Why should I consider alternatives to Vodafone Prepaid ?
Vodafone’s prepaid plans are not the best in market.
- You can get better prepaid plan pricing from Vodafone’s competitors : Multiple smaller phone companys ( MVNOs ) offer deals with cheaper unlimited voice and SMS inclusions,
- You can get more prepaid data for the same spend from Vodafone’s prepaid competitors :
We believe Yomojo offer the best pricing on data across their entire range of plans. Yomojo cover average data usage of around 2GB for $10 less than Vodafone’s entry level pricing !
- You can get entertainment services – even on prepaid plans from Vodafone’s competitors :
If you consider Optus’ and Telstra’s content offerings, you’ll see that they have moved in to a ‘Vodafone free’ region. Telstra and Optus now offer entertainment as part of their phone plans and, in many cases, they don’t even charge users for the data they use in enjoying their entertainment facilities.
Can I keep my phone number if I want to move away from Vodafone prepaid ?
Of course you can keep your existing phone number if you move away from Vodafone to a different phone network.
Find out more here.
Can I keep my existing phone and move to a new network ?
In almost any circumstance, yes, you can keep your existing phone and move it across to the new phone network.
To be absolutely sure before you do, you might like to check the frequencies your phone transmits on. This is getting pretty technical but a quick Google search will help you. Your phone transmits on phone network frequencies like 1800 / 1850 MHz or 700 / 850 MHz. The phone company you are going to also has to transmit / receive on those frequencies if you want to move to it.
What if I don’t like my new network ‘home’ ( the prepaid company I move to ) ?
Our experience is that it can be daunting to consider moving phone companies, especially if you have not done it before.
However, having gone through ‘the pain’ ( of being without your phone number for an hour or so while you port ) most users find the transition painless. Very few return to their old home in the short term.
If you do need to move back to Vodafone, the process is equally easy. Just fill in a prepaid activation form on the Vodafone website by working through their prepaid checkout process and you will be back and working on Vodafone prepaid in no time at all.
How much does it cost to move to a new network ?
Moving to a new network is free.
You will usually only be charged for your first month in advance when you take out a new prepaid service.
In the case of PAYG plans, there can be a small annual upfront fee to pay.
Of course, the advice is to use up your existing prepaid phone plan allowance
If I do move, how long will it take to get across to the new network ? Will I miss calls ?
Moving from Vodafone to a new network takes almost no time at all. The process is called ‘porting’ and it’s usually done in less than an hour. You may miss calls during that time.
Porting is entirely automatic when moving from Vodafone to another network. The only action you need to take is to fill in the form to apply for a prepaid service from whichever, of Vodafone’s competitors, you choose. In the form, you will be asked if you want to keep your existing phone number or be provided a new one. Selecting ‘keep my number’ will move your existing phone number to a new SIM card / your new provider,
How do I actually move across to a new phone company ?
The process of moving to a new phone company is extremely easy, especially for prepaid users.
Just go to the website of the competitor you like (you can click through from our site, above) and fill in the online form. The rest is automatic.
What are the benefits of moving from Vodafone to another network ?
There are a number of prepaid plan alternatives which are better for most people than their existing Vodafone plan.
- Overall value :
Optus prepaid is often better value than Vodafone prepaid simply because Optus are focusing on this area of their business at the moment. And there are many smaller phone companies on the Optus, Telstra Mobile and Vodafone networks who provide better included value for the same spend level than Vodafone.
- More data :
Vodafone’s plans don’t even start until you get to a $30 spend level per month. We have an entire page dedicated to plans which are cheaper than that. These plans provide more data per $ than Vodafone prepaid.
- More music :
One new phone plan you might not be aware of is ‘free’ access to streamed audio services like Apple Music and Pandora. They’re ‘free’ because your prepaid phone plan provider won’t charge you for the data you use in listening to them on your phone.
- Other entertainment options
- Alternative netowkr coverage
- Better value than Vodafone's is available
- It's free to move - keep your existing phone number
- Save money - alternatives up to 32% cheaper
- Moving gives you the best introductory offers
- Better data inclusions and networks available
- No entertainment options included in Voda plans
Are you on a Vodafone Prepaid Recharge ? It might be time for a change
- Vodafone prepaid used to be considered the best prepaid service in Australia.
- Now, we can no longer recommend them for their prepaid plan range.
- Vodafone are outplayed for value on core inclusions ( notably data ) by tier 1 competitors including Optus.
- But Vodafone is increasingly left behind in other areas, too.
- Optus and Telstra are adding value added entertainment options to their plans. Vodafone are not.
- And smaller phone companies which offer the same voice, SMS and data in their plans that Vodafone do, are often at cheaper rates than Vodafone.
- Two of the most popular small phone companies which offer better value actually use the Vodafone 3G and 4G network : Kogan Mobile and Lebara Mobile.
- As a result, we show you the plans we recommend over and above what Vodafone have on offer.
This Month’s Hot Offers
Why change from Vodafone prepaid to an alternative?
Vodafone Australia used to be synonymous with the prepaid service. There was a time when if you were buying prepaid, you’d naturally default to Vodafone.
Unfortunately, they are now outplayed by the competition. We recommend that if you’re on a Vodafone prepaid SIM, you switch. Here’s why.
- Overall value :
Vodafone’s prepaid service and recharge inclusions are designed to compete at a ‘headline level’ with Optus’ equivalent. That’s especially true for their data inclusion. Unfortunately, for a number of reasons we will show below, Vodafone’s plans are not competitive when considered next to alternatives.
- There are better value data inclusions out there :
Generally, we believe that Yomojo offer the best data pricing in Australia, at the moment, in our view. Yomojo use the Optus 3G and 4G network and simply provide more data for less $ than Vodafone. If you want more data for your money, consider Yomojo alongside Vodafone’s prepaid plans.
- Some phone company alternatives have music built in to their prepaid plans:
Optus prepaid was first to include streamed audioin 2016. Since then, Optus entertainment options, even on their prepaid plan range have been getting stronger. Streamed audio can save you 1GB – 3GB of data each month. If you have a Pandora / IHeartRadio / Google Play or Spotify account, and use it on your phone, consider Optus’ prepaid plan suite.
- Even better entertainment options :
The competition now also includes a number of value adds, in addition to these core prepaid plan services and, again, regrettably, Vodafone does not include them in their plans. OVO Mobile, for example, offer streamed V8 Supercars, Gymnastics and other sports video packages as part of their hugely successful plan range. Telstra prepaid plans include streamed video from the AFL, netball and NRL.
- Entertainment is often ‘free’ :
Mostly, you will need an existing account with either an internet radio / music provider, including those we have listed above. The data you use accessing it, from your phone, will be free, however. ( i.e. not charged to you as part of your plan data ) The process is called zero rating and if you’ve never experienced it before, you might like to read a little more about this important change.
- You can benefit from alternative networks :
Vodafone’s network has improved a lot in the last 3 years. Optus and Telstra’s networks, however, are just as good. If Vodafone coverage is not what you need it to be where you live and work, you might like to, consider trialing a new provider.
- Customer service and customer experience can be better elsewhere :
Customer service can make all the difference when considering a new phone provider. Kogan Mobile, for example, use the Vodafone 3G and 4G network for their prepaid services. Vodafone actually does Kogan Mobile’s customer service, as well as their own ! Moving from Vodafone to Kogan gives you exactly the same network, more data for your money and you will speak to the same support staff when they are addressing your issues !
Unfortunately, our view is that the Vodafone ‘MyMix’ prepaid plan suite is now the weakest in market from any of the major networks.
How can I move from Vodafone prepaid to an alternative?
The truth is that moving from your existing phone company to a new one is extremely easy. Just fill in the online order form and it’s likely you will be on the new network within 24 – 48 hours.
- Yes, you can keep your number :
If you want to move to a new phone number, it’s natural to want to make sure that you can do so with the minimum of hassle. You can keep your existing phone number if you move to a new provider. The process is extremely simple and entirely automatic.
- Remember, you can trial the service :
The nature of prepaid plans is that they are cheap and last about a month. That means you can get one, usually for $20 or less, which will let you trial the network. Picking up a temporary IM like this allows you to test the customer service of the company you’re going to and weighing up their pricing for a month, before you commit to moving across ‘full time’.
- Fill in the form :
The process of moving to a new phone company simply involves visiting their store by clicking on a link above, on this page. Filling in the form will require 2 forms of ID and take no more than 10 minutes. If you want to keep your exiting phone number, you will be offered a check box in the checkout process which allows you to.
- Entirely automatic :
From the point you submit your online order, the rest of the process is automatic. You will receive your SIM in 24 / 48 hours. If you decided to keep your phone number, it will be transferred when you activate your service.
- Hint :
Use your existing month to the fullest. We always advise people to make full use of their existing value and inclusions before moving to a new service so they don’t waste any money.
What do I do if I move to a new phone company and I want to swap back to Vodafone prepaid?
In the event that you trial a new network and decide you want to move back across to Vodafone, you can do so simply. Just run the process in reverse. Pick up a SIM from the Vodafone online store and you’ll be back to what you knew in 24 – 48 hours.
Will I get better network coverage if I move from Vodafone Prepaid ?
The answer to this one is maybe. It depends on the coverage you get now and where you live. Here are some key facts to be aware of and links to other information you might need.
- The Vodafone prepaid and postpaid networks are the same :
Whether you take a prepaid or a postpaid service from Vodafone, you get the same network footprint entirely. That’s actually true for all of the phone companies.
- Optus, Telstra and Vodafone’s 4G networks are all very similar to each other :
The surprising truth about network performance is that in or around any of the major Australian cities, the network performance you’ll get on aggregate (across the whole town) is just as good whether you choose the Vodafone, Optus or Telstra networks.
- Telstra’s 3G network coverage footprint is much bigger :
There is actually no substitute for Telstra’s 3G mobile network. It covers more than 1m square kilometers of Australia than the next best alternative Optus.
What alternatives are recommended instead of Vodafone Prepaid?
There are two main types of alternative to Vodafone
- Optus :
Optus’ prepaid plans are, in our view, best for streamed audio inclusions. Optus usually match or exceed Vodafone’s prepaid data inclusions. They also help users with internet music services save money by not charging them for the data they use listening to those services from their mobile device.
- Telstra :
Keep a prepaid balance of $30 or more on your account and Telstra will allow you to use their free NTL / AFL / Netball app. That means you can watch streamed video of one of these sports as part of your phone plan for a whole year. Remember, the data you use watching these games will not come out of your plan’s regular data bundle.
Optus and Telstra have decided to differentiate themselves based on the entertainment extras. Not every phone company does that. There are also smaller phone companies in the market which tend to still sell voice, SMS and data inclusions. It is these companies which now compete with Vodafone. Some actually use the Vodafone network !
- Smaller Phone Company alternatives – On the same Vodafone network :
Lebara Mobile and Kogan Mobile both use the Vodafone 3G and 4G network in its entirety. We recommend Lebara for International Calls and Kogan for overall value on the Vodafone network.
- Smaller – different network : There are smaller phone companies which use both the Optus 3G and 4G network and the Telstra Mobile Network. You can compare them on our prepaid plans page and SIM Only page.
This Month’s Hot Offers
Summing up the reasons we do not recommend Vodafone Prepaid Recharges
Comparing Vodafone’s prepaid plan inclusions to the alternatives highlights just how far Vodafone were left behind in 2016. It’s true Vodafone’s network has improved a great deal over the last 36 months. It is now on a par with Optus’ and Telstra’s in metro areas.
Unfortunately, while Vodafone was fixing the network and building it’s ‘MyMix’ suite – which, to us, anyway, appears needlessly complex for users, Optus and Telstra have leapfrogged Vodafone in a different way. Phone plans evolved in 2016.
To be a serious ‘tier 1’ telco ( i.e. for Vodafone to compete with Optus and Telstra, plans, even prepaid plans ) need to include streamed entertainment services. Optus and Telstra have invested heavily in the area of entertainment. Vodafone have now and, given the customer attrition they’ve experienced since their network nightmares in 2011, it’s hard to see how they will ever compete in this area.
The lack of included entertainment services in Vodafone’s prepaid plans is not of itself a bad thing. After all, not everyone needs entertainment in their prepaid plan. But the fact that Vodafone doesn’t offer such a thing means that people will, naturally, compare Vodafone to more directly aligned alternatives. This puts Vodafone next to prepaid competitors like Kogan Mobile or Lebara ( which use exactly the same network as Vodafone do ) and it’s clear that, here, Vodafone is lacking.
The unfortunate truth, in our view, is that Vodafone no longer makes sense as a destination for your prepaid dollar.
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.COMPARE THE BEST PREPAID PLANS
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. )COMPARE ALL SIM ONLY PLANS