Vodafone has revised its calling plans today, with a change to data roaming that now gives users free access to ALL their data when travelling to one of 40 destinations, plus a further 60 countries for a fixed daily fee.
In addition, Vodafone is introducing a new flexible upgrade scheme for handset contracts, allowing upgrades in as little as six months after signing up, plus increasing data allowances to as much as 60GB a month.
So, let’s start with some background on how Vodafone has handled roaming in the past.
A while ago, Vodafone offered users the chance to access their data abroad for £3 a day in Europe and £5 elsewhere, but then changed things so you got a set allowance (of up to 4GB) at no extra cost when roaming in Europe instead. Worldwide travel retained the daily charge.
- 11:50AM: This article has been updated to include data only plans below.
Now Vodafone is allowing access to all your allowance once again, but without the daily charge, and it’s not just EU member countries (which will become free to roam in from June this year anyway).
There are a total of 40 destinations, detailed in the image above and the downloadable document below.
For travel beyond Europe, Vodafone is still offering access to your data for £5 a day, which is available in 60 further destinations – including America, China, Egypt, Russia, Mexico, Japan and many more.
A check of the Vodafone SIM only page shows that global roaming applies to ALL plans, including the entry level £9.50 Essentials plan (with 250MB of data, 250 minutes and unlimited texts). All plans come with unlimited texts.
At the other end of the table comes two promotional rates on the 16GB and 20GB plans (at £19 and £22 respectively, until May 10th 2017) and a 40GB plan for £40.
All three of these top SIM-only deals come with the usual choice of free entertainment, in the form of 12 months of Now TV, Spotify Premium or Sky Sports Mobile TV.
Pay Monthly plans also now come with higher allowances, with up to 60GB a month now available.
Mobile broadband gets roaming too
Data only plans now include Global Roaming and is a more affordable way to get large amounts of data, perhaps for people wishing to use the SIM in a Portable Hotspot, or as a second SIM in a dual-SIM phone.
Plans range from 2GB to 50GB, with 15GB costing £20 a month, 30GB costing £25 a month, and 50GB costing £30 a month. These rates are for both 30-day and 12-month contracts.
Pay-monthly customers on these new plans will be able to upgrade after just six months with the new Flexible Upgrades scheme, so there’s no need to wait until getting out of contract to change phone. An existing phone can be traded in to pay off the balance of the upgrade fee.
Roam without Limits
Vodafone also offers 4G-roaming with no traffic management and no limits on tethering, making it ideal for those who might wish to hook up a laptop or tablet for work, or pleasure.
Here’s a quick comparison with the current offerings from the other main networks:
- EE offers access to all your data (but capped at 15GB) on Max plans, otherwise you get a fixed allowance. Applies to Europe only.
- Three offers free access to data in more than just Europe, but capped at 12GB for those with higher allowances (or unlimited data) and there’s no 4G roaming or tethering. And many services are restricted (like video streaming).
- O2 offer daily bundles of data, but currently no 4G roaming.
At the current time, some prepay plans come with a limited bundle of data for use within Europe (e.g. 500MB on the 12GB plan). In addition, for all plans, you can also roll over unused data for one more month. All PAYG plans offer 4G access and no throttling/tethering restrictions.
Existing User Still in Contract?
Vodafone has stated that from June 11th, all pay-monthly customers will get Global Roaming, which should mean getting access to ALL data in 100 countries.
However, users can also upgrade to a new plan earlier if they want.
You can find out more about these new deals from the links below.
- See the European destinations. (PDF)
- See the Worldwide destinations. (PDF)
- See all the Vodafone SIM-only plans.
- See all the Vodafone Pay-monthly deals.
- See all the Vodafone Data only deals.
What do you think of these new plans? Please let me know in the comments below, including any thoughts on what the competition needs to do next.