Vodafone Unlimited Data: Three Plans Available from £23 Per Month [Buyers Guide]

by Brandon Ackroyd - , Last Updated on September 12, 2019, Buying Guides

There’s nothing worse than running out of data in the middle of the month. And that’s why a decent unlimited data phone plan could be a great idea, as long as you’re an avid enough data user. One of the newest offerings around comes from Vodafone. What exactly does Vodafone have to offer?

In this review, we’ll look at Vodafone’s unlimited data plans in more detail, including an in-depth look at what you’ll get on each plan and the difference between the download speeds available. We’ll also compare Vodafone’s unlimited data plans to other networks with a similar offering along with the coverage available. Read on for everything you need to know about Vodafone’s new unlimited data plans.

Is Unlimited Right For Me?

Before we get to the ins and outs, first you’re going to need to consider if an unlimited data plan is really for you. The advantages are pretty obvious. You’ll get tons of data, you won’t need to worry about running out of data, and you won’t need to pay extra charges for going over a monthly data limit.

However, unlimited data plans don’t come cheap. If you’re not a big data user (over around 10 GB or so a month), then you’ll probably save cash by opting for a plan with a smaller data limit. The choice is really up to you, but it’s worth taking a look at your average data usage before committing to a pricey unlimited data plan.

Vodafone’s Unlimited Data Plans

Vodafone SIM Only Deals

Vodafone are currently offering three unlimited data packages. They differ in price, in the data speeds that you’ll get, and in a couple of additional benefits. All these plans are on a 12-month contract, there’s no shorter contract term available, and PAYG customers cannot get unlimited data. In basic terms, the three plans are:

  • Unlimited Lite: Unlimited calling minutes, texts, and data with speeds up to 2Mbit/s for £23 a month
  • Unlimited: Unlimited calling minutes, texts, and data with speeds up to 10 Mbit/s for £26 a month
  • Unlimited Max: Unlimited calling minutes, texts and data at the fastest speeds available in your location (including 5G data) for £30 a month

What Are the Limitations?

speed-limit

As with most mobile operators, Vodafone’s plans aren’t technically unlimited, you can’t just use as much data as you like at whatever speeds you like.

Speed Limitations

Given the above description of plans, Vodafone obviously limits the speeds that you can get. That Lite plan gets you 2Mbit/s, which is good enough for casual browsing or music streaming, though video streaming will be pretty poor at these speeds. The regular Unlimited plan gets you 10 Mbit/s, which is just fine for most people and will allow decent video streaming, though it’s not amazingly fast.

If you’re willing to pay for the Max plan you’ll be getting the fastest available speeds, which Vodafone says are up to 1Gbit/s. In more realistic terms though, you’re likely to get around 30Mbit/s on 4G connections, and about 100Mbit/s on 5G connections.

Fair Usage Policy

Vodafone does NOT have an explicit fair usage policy, which means theoretically you can use as much data as you like. However, their terms and conditions do specify that their unlimited plans are for personal use only. That means that if you use tons of data (over, say, 1000 GB or so) then you do run the risk of Vodafone assuming that you’re using the data commercially. For most people though, that shouldn’t be a huge problem.

Are There Advantages or Benefits?

gifts

Vodafone does offer a few benefits to their users, though not all plans will qualify for these, so choose carefully!

Vodafone Rewards

All customers do get access to Vodafone’s Rewards programme through the VeryMe app. This gives you a weekly range of discounts and giveaways. These vary from coupons for coffee to expensive theatre tickets, so it’s worth signing up for the VeryMe programme.

Entertainment Package

If you sign up for the regular Unlimited or Unlimited Max plans (NOT the Unlimited Lite plan) you also get the option to add an entertainment package. This does cost an extra £6 a month, however. With this option enabled you can choose between a free subscription to Amazon Prime Video, Spotify Premium, NOW TV, or Sky Sports Mobile TV (you’re free to change your decision each month). You’ll also receive 100 calling minutes from the UK to anywhere in the EU for free.

How Does Vodafone Unlimited Data Compare?

How Work

There are a few UK operators offering unlimited data contracts these days, so how does Vodafone compare? In terms of pricing, Vodafone is fairly middle of the road. However, do note that Vodafone is the only operator that currently puts download speed limits on each of their packages, which could be a deal-breaker for some. With certain exceptions (some operators throttle speeds after you’ve used a certain amount of data), all other operators will give you the best available speeds at all times.

Here’s a break down of how Vodafone compares to other available options along with our pick for the winner. Please note the winner doesn’t take into account the signal or coverage in your area, we’re looking purely at the deal and pricing.

Vodafone vs Three

Three will give you unlimited data, texts and calling minutes for £20 a month on a 12-month contract. Right now, this is 4G data only, but you’ll get upgraded to 5G for free as soon as Three’s 5G network becomes available in your area.

Our winner: Three, they are simply more competitive on price than Vodafone and don’t have speed restrictions.

Vodafone vs Giffgaff

GiffGaff will give you unlimited texts, calling minutes, and data for £25 a month, and that’s on a monthly rolling basis, so you don’t need to commit to any long term contracts. This is a great option if you don’t want to undergo a credit check. However, they do limit your speeds once you have used 40GB in one month.

Winner: Draw. Hard to separate the two of them as they both cap speeds. However, if you use over 40GB per month on average, then Vodafone is likely to be a better deal if download speed is what you need.

Vodafone vs Smarty

Smarty will give you unlimited texts, calling minutes, and data for £25 a month too, and again that’s on a monthly rolling basis, so no long term contracts. However, Smarty is a SIM only network, so you won’t be able to add a new phone to your contract.

Our winner: Draw. Smarty piggybacks on the Three network so if you’re not worried about being tied in for 12 months, you may as well go with Three as the same deal is cheaper. However, some of the Smarty deals with lower data packages are good value and very flexible. They also run offers from time to time such as saving 25% for the lifetime you stay on the plan which means their £25 deal drops to £18.75.

Vodafone vs Virgin Mobile

Virgin Mobile will give you unlimited texts, calling minutes, and data for £27 a month on a 12 month contract. However, this offer is only available to people who are already customers of Virgin Home Broadband or Virgin Media TV.

Our Winner: Vodafone as the requirements of being a broadband or TV customer make the deal inaccessible for many users.

Vodafone vs EE

EE have also just launched a series of unlimited data plans. With EE you can get a 12 month contract with unlimited texts and calling and unlimited 4G data for £34 a month, or the same plan including 2 of EE’s swappable benefits for £39 a month, or a plan with unlimited 5G data for £44 a month.

Our Winner: EE as they don’t cap speeds and tend to have better coverage across the UK. The only downside is you do pay a bit of a premium for it. If Vodafone has great coverage where you primarily use your device then saving £9 or £14 per month compared to EE is likely the better choice.

As you can see, prices with Vodafone are pretty comparable to other operators. However, those speed limits are going to drive the price up if you’re looking to stream video or play intensive online games.

What About Coverage with Vodafone?

ee-coverage

Vodafone currently get 99% population coverage for 2G, 3G, and 4G signals. If you’re into 5G (and you’re willing to pay for the Unlimited Max plan), then Vodafone currently have 5G networks operating in 15 cities (Birkenhead, Birmingham, Bolton, Bristol, Cardiff, Gatwick, Glasgow, Lancaster, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newbury, Plymouth, Stoke-On-Trent, and Wolverhampton). Expansion is planned to nine further cities by the end of 2019.

Before committing to a contract though, it’s always a good idea to double-check coverage in your local area. Black spots do still exist. You can easily do this either by using the OFCOM coverage checker, or by using Vodafone’s own coverage checker available on their website.

Roaming and Tethering

tethering

Roaming

If you frequently travel abroad then the good news is that all of Vodafone’s plans include roaming in the EU. You can use your phone just as you do at home. If you’re springing for the pricey Unlimited Max plan then you’ll also get roaming to 29 non-EU countries included as well. You can find more info on those locations here.

Tethering

If you’re into mobile tethering or using your phone as a hotspot to get other devices online using your mobile data, then Vodafone allows you to do this without any restrictions whatsoever. However, do note that if you have speed restrictions (on the Lite and Unlimited plans) those speeds will be shared between devices. So if you have a 10 Mbit/s restriction and four devices online, then each will get a maximum of 2.5Mbit/s. If you often use tethering for multiple devices, then we recommend opting for the Unlimited Max plan.

Vodafone’s Unlimited Data: The Bottom Line

Going for an unlimited data plan could be a great idea if you’re a big data user. You’ll avoid running out of data or getting surprise extra charges for breaking a monthly limit. And as far as prices go, Vodafone’s unlimited plans are fairly competitive.

However, you do need to be careful about speed restrictions. Those two cheaper plans come with speed limits that may affect how you use your data. In fact, most people are probably going to want to opt for the more expensive Unlimited Max plan, if only to allow decent HD video streaming.

Vodafone Unlimited Data

From £23 per month

Vodafone Unlimited Data

Vodafone are currently offering three unlimited data packages each on a 12-month contract basis.

  • Unlimited Lite: Unlimited calling minutes, texts, and data with speeds up to 2Mbit/s for £23 a month
  • Unlimited: Unlimited calling minutes, texts, and data with speeds up to 10 Mbit/s for £26 a month
  • Unlimited Max: Unlimited calling minutes, texts and data at the fastest speeds available in your location (including 5G data) for £30 a month

Take your pick!

Get Vodafone Unlimited SIM