Vodafone Prepaid
Plan Review & Comparison

  • Vodafone's network has come a long way
  • Huge variety of prepaid data options
  • Kogan use the entire Vodafone network 3G + 4G
  • Also consider alternatives on other networks

Sorry! we couldn’t find more plans :(

Try another combination or View all plans

Sorry! we couldn’t find more plans :(

Try another combination or View all plans

Which Competitors Should You Consider?

Sorry! we couldn’t find more plans :(

Try another combination or View all plans

Common questions about Vodafone's Prepaid Plans

How can I get going with Vodafone Prepaid ?

There are 2 main methods of getting underway with Vodafone prepaid.

1. You can start by purchasing a prepaid SIM card on it’s own. They generally come in a starter pack. You can either get a SIM on it’s own, they’re usually a couple of dollars. Alternatively, you can order a SIM online through the Vodafone online store. You tend to buy the plan value when you’re following this route. So, for example, you might buy a $30 prepaid plan – and they will ship you a SIM with $30 installed.

2. Or you can pick up a prepaid Phone from Vodafone which will usually come with a prepaid SIM.

In either case, when you have the SIM and the phone, insert the SIM. Then go online to pick a plan and activate your service. You can then use it for 28 days. At the end of 28 days you need to recharge to keep using it.

This process is very similar with all phone companies.

Can I keep my phone number if I want to move to Vodafone prepaid ?

Of course. Vodafone allows its users to keep their old phone numbers when they switch to a new SIM card.

Find out more here.

Do you need a prepaid phone to use Vodafone prepaid ?

In truth, there are no prepaid phones really. Just cheaper phones that people using prepaid plans are inclined to use. So, while you will need a phone to use the Vodafone prepaid service, a specifically prepaid phone is not required.

Is data charged in 1 KB or 1 MB Chunks on Vodafone prepaid ?

All Vodafone prepaid plans charge in 1 kB increments. This is an important part to their data service. A few years ago, the opposite was true. Data was charged in 1MB increments. Some say that you get through your data allocation much quicker when data is charged in 1MB increments.

Per kB charging is now common among all of the tier 1 phone companies, following the customer outcry ( through social media ) that the change to MB charging brought about.

Does my data rollover with Vodafone ?

No. Data does not rollover from one month to the next with Vodafone. Both Optus and Telstra now offer this feature on their plans. We don’t see this as a big deal. It’s far preferable to find yourself a plan which suits your requirements in terms of the voice and data allocation you need, rather than buy yourself a plan that includes more data than you need and roll it over.

What’s the Vodafone network like these days ?

For 4G, Vodafone’s early 2016 network expanstion provided impressive statistics. Vodafone now cover 95.3% of the population. Remember, Optus covers 96.6% of the Australian population with their 4G network. Vodafone’s network now covers as much of Australia and offers equivalent speed’s to Telstra’s.

Whether you take a prepaid plan or a postpaid plan, you’ll get the same coverage from Vodafone. And remember, if you choose a smaller phone company, a network reseller such as Lebara or CMobile Red you’ll get the same priority, coverage and speeds as Vodafone’s own customers.

  • More about Vodafone’s network :
    Vodafone’s network has improved greatly. In this article, we provide independent analysis which compares Vodafone alongside Telstra and Optus with surprising results : Vodafone’s 4G network is now as big and as fast as Telstra’s. Don’t beieve us ? See the article.
  • General coverage information :
    The most critical information when you’re buying a SIM relates to the coverage on the network you’re considering. This article provides national statistics and the latest insights in to who has what coverage where.
  • Vodafone’s Network Guarantee :
    Still not sure ? Read about Vodafone’s network guarantee.

Vodafone Prepaid Plans - Everything you need to know

What's good

  • Much improved Vodafone network - now 4G too
  • Kogan often have better deals and use same network
  • Get more data by buying and recharging online

What's bad

  • No data rollover from Vodafone
  • Better prepaid deals from Kogan and others
  • Amaysim & Moose cheaper on Optus 4G network
  • Consider Boost Mobile on Telstra Mobile Network

Vodafone Prepaid Update 

Vodafone has introduced a new aspect to their prepaid service recently. The most significant change is that they are changing the recharge validity period of their prepaid plans. The new plan feature applies to both their $40 Combo Plus and $50 Combo Plus Starter Packs.

As before, both Combo Plus Starter Pack comes with included international minutes to selected destinations. The $40 Combo Plus includes unlimited standard national calls and texts, and 500 standard international minutes to zone 1 countries, and 100 standard minutes to zone 2 countries. The $50 Combo Plus includes unlimited standard national calls and texts, and 1000 standard international minutes to zone 1 countries, and 150 standard minutes to zone 2 countries.


How will Vodafone’s new 35-day prepaid plans help you?

In short, with a 35-day validity, the main benefit is that you will not be required to recharge as often. Optus and Telstra have a recharge validity of 28 days. Most smaller phone companies have a recharge validity of 30 days. Here’s the difference the new extended recharge period makes to the number of recharges you will have to perform every year and the effect on your wallet or purse.

Vodafone's prepaid plans have variable expiry limits.

Vodafone’s prepaid plan expiry is now variable.

Vodafone prepaid plans - inclusions at $40 versus competitors.

Vodafone prepaid plans – inclusions at $40 versus competitors.


Comparing Vodafone’s Prepaid Vs. Telstra and Optus’ Prepaid

On first glance, Vodafone’s new prepaid plans appear to be best for value when compared to Telstra and Optus. That’s not entirely surprising. In fact, it’s consistently the case. Vodafone has made a song and dance about providing more data than any other major Telco ( i.e. Optus and Telstra) for some time.

Scratch the surface, however, and Vodafone’s move feels slightly desperate. Both Optus Prepaid and Telstra’s prepaid plans have 28-day recharge validity periods – that’s true. But, it’s not all they contain. Both Telstra and Optus have gone down the path of adding entertainment options like data free music streaming (both Telstra prepaid and Optus prepaid offer this particular entertainment option) and data free AFL / NRL / Netball for Telstra. Optus also offers data roll-over, a key inclusion they stole from Virgin Mobile. Remember, these inclusions are data free that means you will not be charged for the data you use when you access these facilities with Telstra and Optus.

Vodafone simply can’t match their competitors for this sort of entertainment value add. To the average shopper, these services are worth more than the price saving they’ll get from Vodafone with the move to 35 days. If you have a Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio or Google Play Music account, for example, our calculations show you could save between 1GB and 3GB of data per month.

And …. There are other competitors to consider.


Vodafone’s 35 Day Plans – The Real Competition

Remember, there are dozens of phone companies in Australia. Only one of them offer similar entertainment facilities in their plans that Telstra and Optus have.

Since Vodafone’s new plans don’t include entertainment, in many ways, it is these numerous, smaller networks to which we should be comparing. The smaller phone companies don’t offer entertainment either. And when you do that, the Vodafone plans do not come out at all well.

For spends less than Vodafone’s $40 plan, you can get more data at the moment with these carriers.


Concluding on Vodafone’s new 35-day prepaid plans

Credit where it’s due, Vodafone’s move to a 35-day recharge period is a first. I’ve never seen it before. If you were going to go Vodafone anyway, you now get another 15% or so extra, compared to their previous plans.

In our view, as you will see from the original review below, Vodafone’s prepaid range is already too large. Adding two additional layers of complexity (by having a different recharge validity period for $30 plans to higher value denominations) accentuate an already Enigmaesque level of complexity.

Pulling the plans apart, Vodafone has flexed the one muscle they haven’t yet flexed – tenure. And in so doing, they’ve exposed their weak underbelly. Putting them alongside Telstra’s prepaid plans, Vodafone’s lack the free overnight calling that Big T provide. For those motivated by sport, Telstra’s AFL, NRL and Netball inclusions in their prepaid plans dwarves the value Vodafone provides. Similarly, Optus offer both data roll-over and data free music streaming. In fact, Optus won our award for Data free music streaming this year.

So, Vodafone cascades to level 2 – comparison with smaller phone companies. Again, we find them lacking. You save 15% with Vodafone as a result of the 35-day recharge window. But Yomojo, OVO, Kogan and Lebara all offer much better value, more data at lower price points.

I am sorry to say, in my view, you can do better than Vodafone even with this attention-grabbing new 35-day prepaid recharge period.


MyMix from Vodafone Australia – What’s new in the range?

The key questions people are going to have about the new Vodafone ‘MyMix’ Prepaid plan range are:

  • What is the MyMix (prepaid plan suite) from Vodafone?
  • Are the plans good value?
  • How do ‘MyMix’ plans compare to other prepaid plans?
  • What is Vodafone’s coverage like these days?


We answer all of those questions below. Here’s a quick summary.

  • Vodafone’s prepaid plan range is called ‘My Mix’.
  • MyMix from Vodafone lets you design your own Prepaid Plan. The key benefit Vodafone claim you’ll get is that, by honing a plan to your specific needs, you save money. Essentially, you’re not spending more than you need by buying stuff you don’t need.
  • Using their website, users pick the number of domestic minutes, the quantity of Australian data and allowance of international calls that makes sense for them. There are dozens of permutations. Unfortunately, the new plan range does away with some of the better overseas roaming features we had become used to.
  • Our view is that you can do better if you pick a plan from a smaller phone company.
  • For now, Vodafone has‘grandfathered’ their 2015 plan range. That means if you have one of them and you want to keep recharging on it, you’ll be able to.
  • Vodafone’s coverage has improved markedly. It ranks alongside Optus for 4G reach and quality coverage these days.
  • Yomojo, a smaller phone company offer very similar ‘create your own plan’ technology at typically better rates and they’re on the Optus network.


What has MyMix changed?

In some ways, the MyMix concept (‘design your own prepaid plan’) is a substantial departure from the prepaid plan structure Vodafone had in the market earlier in 2016 and throughout 2015. The primary changes are:

MyMix allows you to ‘design your own’ Prepaid Plan Plan. Everyone gets Unlimited SMS. Then:

  • You decide your own data inclusions :
    The Data allocation in a prepaid plan is the first consideration people have these days. In our view, the best feature of the data inclusion is that it meets your prepaid expectations. I.e. When your data runs out, the data service stops. On some SIM Only Plans and even some prepaid plans that’s not the case. Even on prepaid plans, if you have a positive dollar balance, you can have a $10 charge for an additional GB of data added, or worse yet, suffer bill shock from out of bundle data charging at around 10 cents a MB.
  • You decide the number of domestic call minutes you get:
    Previously, all Vodafone’s prepaid plans came with unlimited Australia talk time included. That’s no longer the case. Most people spend longer looking at their phone than talking on it these days. However, the number of domestic minutes you’re given is a material consideration in a new prepaid plan. Mostly, Vodafone follows the market trend: The majority of their MyMix offers include Unlimited Talk in Australia to Australian numbers. If you don’t talk much, there are plans which have one or two hundred minutes of Australian talk time, and you’ll save yourself a few bucks.
  • Vodafone still makes sure you have some “Combo Plus Plans’ to click:
    Can’t be bothered deciding which combination of features you want? Choose one of their headline Combo Plus plans.
  • You decide the number of minutes you get to use to make calls when you’re overseas:
    There are none of the $5 a day unlimited roaming offers with these Vodafone prepaid deals. You choose the number of minutes you want while you’re outside Australia, too. It’s hundreds of minutes per dollar spent.
  • There is a PAYG plan:
    Unusual for tier 1 telcos, PAYG plans are well worth a look, unless you use a lot of data. You can find out more about PAYG plans in our article.


Other Vodafone prepaid plan features – a quick summary:

  • No data roll-over:
    You’ll get it from and on some Optus prepaid plans. However, we think that data roll-over is a crock.
  • Recharge Options:
    You will get any number of recharge options: You can recharge with a daily amount, weekly allowance, 28-day allowance and 35-day plan.
  • Standard Add Ons:
    You can add more data mid-month
  • Other stuff:
    The Vodafone Network Guarantee has changed its name but is still relevant. Obviously, you risk less with prepaid than a postpaid plan, which is where this is focused. Their app is fantastic, and everyone should download it. You still have to activate roaming before you leave Australia. You can roam for free in NZ which is now a standard feature on Vodafone plans.


Does anyone else do anything like Vodafone’ Prepaid Plan Range?

Remember though, this is not an entirely new concept. This feature has been available for some time through Yomojo (previously Yatango) In fact, if this sort of flexibility appeals to you and you want some options on the Optus 4G network, you should probably check them out.



In Summary – MyMix misses the mark

The MyMix prepaid plan range from Vodafone is an understandable step from Vodafone. They’ve turned their network performance around, and they’ve done it at a time when Telstra is suffering from an ever-growing list of problems. Vodafone has also taken a visible market lead in their international roaming options over the last 2 years. Now they want to do something different that’s seen as innovative, fair and which stands out in the market.

That’s where the problem is. Firstly, it’s not that innovative. Yomojo does exactly the same thing and has done for years. Their plans can be bought either prepaid or postpaid, and their rates are both universally preferable to Vodafone’s Prepaid range. Yomojo is also on the Optus network which will appeal to many, perhaps more than the Vodafone network will appeal to.

Second, Vodafone is looking at this from their internal point of view. The prepaid range is reasonably simple viewed in isolation. From a customer’s perspective, however, it’s not. There are already hundreds of plans to compare out there. The prepaid market is more fragmented and has more providers than any other. A cynic might say that confusing people is the intention of this move: That they’re deliberately making it harder to compare.

Third, there are aspects of the new scheme which are fair and aspects which aren’t. This plan has per kB charging which will extend your data further. It has a hard stop on data inclusions which we think is a good thing, as we have covered above. But, while they are distracting you with their left hand, they have joined the rest of the market in moving to a 28-day renewal period. Over the course of a year, that’s going to cost you around 10% more! A phone company being fair. Yep, I’d love to see it.

At a time when Vodafone’s Australian MVNO partners (the smaller phone companies who resell their network) are being granted access to the 4G network: That’s companies like Lebara Mobile, TPG and Think Mobile – all of whom have plans and sims on the Vodafone network, it seems like an odd time to make your plan range harder to understand.  Vodafone has also de-emphasised the value of the overseas roaming advantage they have in this plan range which seems like an incredible move. Whether or not people use the roaming facility, it’s a significant advantage that works for Vodafone.

Reviewing these Vodafone prepaid plans holistically, they’re a let down which we think will under-perform for Vodafone. It’s a shame, Vodafone has nailed their network improvements at a time when Telstra is really struggling and, with a strong prepaid suite focused on addressing the additional value smaller phone companies are offering, they could have done well.

Vodafone's Prepaid Plans 2019

We think you can get better value than going with Vodafone. We have SIMs on the Telstra Mobile Network or the Optus Network which cost less and offer more. We explain how, below.

  • Vodafone has a bad reputation for network coverage which they no longer deserve.
  • Today, if you live and work in a major Australian city, you should be considering the Vodafone Network for your Prepaid Service.
  • All of Vodafone’s prepaid plans now have unlimited calls and SMS.
  • Vodafone’s $30 prepaid service has more data than their postpaid equivalent at a slightly higher price point – $35 per month.
  • It is now far more common for the phone companies to provide bigger data inclusions in their ( low-end ) prepaid plans than their postpaid plans at the same price.
  • Generally, Vodafone differentiates themselves from Optus and Telstra with higher data inclusions at each price point.
  • Vodafone also runs extra data / double data offers more frequently than their rivals.
  • However, despite the improvements in their networks, you have better options available to you.
  • It’s possible to get better pricing and better coverage from rival prepaid providers.
  • You can get better prepaid value on the Telstra Mobile Network (now with 4G) from Boost Mobile.
  • You can get better prepaid value on the Optus 4G Network from Amaysim, OVO Mobile and Bendigo Mobile.
  • And Lebara or CMobile’s Red Range resell the Vodafone network for those who live in cities and have a 3G or 4G phone but want massively more data for the dollars they’re spending.

What is Vodafone Prepaid ?

Like every Vodafone plan, their current prepaid range includes Unlimited national SMS and Unlimited national calls to other mobiles and landlines.

Vodafone has been synonymous with prepaid in Australia for years. They have a substantial number of prepaid plan options ( explained below ) and recharge denominations available. To some, this broad range might mean that deciding on a specific plan would be difficult. The goal of this article is to help you decide which Vodafone prepaid plan is right for you ( if any. )

Vodafone recently made one change which has simplified comparison. Like every Vodafone plan, their current prepaid range includes Unlimited national SMS and Unlimited national calls to other mobiles and landlines. The only difference between Vodafone’s prepaid plans is their data inclusion.

Prepaid SIMs make up almost exactly one-third of the Australian market. Of that one third of All Australian SIMs, Vodafone’s market share is around 20%. This is a critical statistic. Vodafone’s market share is low. It’s probably lower than you thought. It’s low because there are better value plans out there. Smaller phone companies make up nearly 25% of the market. More than Vodafone. And the reason’s simple, they offer better value.

First, we’ll consider Vodafone’s prepaid plan range. Then we’ll show you the alternatives that we think are better value.

Vodafone’s Prepaid Plan Info

This is the Vodafone prepaid plan which is most likely to be most right for most people most of the time.

Each of the major phone companies has a headline ‘marketing’ prepaid lead plan. This is the one they talk most often about. In the case of Vodafone, their most commonly sold ‘all-rounder’ plan is the Prepaid Combo Plus.

Vodafone also has a “Pay As You Go” plan, called Pay and Go. Pay As You go plans (PAYG plans charge you higher prices for calls and data but the recharge period can be significantly longer – up to 365 days.

Vodafone has slimmed its range down. Both Telstra and Optus have a broader range of prepaid plans. This is a double-edged sword. Prepaid plans work so effectively for their customer  because there is such a broad range of plans to pick from. Unlike postpaid plans where there is only a single rate structure to pick, prepaid gives you options. For those who make calls rarely, Long Life caps like the Pay and Go plans are extremely useful. Achieving the same aim with a postpaid plan would be incredibly expensive. It does, however, introduce some complexity in to the decision making process.

Vodafone Prepaid Combo Plus

Vodafone has refreshed their prepaid offers in recent times. The result is a simplified range. The Vodafone Prepaid Combo Plus is their most common prepaid cap. It’s very similar in nature to the Flexi Cap which preceded it.

Combo credit ( what you get when you recharge ) can be used for international calls and SMS, purchasing things from the Vodafone portal – basically, it’s free credit on your account for the little extras you need with prepaid. This is the Vodafone prepaid plan which is most likely to be most right for most people most of the time.

  • Data appropriate to the plan:
    Starting at 10GB on the $30.
  • Included value:
    $30, $40 or $50 combo plus recharge values. Combo credit can be used for international calls and SMS, purchasing things from the Vodafone portal – basically, it’s free credit on your account for the little extras you need with prepaid.
  • Infinite calls and SMS:
    That’s an infinite number of calls and SMS within Australia.
  • Extra data for recharging online:
    To incentivise the ‘right’ behaviour, Vodafone will give you bonus data for recharging online.
  • International calls:
    You’ll get 500 minutes of calls from Australia to zone 1 countries and 100 minutes in zone 2 countries in the $40, and 1000 minutes and 150 minutes in zone 1 and zone 2 respectively, for the $50 combo plus recharge.

Comparing Vodafone’s Prepaid Combo Plus $40 Plan

Boost offer better value than the plan you’ve chosen

Both cost around $40
Prepaid month to month

  • Deal 1

  • Per Month


  • Voice

    Unlimited standard calls and SMS in Oz

  • Data

    Up to 18.0 GB



Boost are now on the  Telstra network !

  • Deal 1

  • Per Month


  • Voice

    Unlimited standard calls and SMS in Oz

  • Data

    Up to 18.0 GB



Boost are now on the  Telstra network !

Vodafone’s Pay and Go plans

 These plans are also known ‘glove box’ plans in the industry. It’s a useful name because it explains their primary purpose.

Vodafone’s Pay and Go plans might be right for you if you only make calls in an emergency using the phone you put your SIM in. Of course, if you’re relying on this SIM, for example, in emergencies then it could make sense to pause. In an emergency, network coverage might be important to you – and that would make you lean towards something on the Telstra network.

These plans are also known ‘glove box’ plans in the industry. It’s a useful name because it explains their primary purpose.

  • They’re expensive but they last up to a year:
    $30, $40 and $50 with 20c/minute for national calls to any Australian number, and 20c/sms. Note, this is an expensive call. Data is charged at 4c/MB, again this is expensive, however, they last for up to 365 days, so are ideal for those who do not use their phones daily to make calls or browse the internet.
  • Vodafone to Vodafone:
    You’ll also get a number of minutes that you can call Vodafone to Vodafone in each plan. Handy if you have a lot of friends on the Vodafone network already. Vodafone even have an app you can install which will tell you who’s on their network ! Clever, and useful if you’re on a budget.
  • Watch out for data on Pay and Go plans:
    Data is prohibitively expensive on this plan. It’s 4c per MB and comes out of your flexible credit. To give you some context, a single 10 minute video clip on You Tube would use $20 worth of flexible credit! Avoid.

Your Vodafone Prepaid Network Coverage

Vodafone has had a bad reputation for network coverage and quality. Perhaps surprisingly, they shouldn’t be thought of in those terms these days. Vodafone coverage is almost certainly better than you think. Vodafone has been slammed in the press for bad coverage for the last 5 years. You might find it hard to believe, but their network is up there with the best in each of the main Australian cities. Don’t believe us? Check out this infographic. It was derived from one of several independent tests.

Vodafone Prepaid Network Coverage compared - Open Signal Crowdsourced

Vodafone Prepaid Network Coverage compared

Realising the enormous network perception problems they had, Vodafone have invested heavily in the towers and masts which transmit your calls since 2010. Their 3G network now covers 0.5 of Australia. That’s a total of 23 million people. Their 4G netowrk coverage statistics are even more impressive. Vodafone’s network covers 95.3% . Remember, Optus’ 4G network covers 96.6% of the Australian population .

You can find more about Vodafone coverage here. Or you can find out more on our coverage page !

Comparison Table

PlanCombo PlusEpic DataPre-Paid Max
Data Rollover ?No.Yes - Up to 50 GBYes up to 200GB on recharges of $30 or more. .
Voice Credit Rollover ?Not required - all plans are Unlimited National Calls and Text in Australia.Not required - all plans are Unlimited National Calls and Text in Australia.Not required - all plans are Unlimited National Calls and Text in Australia.
Standard calls in $30 recharge.InfiniteInfinite$700 ( Capped Multiplier ) plus unlimited Telstra to Telstra.
Data inclusion in $30 recharge.10GB10GB20GB
Per kB charging ?YesYesYes
Unlimited Voice & SMS ?Yes - In Australia.Yes - In Australia.Yes - In Australia.
Recharge period for $30 ?28 Days28 Days28-35 Days
International calls included ?Yes.Yes. In Extras Credit.Yes.
Charge to pick up Voicemail ?No. Included in Unlimited minutes.No. Included in Unlimited minutes.No. Included in Unlimited minutes.
Separate overnight data allowance ?NoNo.Yes
Number of Plans4 : $30, $40, $504 : $10,$20,$30, $40, $50, $60, $70, $80, $1003 : $10, $30 x 2, $50
Introductory data offer ?Yes. Get 25GB data when you activate this starter pack by specific date. And get 25GB bonus data with your next 2 x $30 above Combo Plus recharges made by specific date. T&C apply.Yes. Get 25GB bonus data on $30 recharge and above for the first 3 recharges.Yes. Get 15-17GB of bonus data on first 5 recharges.


Getting the best Vodafone Prepaid deal

There is, however, a simple way to get an even better deal on what is already the best secret in Australian Telecommunications. We often recommend MVNO pricing to people in order to get the best price plan deal.

It’s almost always the case that, buying your phone outright and adding a SIM from a SIM only provider will save you money on your phone bill. Typically, savings are in the region of 30% over the course of the alternative – a 2-year contract with one of the major 3 phone companies. Here’s an example.

How can MVNOs save you money

MVNOs save their customers money by leasing network access ‘in bulk’ from the three, major Australian phone companies. Then they sell it, to customers like you, at a significant discount.

With MVNOs, you can take advantage of lower rates, and SIMs that are contract-free.  They almost always offer better deals than the major phone companies. They don’t have the same marketing spends to pass on in the costs they charge you. They don’t spend nearly as much on advertising their brand as the others. By keeping their business models simple, they reduce the support costs and pass the savings on to you. They also need to charge less because they’re not as well known as their multinational competitors.

By keeping their business models simple, MVNOs reduce the support costs and pass the savings on to you in their SIM Only plans.

It’s important to realize that the network coverage component of the ‘product’ the MVNOs sell is very often exactly the same thing being sold by Optus or Vodafone. The coverage you’ll get from an Optus MVNO is exactly the same as the coverage you’ll get from Optus itself. There are a few exceptions and ‘gotchas’ to think about. We’ve covered those in detail, below.

Optus Network or MVNO Comparison


Myths about MVNOs: Prioritization

Some shoppers suspect that MVNOs are getting low quality network bandwidth. For example, minutes that aren’t used by carriers during peak activity. That’s just not true.  In many ways, network access is like electricity. It’s a utility which is the same whomever or whichever company you buy it from. You will not get a lower priority on the network if you go with an MVNO.

Why are MVNO deals cheaper?

The MVNOs marketplace is highly competitive. The competition is focused where you want it. MVNOs have an agreed charter with the major phone companies. Each MVNO is set up to focus on servicing ( selling to ) a particular segment.

A segment is just a group of users. Here are a couple of our favorite MVNOs and the segments they are designed to address.

Summing Up

Both Boost Mobile and Amaysim offer the combination of a better 4G network and better data pricing. Add in market-leading value from Lebara for those with a 3G phone who are happy with Vodafone coverage, and there’s no reason to pay more for less with Vodafone direct.

It’s a great time to buy a Prepaid Plan. This is a time of innovation and intense competition in the Australian prepaid market. Recent months have seen acquisition deals of huge data allocations on prepaid plans to tie in with the new data roll-over facility Optus and Telstra are offering. Additionally, you’re more likely to get more data in any prepaid plan than for the same spend on a postpaid plan.

Vodafone offers better pricing (mostly concerning data) on their prepaid plans because of the public relations difficulties they’ve had since 2010. Unless you live in more rural areas of Australia, independent research Vodafone on par with any other network which is available to you. Unfortunately for them, however, that’s not the point.

Prepaid plans are just one way of buying a SIM from a phone company. The huge and growing market share of MVNOs / network resellers in the SIM only / prepaid section shows you what you need to know. When Vodafone’s prepaid plans are held up to comparison to these MVNO plans, they’re just not the best prepaid value available.

When comparing Vodafone prepaid with the likes of Amaysim’s range (all of which can be bought as prepaid SIMs) or Boost Mobile, the reasons Vodafone come up short are clear. Both Boost Mobile and Amaysim offer the combination of a better 4G network and better data pricing. Add in market-leading value from Lebara for those with a 3G phone who are happy with Vodafone coverage, and there’s no reason to pay more for less with Vodafone.

Each of these companies, as well as the others represented on this site, are established and reputable. The nature of prepaid services is that the customers’ maximum ‘risk’ is the month’s service they pay for in advance. There are no contracts which oblige people to stay with the alternatives for long. It’s not hard to see why Vodafone’s market share in prepaid is continually falling and these smaller phone companies are filling the gap.


Extra Resources – Articles of use to Prepaid Users

  • Prepaid plans now have streamed audio included in them :
    You may not be aware of one of the biggest improvements to prepaid plans since they were originally devised. 2016 saw the release of prepaid plans which have streamed audio included in them. If you already have a Spotify, iTunes Music, Google Music or IHeartRadio account, then you might like to find out more about streamed audio in phone plans.
  • Entertainment options are becoming common :
    You may also have started hearing about the increasing inclusion of entertainment options in prepaid and SIM Only phone plans. We also examine Optus’ mobile phone plan Entertainment options, Telstra’s mobile phone plan Entertainment options and compare the two.
  • Prepaid vs postpaid vs month to month :
    We’ve given a short explanation on this page but if you want more detail on the types of phone plans in Australia, this is it. In Prepaid vs postpaid vs month to month, we explain and the best value alternatives you have and when it makes sense to use each type.
  • Prepaid vs Postpaid –the simple trick to getting the best value :
    The tier 1 telcos ( Optus Telstra and Vodafone ) all have both prepaid and postpaid plans. Sometimes they have both types of plan at the same price point.
  • Does it make sense to buy a Phone myself and add a SIM ? :
    It’s often even cheaper to buy your own phone and add a SIM ( including a prepaid SIM ) to it. We explain how to go Buying a phone outright and adding a SIM.
  • Data Rollovers :
    Considering a plan with data rollover in it ? We explain why they’re not the real solution to the real problem with prepaid plans.

And, remember, before you buy, read the CIS (that’s the Critical Information Summary–a clearly written definition of what is and is not included in the plans from these phone companies) before you buy. You need to be confident in the plan you choose yourself. You’ll find the CIS on the Vodafone website.


Compare all of our prepaid plans

If you need another network, you might like to check our Best Prepaid Plans Page and compare all the plans ( including every one mentioned on this page. ) A list of best value plans using the Telstra, Optus and Vodafone networks.



See all SIM Only plans

If you need another network, for example you’re after an unlimited plan with Telstra coverage, or you live in a city and you’re happy with Vodafone, you might like to check our SIM Only Comparison page and compare all the plans ( including every one mentioned on this page. )