Vodafone Mobile Plans Review
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 and ‘Infinite’ data. Those on a strict budget may need to look elsewhere as Vodafone lack a truly budget plan option.
Best Vodafone Mobile Phone Plans
Vodafone’s plan range will cover the needs of most phone owners, though there is an absence of plans under $30, which we know is a popular price point for BYO phone shoppers.
We’ve noticed the price and value of Vodafone’s no-contract SIM plans fluctuate a bit over the past 6-months or so, but happily it is in a good place right now. The current plan range is generous with data, and tends to compare well to Telstra and Optus, especially if you’re in the market for a new smartphone.
We also like that the Vodafone smartphone range extends beyond just iPhones and Samsungs to include handsets from Oppo, Nokia and Alcatel. This is great news if you think paying $1500 or more for a phone seems like a stretch.
Best no-contract phone plan with big data
The $40 Lite Plan 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.
More Vodafone BYO Phone Plans
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.
Best Vodafone Phone Plans
As mentioned earlier, the Vodafone’s plan pricing has been shifting lately, mostly for the better. While you might have expected to pay more for a Vodafone plan than an Optus plan a few months ago, we’re now seeing Vodafone leading the way.
The iPhone 11 64GB is a great example, as you can see in the table below. Of course, this comparison goes beyond just price and data. Vodafone’s $5 per day international roaming should also feature highly for those who love to travel overseas (and who plan to jump on the first available flight once COVID 19 restrictions are lifted). You’re also likely to get a free subscription to services like Amazon Prime or Netflix, depending on when you sign up.
Are Vodafone phone plans really no lock-in?
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.
Best Vodafone iPhone 11 Plan and how it compares
Best Vodafone Samsung Galaxy S20 Plan and how it compares
More popular phone plans
How does Vodafone plan bundling feature work?
Remarkable as it may sound, Vodafone is one of the only telcos to offer a bundling discount for customers who have multiple services with them. The best part is that you can bundle plans across mobile, tablet, mobile broadband and NBN.
The discount is super simple to follow too; you get 5% off the price of each plan when you have two services, 10% when you have three services, 15% when you have four services, and a whopping 20% off the price of each plan when you have five or more.
Eligible services include phone, tablet and mobile broadband plans of $30 per month or more, and NBN 50 and NBN 100 speed services. If you’re in the market for NBN, Vodafone tends to offer an excellent average evening speed.
How does Vodafone $5 per day global roaming work?
Vodafone has offered its fantastic roaming option for several years now and it is still unmatched for the value it offers travellers. If you’re not familiar with it, Vodafone let’s its customers use their phone plans overseas for additional $5 for everyday the service is used.
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. And it’s not just the major denstinations like the UK and USA. Vodafone customers can access this feature in countries like Estonia, Gibraltar, Serbia and Papua New Guinea.
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.
At the time of writing, the complete list of countries you can take advantage of $5 per day roaming is:
Aland Islands, Albania, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia (includes Bali), Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macau, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Samoa, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Tonga, Turkey, UK , USA, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Vatican City, Vietnam, Virgin Islands, U.S., Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales.
What is Infinite Data?
Infinite Data is a strange name for something pretty useful. In fact it is the name Vodafone landed on after the ACCC told telcos they couldn’t use the term ‘unlimited data’ unless they offered unlimited, full-speed data to customers, which this does not.
With all Vodafone post-paid phone plans, expensive excess data usage fees are replaced with speed throttling. When you reach your data limit, Vodafone slows your connection down to 2, 10 or 25Mbps (depending on your plan) until the start of your next billing cycle. You can use as much data as you like at this slower speed, hence the name Infinite Data.
2Mbps is pretty slow, but it is sufficient for checking your emails and some light web browsing. Vodafone says that it is fast enough to keep watching low-quality videos on your phone too. On the other hand, 10 and 25Mbps speeds are fine for streaming Netflix, video chatting and pretty much anything else you use your phone for.
Like other telcos, Vodafone used to automatically charge 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. Infinite 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.
|Australian Population Covered||99%||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.