Vodafone Plan Review
And Comparison

  • Much improved 3G+4G coverage in city areas
  • Vodafone & Telstra on par for 4G cover & speeds
  • Best deals are Vodafone network resellers
  • Kogan resells Vodafone at great prices

Top Vodafone Network Plans

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Which competitors should you consider?

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Common questions about Vodafone

Hmm. Vodafone. Really ? Can I trust the network ?

If you live in one of Australia’s main cities, then yes, you should be considering Vodafone Australia. In rural areas, you probably shouldn’t.

Historic concerns about the network are understandable. Back in 2011, Vodafone did have some real problems with their coverage quality. Things have improved a lot since then. Regular reports from OpenSignal (an independent research company which compares the quality of the 3 main networks) and others have shown consistently that Vodafone’s network quality and speed was the best of the big three in metro (city) areas of Australia.

You’ll get the same network whether you go direct to Vodafone or buy a SIM from one of their resellers like Kogan Mobile.

How does the ‘add more data automatically’ plan feature work ?

Vodafone have matched Optus by allowing you to set your plan to automatically add another GB of data if you use your entitlement. Say you bought 1.0 GB of data within your plan and then used it all. Vodafone would charge you $10 extra for another GB of data and automatically apply it to your account.

Previously, you’d get to the end of your data allowance and then you would be charged out of bundle rates. Often a MB of data would have cost in the region of 10 cents. Which doesn’t sound like a lot until you realise that’s $100 per GB!

The benefit to users of this sort of pricing scheme is that they get a more predictable costs and a transparently fairer scheme.

In mid 2018, Vodafone offered their customers the options of a ‘pass’ for some data usage types. For example, you can now buy a pass which offers unlimited access to Social Media or Streamed Music. We explain Vodafone passes in the article, below.

Are Vodafone’s ‘Unlimited plans’ really unlimited?

Vodafone’s plans with Unlimited data do, indeed have no limit on the amount of data you can download.

However, when you get to a pre-assigned number of GB of usage (exactly how much depends on the plan you’re in) your speed will be ‘throttled’ (slowed) to 1.5mbps.

VERY slow download speeds could interrupt some of the things you try to do online. In truth, 1.5mbps is actually OK for almost any activity, including watching standard definition streamed video on your phone. (And streamed video requires the most download data speeds you’ll ever really require.)

So, in practical terms, whichever Unlimited plan you get will provide you unlimited data downloads in a month, We have more information on these Unlimited plans in the article below.

Are there any smaller phone companies who use the Vodafone network ?

Yes there are. Smaller phone companies or MVNOs as they’re known in the industry rent network access directly from Vodafone and resell it to you.

Kogan Mobile is a great example. Vodafone actually do everything for Kogan, from providing the network coverage to answering their customer support queries. Read our Kogan Mobile review.

What is the Vodafone $5 roaming deal ?

Vodafone have the strongest roaming offering of all 3 major networks. With the right Vodafone plan, you can use your Australian entitlements in partner countries. Using your phone overseas is called roaming.

For example:
An Australian who buys a Vodafone plan with Unlimited calls to Australian numbers from your mobile in Australia. The plan also includes 10GB of 4G data.

If that same person goes to New Zealand for a holiday. While they’re there, for $5 a day, they can call back to Australia and using the unlimited minute allocation to do it. They can also use their data allowance in NZ ( up to the 10GB limit they had in their plan ) while they’re in NZ.

Every day you have your phone on in the partner country, and it connects to the network overseas, the $5 extra has to be paid.

When they introduced this, it was a revolutionary concept and a way for Vodafone to use the huge number of partner networks it has around the world to offer something a bit different from Optus and Telstra. Now, the other two telcos offer similar schemes. (They are more expensive.)

Vodafone is adding new countries to their partner list all the time. You can see who is currently involved, on their roaming page.

What is Vodafone’s 4G coverage like ?

Vodafone are a bit cagey about the ‘numbers’ concerning the coverage capability of their 4G network. For example, Optus say they cover 98% of Australia. It’s hard to find an equivalent statistic for Vodafone’s network.

In metro / city areas, the research shows Vodafone’s network is just as good as Telstra’s and Optus’. Outside that, Telstra’s 3G coverage footprint is twice that of Vodafone’s. You can find out more on our

Vodafone Review - Should you go with them?

What's good

  • Research shows the network is great in Australia's cities
  • Some of the best customer support in the industry
  • Strong roaming offering : $5 a day scheme

What's bad

  • Coverage still not great outside the main cities
  • Calling overseas from Oz? use Lebara not Vodafone
  • Optus resellers offer same value inclusions & a better network

 

Vodafone’s 2019 phone plans

60 second intro

  • Vodafone have split out the phone and the plan to give you more flexibility in how you pay for your service.
  • They also simplified their entire postpaid plan range last year, in 20198 (still their current range.)
  • Then they added unlimited plans and ‘passes’ – a new way to get predictable pricing on some of the data services you use.
  • Vodafone’s plans can still be expensive. We show alternatives which use the same network, below.
  • We have a separate page for Vodafone’s prepaid plans.

 

Key points about Vodafone’s 2018 plan range

Vodafone have made some ‘sizable’ changes to their entire range of postpaid phones and plans. Historically, telcos have a number of ‘dirty tricks’ which they use to make it hard to compare what they offer, directly. In the past, one of their favorites has been tying together 2 things:

  1. The monthly plan payment : This is what you pay for your voice calls, SMS and data each month.
  2. The handset repayment : This is the proportion of your plan which is used to pay off the ‘free’ phone they give you.

To muddy the waters further, some phone companies vary the price of the plan, depending on the device you take. So, for example, if you take an iPhone plan, you might pay $40 for a plan with 10 GB in it. If you take a Samsung Galaxy S8, you’ll pay $45 for the same plan with 10GB in it. It’s very hard to compare phone plans in this circumstance – which could be the intent. This approach is is one of the key ways telcos have deliberately made the market hard to understand for a long time. Vodafone are trying to change that and have made their plans more transparent.

 

Details Of Vodafone Australia’s Current SIM Only Plan Features

Australia is starting to embrace a world which includes some plans with ‘unlimited data’. Vodafone extended their range shortly after the release of their new unlimited mobile plans at the $60, $80, $100 price points at the start of May 2018.  As part of their 2022 strategy, Telstra launched plans which had an option of not charging the $10 per GB for data overage and instead limits speeds to 1.5mbps. Vodafone has opted to sell ‘passes’ as an alternative to Telstra’s charging mechanism. There has been some concern from the regulator about the term ‘Unlimited’ since these plans were launched so you might not see the word itself (‘Unlimited’) in more recent advertising.

So, to clearly summarize Vodafone’s offering :

  • Vodafone’s postpaid SIM Only Plans include some plans with Unlimited data :
    They provide users with a ‘full speed data’ allowance of 40GB. After the full speed inclusion, any extra data is then slowed speeds. Vodafone call it the difference between data given at ‘max speed’ and data which is ‘throttled’ to 1.5mbps.
  • Vodafone is also offering optional ‘passes’ :
    Passes are service based fees which covers ‘unlimited’ data for use for a number of purposes. For example, for $10 per month, you might be allowed unlimited access to social Media sites in a month, like Facebook and / or Twitter. With a ‘pass’ you can then access as much data as you want to, in a month, when visiting those sites.

 

What are Vodafone ‘passes’?

You can only get these passes on Vodafone’s SIM Only postpaid plans. Users have to sign up to a new plan or add them on using the MyVodafone Self Service app.

Vodafone passes are optional extras, that cost money charged in addition to your plans’ monthly service fee.

Each pass provides unlimited access, to a group of internet based services.

  • An example of a Vodafone ‘pass’ :
    One example of a pass is Vodafone’s Social Media pass. It costs $10 per month (in addition to your standard service fee of, say $40 per month.)
  • How does a ‘pass’ work?:
    In exchange for your $10, you’ll for unlimited access to Facebook and other social networking sites.
  • The data speeds ‘passes’ offer are speed limited:
    Access to the group of sites granted under teach of the ‘passes’ scheme is not provided at full theoretical network speeds. Data you download from these sites will come down at speeds limited to 1.5mbps.
  • But the limits don’t pose any practical restriction:
    In practical terms, even high bandwidth applications work just fine at 1.5mbps – so, for example, you could almost certainly watch Netflix (the highest speed data requirement most users have) streamed over that connection.

Vodafone sells 4 different passes, each of which provides unlimited access to these internet based services for a monthly fee.

  • $15 – Video partners : Including Netflix, Stan, Amazon Prime Video.
  • $10 – Music partners: Including Spotify, Amazon Music, Sound Cloud and Dozer.
  • $5 – Chat services : Including WhatsApp, Viber, Facebook Messenger (note, Video chat is not always supported by the Vodafone Pass in these messaging apps.)
  • $10 – Social Partners : Facebook, Instagram and the rest of the usual suspects.

 

We advise against taking ‘pass’ from Vodafone

They appear to make sense from a user point of view, on the surface. People are far more aware of the Digital products they use (YouTube, Facebook, Messenger) than they are the amount of data they transact while they’re doing it. Service pricing in this $5 – $15 range is a good way to reassure people about the data they’re using, and provide it to them at a reasonable cost. It’s a small amount of money to put your mind at rest if you know you spend hours each day on Facebook, for example.

In practical reality, however, having any Vodafone plan with a throttled speed of 1.5mbps to cover your overage would give you all the benefit of these passes without the cost.

 

How can Vodafone offer these passes?

Technically, (unless you encrypt the data you send over their network) the phone companies know which URL your phone is accessing because they’re connecting you to the internet – so they have to.

Phone companies can split the traffic out, per URL and charge as they want to. So, for example, if you go to Netflix.com.au to watch a video, and your pass entitles you to free Netflix data, then Vodafone can ‘zero rates’ that data stream – and you won’t be charged for it.

By the way, there are all sorts of exceptions to these rules – where, when you’re on the Netflix site, for example, that website downloads something automatically from a source outside Netflix.com. Vodafone will charge you for that data – they can’t avoid it – which is why they give you 500MB of data in these passes for all those unintended extras.

Even if you’ve used up all of your allocated data then the data you use accessing these sites will be zero rated so long as you have a pass in place.

 

Vodafone’s SIM Only Plan Features

Best SIM Only Plans March 2019

Telstra Mobile – Best For Coverage

Telstra Australia

Prepaid + Postpaid | Month to month and contract

Telstra are unrivalled in Australia for coverage, with a 3G signal that covers roughly twice the landmass of any other phone company except Boost Mobile.

  • Unique coverage footprint:
    Access to 2.5m square Km
    of the Australian landmass.
  • Unique video content:
    Only Telstra provides data free streaming of the AFL, NRL and Australian Gymnastics in their plans.
  • Fair data:
    Telstra now offer ‘Data Banking’ on some of their plans and provide Unlimited data options.

Telstra’s Plan Range :

All talk time and SMS for use in Australia to Australian numbers. All data is for use in Australia. You can learn more about this company in our Telstra Mobile review.

CHECK TELSTRA MOBILE  PLANS

 

Belong Mobile | Fairest For Data

Postpaid | Month to Month agreement | On The Telstra Mobile Network 3G+4G

Belong sell access to the Telstra Mobile Network. They have a simple to understand plan structure with options on data, national ($5 extra) and international calls ($5 extra.) Belong also offer the fairest treatment of data that any phone company in Australia have. a ‘data vault’ feature. Whatever data you buy, is yours, forever. It just keeps rolling over until you use it or leave them.

With Belong, you’ll get:

  • Data Vault:
    All Belong’s Mobile plans come with ‘data vault’. When you buy your data, it just keeps rolling over until you decide to use it or leave them!
  • $5 International Calls:
    And if you want to make Unlimited International Calls (to 10 selected destinations – or to 23 selected countries’ landlines) just add $5.

Belong Plans For Your Mobile

  • Belong Mobile $10Advertisement = Unlimited international calls to 33 countries for $5 per month + 1GB of data.
  • Belong Mobile $15Advertisement = Unlimited calls and SMS in Oz with unlimited international calls & text to 36 selected countries + 1GB of data.
  • Belong Mobile $25Advertisement = Unlimited international calls to 33 countries for $5 per month + 5GB of data.
  • Belong Mobile $30Advertisement = Unlimited calls and SMS in Oz with unlimited international calls & text to 36 selected countries + 5GB of data.
  • Belong Mobile $40Advertisement = Unlimited calls and SMS in Oz + 15GB of data.

All talk time and SMS for use in Australia to Australian numbers. All data is for use in Australia. You can learn more about this company in our Belong Mobile review.

CHECK BELONG MOBILE SIM PLANS

Boost Mobile | Best Prepaid Data Rates On The Full Telstra Network

boost mobile logo

Prepaid | 28 day expiry | On The Telstra Mobile Network 3G+4G

Boost Mobile are a reliable brand. They are the only phone company other than Telstra to resell the full Telstra ‘Retail’ Network. With Boost you’ll get:

  • The full Telstra Mobile Network
    Other phone companies resell part of the Telstra Mobile Network. Only Boost and Telstra plans allow you access the whole thing.
  • Free streamed audio:
    Data free streaming of Apple Music (requires subscription) on top of the data included in your plan.
  • A range that includes 7 day and 28 day plans: 
    Boost offer a selection of plans including 7 and 28 day variants.
  • Recharge options from $10 to $50:
    Boost have a total of 5 recharge options for their prepaid plans, ranging between $10 and $50.

Boost Mobile Plans For Your Mobile

  • Boost $20 PrepaidAdvertisement = Unlimited calls & SMS in Oz + 5GB data.
  • Boost $30 PrepaidAdvertisement = Unlimited calls & SMS in Oz +35GB (includes 15GB bonus data on first 5 recharges) data. 
  • Boost $40 PrepaidAdvertisement = Unlimited calls & SMS in Oz + 45GB  (includes 15GB bonus data on first 5 recharges) data.
  • Boost $50 PrepaidAdvertisement = Unlimited calls & SMS in Oz + 55GB  (includes 15GB bonus data on first 5 recharges) data.
  • Boost $70 PrepaidAdvertisement = Unlimited calls & SMS in Oz + 80GB  (includes 15GB bonus data on first 5 recharges) data.

All talk time and SMS for use in Australia to Australian numbers. All data is for use in Australia. You can learn more about this company in our Boost Mobile review.

CHECK  BOOST MOBILE PLANS

Southern Phone

Postpaid | Month to month + 12 month contracts | Telstra Mobile Network 3G and 4G

Southern Phone are a well known, full service phone company brand based in New South Wales with some great .

With Southern Phone you’ll get :

  • A choice of month to month or 12 month agreements:
    Unusually, Southern Phone offer access to their plans as either 12 month contracts or, month to month agreements.
  • A choice of the Telstra Mobile 3G + 4G or Optus 3G + 4G Plus network:
    Southern Phone are one of the few Australian telcos who offer their customers a choice of the Optus or Telstra Mobile network.
  • Best for bundles:
    Picking up a SIM Only plan as well as a fixed broadband connection will get you a discount.

Southern Phone Month to Month Phone Plans (All Orange Plans on the Telstra Mobile Network)

You can find out more about this company in our dedicated Southern phone review.

CHECK SOUTHERN PHONE SIM PLANS

Winner ! Prepaid plans with included streamed audio.

optus-logo

Optus are a reliable brand with great coverage , great value and some unique Optus value you won’t find elsewhere.

My Daily Plus :
Unique in Australia, $2 days offers huge data : 
Unlimited minutes to standard Australian mobile & landlines. Calls are charged per min. They also include unlimited STD national SMS & MMSs. With this plan, you are only charged for the days you connect your phone to the network !

  • $2 per day = Unlimited standard national talk and text  + 500MB A DAY. Charged per KB. Auto bump up with an extra 524MB data for an extra $2. Maximum of $4/1GB for the day. All for use in Australia. Fair Go Policy applies.
  • Optus SIM Starter Kit $10.00 = Unlimited calls and SMS/MMS in Oz +  5GB
  • Optus SIM Starter Kit $180.00 = Unlimited calls and SMS/MMS in Oz +  60GB

Epic Data plans:

Epic Value plans:

See our full Optus prepaid review,  check out Optus’ recharge options, or see all prepaid plans.

CHECK OPTUS PREPAID PLANS

 

Strong, Simple Plans & A Well Known Brand

Amaysim | Prepaid Plans | Optus Mobile Network 3G+4G

Amaysim are the 4th biggest phone company in Australia with over 1m customers. They consistently have one of the highest customer satisfaction ratings in the industry and have prepaid (28 day expiry) plan range – just select the option you want in their checkout. With Amaysim, you’ll get:

  • Strong plan range:
    Amaysim have a range starting at $10 per month and rising to $50 per month. Data inclusions are up there with the best available and, with Amaysim, things are nice and simple. You’re just buying voice calls, SMS and data. There are no optional extras.
  • New International Inclusions:
    Any plan you buy, starting at $30 per month will now include free International Calls to 12 destinations.
  • Great Customer Experience:
    Amaysim are consistently one of the best performing†phone companies when it comes to customer satisfaction.

Amaysim’s plan range:

You can find out more about this company in our Amaysim review.

CHECK AMAYSIM PLANS

 

Vaya Mobile | Winner of The Best Value Plans 2018 Award

Postpaid | Month to month agreement | On the Optus 3G + 4G Network

Vaya offer a range of affordable postpaid plans on the Optus Network. They were recently bought by Amaysim and have cleaned up their image since they were acquired. Customer service complaints are down and they now offer a price match guarantee ñ a unique feature in the Australian market.

With Vaya, you will get:

  • Access to the full Optus 3G and 4G network:
    Optus’ 4G network now rivals Telstra for speed and coverage. With Vaya, you can get access to the same thing.
  • Unique ‘Price match Guarantee’:
    Uniquely, Vaya will match any other price plan you can
  • The WhatPhone 2018 Best Value Plans Award:
    How could we not give Vaya the best value plans award when they will offer to match any other plan on the market?
  • Nothing you don’t need:
    Vaya plans don’t have entertainment options, data rollover, data

Vaya month to month plans

All talk time and SMS for use in Australia to Australian numbers. All data is for use in Australia. You can learn more about this company in our Vaya Mobile review.

CHECK†VAYA†SIM PLANS

 

Southern Phone

Postpaid | Month to month + 12 month contracts | Optus 3G and 4G Plus

Southern Phone are a well known, full service phone company brand based in New South Wales with some great .

With Southern Phone you’ll get :

  • A choice of month to month or 12 month agreements:
    Unusually, Southern Phone offer access to their plans as either 12 month contracts or, month to month agreements.
  • A choice of the Telstra Mobile 3G + 4G or Optus 3G + 4G Plus network:
    Southern Phone are one of the few Australian telcos who offer their customers a choice of the Optus or Telstra Mobile network.
  • Best for bundles:
    Picking up a SIM Only plan as well as a fixed broadband connection will get you a discount.

Southern Phone Month to Month Phone Plans (All Green Plans on the Optus 3G+4G Plus Network.) 

Southern Phone 12 Months Phone Plans (All Green Plans on the Optus 3G+4G Plus Network.) 

You can find out more about this company in our dedicated Southern phone review.

CHECK SOUTHERN PHONE SIM PLANS

 

 

Yomojo plans

Yomojo Logo

Prepaid | 30 day expiry | On the Full Optus 4G Plus Network 

Yomojo are unique in the Australian market. They offer you an unbelievable range of plans. Yomojo’s plans are completely configurable through their website. They also have some pre-configured unlimited plans for those who want a more standardised plan.

  • Prepay Plans :
    Yomojo recently revised their plan range and now offer prepaid plans only.
  • Use the full Optus 4G Plus network :
    Yomojo use the full Optus 4G network. You’ll get the latest 4G speeds in 4G coverage areas in all the same places as customers who go to Optus direct.

Yomojo plans for your mobile

You can learn more about them and their unique content in our Yomojo review.

CHECK  YOMOJO PLANS

 

OVO Mobile – Free Video & Radio Content

Prepaid | 30 day expiry | On the Full Optus 3G and 4G Network 

OVO’s offer a totally new way of looking at a phone company – they’re one of our best selling partners. Their plans are, pretty much on a par for data inclusions with the best in the industry. In addition to talk time, SMS and data, OVO’s plans include exclusive access to exclusive video content. All of OVO’s plans come with ‘OVO Play’ an app which lets you watch their free content on your plan. With OVO, you’ll get:

  • Free Video Content – Motorsport, Sailing, Gymnastics & Water Polo :
    OVO offer a growing list of free video and audio content. Motorsport fans might like the 400 Thunder Professional Drag Racing Series, Australian GT, Formula Drift and other petrol head live streaming. OVO Play also includes other sports like sailing and gymnastics. The price of the content is included in the monthly line rental charge you pay OVO for your prepaid plan. So, importantly: You won’t see your data balance decline while you’re watching them, the streamed content is free.
  • Free Streamed Audio:
    OVO’s plans also offer FREE radio streaming, also included in your plan offers access to the Tripple M network and other selected stations.
  • OVO for Kids:
    OVO’s plans come with the offer of free access to Parental Lock software. Buy your child the $9.95 plan from OVO and you’ll be able to monitor what they access on their phone and set times for it to turn off and turn on it’s own connection to the internet.

OVO Plans for your mobile

Picking an OVO plan is simple. All of OVO’s plans include Unlimited talk and SMS in Australia to Australian numbers plus superfast 4G data.

You can learn more about them and their unique content in our OVO review.

CHECK  OVO MOBILE SIM PLANS

 

Quick summary of Vodafone’s SIM Only plans vs Telstra and Optus

  • Adding more data when you’ve used yours up:
    Vodafone has a facility on their SIM Only plans whereby, when you reach your data limit, you will automatically have more data added at a cost of $10 per GB. Optus and Telstra now have the same thing. Newer phones have faster processors and they pull information down from the network faster. The result is that people are using more data this month than they did last month. By most people’s reckoning, each phone user will get through twice as much data next year as you are now. The safety belt feature that Telstra, Vodafone and Optus have put in place with their auto add data is a lifesaver. It reduces the risk of using data in the first place. It also avoids huge bills for those who accidentally use too much. Vodafone now offer a Vodafone ‘passes’ scheme, explained above, which offers an alternative to this sort of $10/GB charging. Passes off unlimited data downloads to certain websites (at a restricted or ‘throttled’ speed of 1.5mbps.) Vodafone also offer unlimited plans which equally avoid the problems of overage charging.
  • Sharing Data over multiple devices:
    Vodafone have a data sharing scheme and it’s very similar to Optus’. With it you can add another SIM to what is effectively a family account. Here’s how they work. Imagine a father is paying $50 per month for a SIM Only plan with ‘infinite’ SMS and voice from Vodafone. For $30 per month, he can add another family member, let’s say his wife to that plan. She also gets ‘infinite’ SMS and voice and now splits the data with him. Vodafone’s SIM Only sharing option is an important first step along the multi SIM management path but at this time, the practical benefits are, in our view not worth having. Far better, instead to manage your data needs yourself and buy a bundle you’ll use.
  • Overseas roaming at daily prices:
    Vodafone have the best proposition in market for overseas roaming on their SIM Only plans. For $5 per day, you can safely (and that is probably the key word) use your phone overseas. Vodafone’s huge global coverage works in their favor here. The range of countries you can go Red Roaming in is already large and is growing every day. Optus and Telstra’s equivalents are more expensive and offers less international coverage. If you travel overseas regularly then Vodafone should be a strong contender for your money.
  • Simple ‘Keep Talking’ (or ‘Keep talking Plus’) Insurance:
    Vodafone have effectively emulated Optus’ insurance scheme. Iit has some very reasonable terms and it’s far more useful than what was the industry standard until recently and it will let you insure your device up to a value of $2000. Remember, you’ll only be able to use it if you got your phone from Vodafone in the first place.
  • Good Self Service App:  Typically, a cost of approximately $5 is assigned by a phone company like Optus or Vodafone to a customer calling in to the customer care organization. If they’re dialing in to do something they could have done online, it makes sense to create an app which allows them to do it. Banks blazed a trail of Self Service which it took the telcos a while to catch up with. These days, the apps from all 3 phone companies is exceptionally good. That includes Vodafone. And you’ll be able to manage your SIM Only plan just fine using their ‘MyAccount’ app.
  • Free content:
    Vodafone does not offer free included streamed content (streamed audio or video) in their plans. Optus and Telstra do. Vodafone do offer ‘passes’ to content provided by others – which are explained above.
  • Network Guarantee:
    We have covered Vodafone’s Network Guarantee in some detail before.  It’s an important feature if you’re buying a contract. Not so much for a SIM only plan. After all, Vodafone’s agreements are month to month. If it doesn’t work, you just leave.
  • Free WiFi:
    Every Australian, including Vodafone SIM Only customers can use the free Telstra WiFi Hot Spots that are currently in market as part of Telstra’s trial. It’s just as easily for non customers as it is for Telstra customers to logon. That said, in time, Vodafone customers may well be charged for the facility.
  • Loyalty rewards scheme:
    Vodafone also now offer a Frequent Flyer program. When you sign up to a Vodafone Unlimited phone plan, on a 12 month contract, (they call them their ‘Plus plans’, they will give you 20,000 Frequent Flyer points. Our view is that these schemes are something to be careful of. They sound great but then, when you’re in them, you make all sorts of decisions that you wouldn’t have made before. For example, signing up to Vodafone when it doesn’t have the best deals just to get air miles.

 

Customer satisfaction with Vodafone’s SIM Only Plans

We ran our own research in late 2017 and again in late 2018, and found a surprising result. Vodafone’s customer satisfaction level are the best in the business.. They are notably better than both Telstra and Optus’.

Vodafone’s SIM Only plans might make you happer than any other type of plan you can buy.

In our own research from December 2017, you can see Vodafone customers were more satisfied than any other

 

Vodafone’s network

For some of us,the most important factor when choosing a phone plan is the quality of the network. You don’t want to find yourself consistently without coverage. You might miss an important business call or find yourself stranded in the middle of no-where without an on screen map. Vodafone have spent $billions trying to improve the performance of their network and how it’s talked about in the media.

Vodafone Australia is not a tiny company. It has a 14.8% market share, behind Optus at 22.3% and Telstra at 39.9% . The problem is, those market shares aren’t changing quickly. It’s a difficult spot for Vodafone. You can get the same network coverage as you do from Vodafone but, with this 4G example, you’ll get 4G coverage across 96.6% of the Australian population instead of Vodafone’s 96% of metro area .

Vodafone’s SIM Only plans will give you access to their 4G network – which is about the same in city areas as Optus’ and Telstra’s

Vodafone’s SIM Only plans will give you access to their 4G network – which is about the same in city areas as Optus’ and Telstra’s

 

This is where the difference starts to show up in Vodafone’s coverage. That small population coverage difference actually makes a lot of difference in terms of the square kilometers covered.

Vodafone covers a very high proportion of the population – almost the same as Telstra and Optus. But there’s a big difference in the number of square Kilometers that each network reaches.

 

Vodafone’s SIM Only plans will give you access to this many square kilometers. As you can see, there’s a big difference in the square kilometers their networks reach.

Vodafone’s SIM Only plans will give you access to this many square kilometers.

 

Bringing it all together

Optus and Telstra have prominent Streamed video content offerings to differentiate themselves from each other. Optus is spending millions on soccer coverage, not always successfully. Vodafone clearly don’t want to make the bet on content that their rivals are doing.

Vodafone has kept clear from these huge content investments so far. And yet, their new price plan range shows that Vodafone do recognize the behavioral changes which are happening around content that many, more often younger phone users are exhibiting. These days it’s not unusual to see someone watching TV on their phone. Netflix and other video streaming services are now mainstream entertainment activities. Their service based pricing ‘passes’ are Vodafone’s first real attempt to sell a product that will help people use their phones more safely, in these new ways.

Their mid 2018 plan refresh may have been rushed but it’s what they still have in market. This is a confused offering from Vodafone. On the one the one hand, they are pitching the solution to data overage as a ‘throttled’ speed limited ‘step down’ from premium service. On the other hand, they are selling a commercial service for a few dollars per month, delivered in the form of these ‘passes’ which themselves are limited to 1.5mbps and which, in this context, we are supposed to accept as an acceptable product to buy.

Since in practical terms, the effect is the same and the cost lower, the best course of action for anyone considering a Vodafone postpaid SIM Only plan is probably to buy a $30 SIM Only plan with the 1.5mbps throttled maximum, Vodafone should probably have thought a bit longer about how to position these things.

 

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