Vodafone Mobile Plans Review

Need one reason to pick Vodafone? Choose 'em for their excellent $5 a day global roaming offer.
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Overall Rating 4 out of 5
"Vodafone really shines if you plan on utilising its $5 global roaming deal or are thinking of getting a new phone on an interest-free plan."

Are Vodafone’s more expensive new phone plans justified by access to its excellent global roaming and Endless Data offers?

Our verdict

Vodafone’s $5 per day global roaming deal might be a traveller’s best friend. And if you’re not heading overseas anytime soon, you might still want to consider Vodafone for its decent interest-free smartphone repayment options. While Vodafone offers ‘Endless Data’ on some of its plans, you still pay a premium for those features. Ultimately, Vodafone’s more expensive new phone plans may not suit everyone.

Good stuff

  • $5/day global roaming
  • No more bill shock with ‘Endless Data’

Bad stuff

  • Expensive phone plans
  • Smaller network footprint amongst the big three

See Vodafone Mobile Plans

Best Vodafone Mobile Phone Plans

As one of the three mobile network operators, Vodafone is a household name in Australia. Despite numerous ups and downs, Vodafone maintains its position as third largest mobile carrier.

Vodafone’s pitch to its customers is that it keeps things simple. Most Vodafone plans are no-contract, regardless of whether you want a phone or plan to bring your own.

Depending on your situation, the Vodafone plan range covers a number of different plan types. Read on to find the best plan for you.

Best no-contract phone plan with big data

The $45 Red SIM is a great plan that is both affordable and generous. It’s a great compromise between having enough data for most people and the right price for these included features.

How does this compare to my other options?

If you aren’t particular about sticking on the Vodafone network and you don’t need free international texts and calls, Circles.Life’s 40GB no-contract plan with unlimited national calls and text for a sweet $28 per month is a budget steal.

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See more of the most popular mobile phone plans

Best Vodafone Phone Plans

When you’re shopping for a new phone on price, Vodafone mobile plans are not the cheapest in town; in fact, there might be a $10-plus difference per month compared with Optus and Woolworths Mobile.

If you choose Vodafone, you’re buying all of the extras, like access to its excellent global roaming offer or ‘Endless Data’ on select plans. If you won’t make use of these extra features, then you’d be better off consider a carrier like Optus instead.

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Are Vodafone phone plans really no lock-in?

While phone plans have no lock-in clauses, and you’re free to switch plans at will, when you’re buying a phone, even on an interest-free repayment term, you’re still signing a contract. If you wish to leave Vodafone, you’ll need to pay out the balance of what is owing on the phone.

The real benefit for existing customers on a Vodafone Red Plan is that you can move freely from plan to plan, hunting down the best phone plans as they come up.

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How does Vodafone $5 per day global roaming work?

Using your mobile phone overseas has always been expensive, and still is, although the price has come down significantly over the past few years. If you want to take your phone overseas, and don’t want to buy a local SIM card in the countries you visit, then Vodafone is hands-down your best option.

Vodafone leverages its strength as a global company, and all of the different roaming arrangements it has across the world, and lets you use your phone exactly as you would at home, for $5 for each day that you use your phone overseas. There are no international call, message or data limits. If your plan comes with 50GB of data to use in Australia per month, you can use 50GB of data at your destination.

The $5 charge is billed to your account each day when your phone first accesses a mobile network. This includes when your phone automatically downloads emails or app updates, so it is wise to turn your phone off on days that you don’t want to pay the roaming charge. $5 per day is much cheaper than the competition, but it will add up if you plan on travelling overseas for several weeks.

What is Endless Data?

Endless Data is a strange name for something pretty useful. On some of the higher end Vodafone phone plans, expensive excess data usage fees are replaced with speed throttling. When you reach your data limit, Vodafone slows your connection down to 1.5Mbps until the start of your next billing cycle. You can use as much data as you like at this slower speed, hence the name Endless Data.

1.5Mbps is pretty slow, but it is sufficient for checking your emails and some light web browsing. Vodafone say that it is fast enough to keep watching low-quality videos on your phone too.

However, it is the absence of excess data fees that is the big issue here. On other Vodafone plans you are billed an extra $10 when you reach your data limit, and $10 again for every 1GB of data you use before the end of the month. Endless Data isn’t unlimited data as we might like it to be, but it is the end of bill shock and this is a very good thing. If you’d like to learn more, here are more of the best (almost) unlimited mobile phone plans.

Is Vodafone coverage good?

Unfortunately for Vodafone, this is a question that people ask us all the time. Vodafone suffered a very public network failure about a decade ago, and the memory of the outage has lingered ever since. The truth is that the Vodafone network has come a long way since then – billions of dollars have been spent building out the network – but it still remains the smaller of the three Australian mobile networks.

What you’ll find is that the Vodafone 4G network covers the most populous areas across Australia. If you live in a city or regional hub, you should find that the Vodafone network offers a service on par with Telstra and Optus in many ways. As you can see in the table below, Vodafone’s population coverage isn’t too far behind its competitors.

Telstra, Optus, Vodafone: coverage compared
TelstraOptusVodafone
Australian Population Covered99%98.5%96%

In terms of geographic coverage, the Vodafone network footprint is quite a bit smaller, and you need to keep this in mind if you regularly visit rural parts of the country for work or holidays.

If you live in a regional town, don’t immediately discount Vodafone as an option, but be sure to check a coverage map to compare reception in your area, and double check places you visit regularly, not just your home address. If you still feel unsure, buy a cheap Vodafone prepaid SIM card at the grocery store and test it out in your phone.