What You Need to Know
Founded in 1984, Vodafone is one the oldest mobile networks in the UK. With 18 million subscribers, their also the third-largest network. Known for their free entertainment packages, affordable bundles and frequent promotional offers, Vodafone is a popular option for those looking for extras with their mobile service.
Vodafone offers both pay monthly and pay-as-you-go (PAYG) service. Pay monthly tariffs range between £9.50 and £43 depending on the phone and features you need. PAYG plans range between £10 and £30 for bundles.
If you have your own mobile, their SIM-only plans make it easy to use your existing device. With both 3G and 4G networks, they support a wide range of the most popular mobiles. Should you need your own phone, you can bundle a phone with your SIM at affordable rates.
- Free streaming media offers on high-end tariffs
- Massive phone selection
- No-contract tariffs available
- 4G access
- Low PAYG rates
- PAYG bundles available
- 30-day trial option
- No roaming charges in 40+ countries
- Per-day roaming in 60 countries
- Tethering and data allowed while roaming
- Lower data caps than many networks
- Streaming media offers still use data
- Pricing outside of promotions is higher than some carriers
- Smaller 4G coverage area than some networks
- Exclusive Media Deals: Pay monthly subscribers on the Red Value Bundle tier can enjoy up to 24 months of free access to NOW TV, Sky Sports Mobile TV or Spotify Premium (Data usage fees still apply)
- Phone Lending During Repairs: If you buy your phone through Vodafone and need a repair, you can borrow a phone from the nearest store to keep in touch while yours is fixed.
- HD Voice: With a supporting handset, you can enjoy increased call quality with less background noise and a more natural tone to voices.
- Early Upgrade Discounts: Depending on your tariff, you’ll unlock upgrades up to 90 days early helping you stay up to date with the latest devices.
- Global Roaming: Added in April 2017, this feature is standard on pay monthly plans and eliminates roaming charges in 40 countries. For £5 per day, you can roam worry-free in 60 countries.
Awards and Recognitions
- #3 in Overall Download Speeds in OpenSignal's State of Mobile Markets: UK (April 2017) report
- #1 in 3G Latency in OpenSignal's State of Mobile Markets: UK (April 2017) report
- #3 in Ookla’s 2016 Speedtest Market Report UK for both upload and download speeds
- #3 in overall download speeds in OpenSignal’s 2016 UK State of the Mobile Network report
- #3 in 3G download speeds in OpenSignal’s 2016 UK State of the Mobile Network report
- #3 for 4G download and upload speeds in Ofcom’s 2016 Smartphone Cities report
- #3 in 3G download speeds in Ofcom’s 2016 Smartphone Cities report
How's the Network Coverage and Speed?
According to the 4G.co.uk, their 3G network now covers 96% of the UK population. Their 4G network covers 88%. However, at the time of writing, they’re working to expand both 4G coverage. Should you find you have signal issues in your area, they also offer a 30-day refund period as opposed to the 14-day period with many other networks.
If you don’t mind 3G speeds, their Sure Signal accessory plugs into a mains power outlet and creates a 3G signal you can use with up to 8 phones at the same time. You’ll also find Wi-Fi calling natively supported on a wide range of their mobiles.
You can check coverage and network types in your area at their support page.
In the 2016 “Speedtest Market Report UK”, Vodafone ranked third for both upload and download speeds. Uploads averaged 9 Mbits per second while downloads averaged 21 Mbits per second.
OpenSignal’s 2016 “State of the Mobile Network UK” and "State of Mobile Networks: UK (April 2017)" reports both show average 4G download speeds of 18 Mbits per second and 3G download speeds of 5 Mbits per second.
Finally, Ofcom’s 2016 “Smartphone Cities” report shows overall download speeds across 8 of the UK’s major cities averaging 15 Mbits per second.
Do They Charge Roaming Fees?
All of Vodafone’s pay monthly and SIM-only monthly tariffs include roaming in more than 40 European destinations using your monthly allowance at no additional charge. You can find a list of destinations here.
The only limitation is that you can only use your service for up to 2-months abroad in a rolling 4-month window.
If you're travelling outside the EU, you can enable the Roam Further feature for £5 per day. This allows you to use your monthly allotment in an additional 60 destinations, including Australia, the US, Canada, India, Hong Kong and Brazil.
For a full list of Roam Further destinations, consult their Global Roaming page.
What About Long Distance Fees?
All Vodafone plans include calling to mobiles and landlines in the UK with your monthly minute balance.
For calls outside the UK, costs will depend on whether you are pay monthly or pay as you go.
Pay monthly customers can take advantage of the following add-ons:
- Vodafone International Saver 100: 100 minutes to 100 destinations around the globe for £3.
- Vodafone International Saver 500: 500 minutes to 100 destinations around the globe for £7.50.
- International Texting: Add 100 international texts to your plan for £5 per month.
- Vodafone International Saver: Unlocks per-minute rates for £3 per month.
PAYG subscribers can take advantage of the following add-ons:
- Vodafone International: Unlock lower per-rates at no additional charge by opting into this add-on.
- Extra Voice Minutes: Add 50 minutes to select destinations for £5 per month.
Per-minute rates vary by call destination. For a full list of prices, consult Vodafone’s Calling Abroad from the UK page.
Does Vodafone Offer Wi-Fi Calling?
Yes. If you have a supporting phone, they allow calling over Wi-Fi at no additional charge. They do not currently offer an app for Wi-Fi calling on non-supported phones.
Not sure if your phone is compatible? Consult their Wi-Fi Calling page.
For more information on how to use Wi-Fi Calling, check their Wi-Fi Calling Support page.
How About Voice over LTE (VoLTE)?
Can I Tether My Mobile?
Yes! Vodafone allows tethering and personal hotspot services using your existing mobile data allowance at no additional charge. They even support tethering while roaming at no additional charge in some international destinations.
For full details on activating tethering on your phone, consult their Tethering or Sharing Internet FAQ.
NOTE: Tethering with a laptop or gaming console will often result in more data use than using your phone. If you have a tariff with a small data bucket, monitor your tethering usage to avoid unwanted surprises.
Can I Rollover Unused Data?
At the time of writing, Vodafone does not include data rollover with any of their tariffs.
What Add-ons or Bundles are Available?
Vodafone offers a range of both pay monthly and PAYG bundles to help you tailor your tariff to fit your needs.
Pay monthly add-ons include:
- Data Top-Offs: Add 2GB of UK data to your tariff for £10 per month.
- Picture Messages: Add 100 UK picture messages to your tariff for £2.50 per month.
- Additional Minutes: Add 400 UK minutes to your tariff for £3 per month.
PAYG add-ons include:
- Data Top-Offs: Add 500MB of UK data for £5 or 2GB of data for £10.
- Additional Minutes: Add 100 UK minutes to your allowance for £5.
- Additional Texts: Add 500 UK texts to your allowance for £5.
- Unlimited Calling: Unlock unlimited UK minutes to up to 3 numbers per month for £5.
For a full list of Add-On options, consult their Extras page.
Can I Bring My Own Mobile?
Sure! With support for 3G and 4G there’s a good chance you can bring your unlocked phone to Vodafone.
You’ll find a full list of pay monthly, PAYG and mobile data plans on their SIM Only Deals page.
Do They Require a Credit Check?
All UK pay monthly plans require a credit check. PAYG bundles do not require a credit check if you already have a phone or pay for a new phone in full.
- You must be at least 18 years of age
- You must have a UK credit or financial history
If you’re on the electoral roll at your address and have good credit, this can help to both speed up the credit check process and reduce the chance of needing to pay a large deposit.
To perform the check, Vodafone will likely ask for:
- Your name, date of birth and marital status
- Your current address and other addresses in the past 3 years
- A credit/debit card or bank account registered to your current address
Vodafone checks Experian and Equifax.
NOTE: Credit checks from networks that pull your credit bureau report may impact your credit score. If you're not sure the best options for your credit profile, we suggest contacting the network before attempting to obtain service.
Do They Charge an Early Termination Fee?
If you are on a pay monthly tariff and want to cancel your service before the end of your term, you will be incur an early termination fee up to 98% of your remaining monthly payments.
In Vodafone’s Community Forum, they say:“The Early Termination Fee is the total amount of line rental outstanding for the remainder of the contract, without VAT, and less a 2% rebate. This figure will be calculated on the price prior to any discounts. You can confirm the exact figure by calling 191."
If you received a device subsidy, you might incur additional recovery charges as well if you cannot or will not return the phone in good condition.
Can I Port My Number To or From Vodafone?
All mobile networks in the UK must provide a PAC Code upon request. Giving this code to a new network will allow you to transfer your number.
To port your number to or from Vodafone, contact customer support and request your PAC code. They must deliver your PAC code within 2 hours of your request.
To receive your PAC code:
- The account you are trying to transfer from must remain open.
- You must be able to verify your identity through either personal documents or payment history
Once you receive your code, contact Vodafone or your new network and give them the code. In most cases, your number will transfer within 1 to 2 business days. Be sure to complete this process quickly, as PAC codes expire 30 days from the date they are issued.
Will They Unlock My Mobile?
Yes! For personal customers, unlocking is free upon request. You can start the process by filling out an online form.
For business customers, charges may apply.
For other questions about pricing, features and coverage, be sure to check our Vodafone Q&A Forum. It’s filled with questions and answers from people like you looking to get the most out of their mobile service!
If you spot any errors or missing information, please let us know! It's appreciated and will help make this page better for everyone.
Voice network: GSM 800 / 1900 MHz
Data network: GPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSPA+, LTE
Vodafone House, The Connection Newbury, Berkshire RG14 2FN
03333 040 191 (or 191 from your cell)
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