs also include a 3-month free trial of Secure Net. If you want to see what other networks’ are offering in their unlimited plans, or just looking for unlimited streaming under specific conditions, we’d recommend reading our guides.
Vodafone offers a data rollover feature, but only on its big value bundles, meaning only ones to benefit from this perk are their pay as you go customers. ‘Total rollover’ moves unused minutes, texts and data from your current month’s bundle into the following month’s. Your unused allowances only roll over on a monthly basis, unlike Sky Mobile’s ‘Roll’ perk which holds onto rolled over data for up to three years.
As we stated above, Vodafone’s SIM only plans don’t get to benefit from a data roll over feature, but many other networks in the UK offer data rollover.
If you are an existing Vodafone customer, the network offers a 15% loyalty discount on additional plans. This includes SIM only price plans, as well as new phone and tablet deals. To activate Vodafone’s loyalty discount programme you have to log in and pick one of the deals in ‘Offers for you’ section. Once you selected an offer your discount will be applied automatically on your selected plan.
You can use the programme as a family plan as well. By getting an additional plan as an existing customer you can take control of your family plans. This way bills will be easier to manage and there won’t be any shocks waiting for you at the end of the month.
Half Cooked’s Overall Breakdown
Vodafone offers good network coverage & internet speeds, the best international roaming scheme, many different plans to choose from and interesting rewards. These, however, make most of their tariffs pricey and the best deals they offer lock you into a long term commitment. They also have the most complaints out of the four major network providers in the UK on TrustPilot.
Half Cooked’s overall rating for Vodafone: (4 / 5)
- Network Coverage and Speeds – Vodafone has solid coverage and internet speeds for 2G, 3G and 4G as the network covers %99 of the population, and is second overall in the land mass coverage in the UK. As for 5G, Vodafone tracks behind EE and Three in the UK but still offers the service in many populated areas.
- Voice Call Quality – Vodafone has performed better than Three and O2 in voice call tests and improved the most out of the four major networks.
- Tethering – There are no limits to tethering on any of Vodafone’s plans, however some unlimited data deals come with reduced download speeds.
- International Roaming – Roaming is covered in the EU for all pay monthly plans except basics tariffs, and you get access to 81 destinations if you have one of the Unlimited Max plans.
- Wi-Fi Calling & 4G Calling – Except Vodafone Basics deals, all the plans come with both Wi-Fi Calling & 4G Calling, making the Vodafone experience better than most others.
- Wi-Fi Hotspots – Vodafone members get access to London Underground Wi-Fi Hotspots. If you are on one of the premium plans you can also access BT’s Wi-Fi Hotspots (which are over 5 million locations).
- VeryMe Rewards – Free coffees, food & discounts at major high-street brands with VeryMe rewards.
- Unlimited Plans – Vodafone offers multiple alternatives when it comes to unlimited data. They all have their pearls and pitfalls, but overall they are on the pricey side. Unlimited Lite and Unlimited deals come with reduced download speed.
- Entertainment Plans – Access to premium subscription services such as Amazon Prime Video, Spotify Premium, NOW TV and Sky Sports Mobile TV if you activate the entertainment option on Red and Unlimited plans.
- Data Rollover – Data rollover exists only on Vodafone’s PAYG plans, but it’s still a good option for those who are on PAYG deals.
- Unlimited Plans – Vodafone offers a wide range of unlimited plans, some include entertainment packages. Unfortunately Unlimited Lite and Unlimited tariffs come with restricted download speeds.
- Loyalty Discount – The network offers 15% off on any additional plans, including phones & tablets if you are an existing customer. You get full control of additional plans and the loyalty programme can be used as a family/group plan.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Vodafone and VOXI the same?
VOXI belongs to Vodafone. It’s a mobile virtual network operator, which means the network is powered by Vodafone. But at the end of the day, they are not the same, as VOXI offers cheaper deals with unlimited social media usage. Vodafone covers more grounds and offers many different plans and features.
Does Vodafone limit your internet speed?
Yes, but Vodafone limits your internet speed only on its ‘Unlimited Lite’ and ‘Unlimited’ plans. On unlimited lite the max speed is 2Mbps and on unlimited speed cap is at 10Mbps.
Does Vodafone support VoLTE? Does Vodafone have 4G Calling?
Yes, Vodafone supports 4G Calling, also known as VoLTE. The UK’s oldest network also supports Wi-Fi Calling. Keep in mind, however, Vodafone Basics don’t have either perk, but the rest do.
Which countries does Vodafone cover?
You can roam free of charge in 52 to 81 countries on Vodafone and in total there are up to 152 destinations covered. How many countries you can freely roam depends on which plan you are running. You can check their roaming charges on their website.
Will my phone work abroad?
Yes, your phone will work abroad if you are on Vodafone, but you must first check if the country you will be travelling is supported by the network’s infrastructu
Does Vodafone have pay as you go?
Yes. Vodafone has PAYG. There are five different Big Value Bundles (PAYG tariffs). Vodafone also offers a budget friendly SIM option called Pay As You Go 1. On this alternative you only pay £1/day and only on days you use your device.
Can I top-up someone else’s Vodafone number?
Yes, Vodafone allows customers to top-up other numbers. You have the following options for topping up your phone or other numbers: My Vodafone app, via Online, by phone or text or keep the service on automatic top-up.
Can I keep my phone number if I switch to Vodafone?
Yes, you can easily keep your current phone number if you wish to move to Vodafone. First you have to get your PAC Code from your current provider. Once you activate your SIM, you must give the PAC Code to Vodafone. They will do the rest and inform you when your new SIM is activated To learn how to switch networks and keep your number, you can read our gu
Does Vodafone have 5G?
Yes, Vodafone currently offers 5G coverage in 44 locations in the UK and also in 70 locations in the EU across Germany, Spain, Italy and Ireland. Vodafone’s 5G currently covers a total of 114 places and it will only increase in the near future.
Is 5G dangerous? Is 5G safe?
Yes, 5G is completely safe to use and Vodafone’s 5G network isn’t any different. Vodafone set up its 5G network according to government legislation and international guidelines and it’s fully compliant with all national and international electromagnetic frequency regulations.
My area doesn’t have 5G, when will Vodafone offer 5G in my area?
Vodafone regularly makes announcements on where its 5G network will cover next. However, we strongly recommend you to check Vodafone’s Network Status Checker to see if the provider started to offer 5G in your area. Vodafone is continuously rolling out 5G across the UK and also in other locations around Europe.