I don’t often write about tariffs, unless they’re really exceptional. And on the face of it, a plan costing up to £31 a month is anything but exceptional.
But Vodafone’s new Pay as you Go 1 plan isn’t for heavy users. It’s for occasional users that may go days between using their phone. Vodafone is marketing this new plan alongside basic feature phones, including the new Nokia 3110 (3G model) for £39.
On this plan, calls are charged at 20p a minute, texts at 20p a pop and 5MB of data for 20p. That’s not exactly cheap, but the unique selling point is that there’s a daily cap of £1. Beyond that all your calls and texts are free, as well as 500MB of data.
You can use the SIM at home or in one of 50 countries when roaming.
Why should you care?
As you may have already realised, it’s the 500MB of data for £1 that interested me.
If you need to use a fair amount of data in a short period of time, a quid for half a gigabyte of data is a pretty good value proposition on prepay (actually, it’s not even that bad on contract).
Three’s 321 PAYG plan would set you back a fiver for the same amount of data, albeit with no requirement to consume all of that in a single day. With Vodafone all bets are off once the clock strikes midnight – whereby you’ll need to pay again the next day.
Also, if you run out of 500MB quicker than intended, you buy a further 500MB for another £1 within the same day. So that’s £2 for 1GB, compared to £10 on Three. Plus, the fact you’ve also got free calls and texts too.
Although not entirely clear from the terms and conditions, it seems you may need to keep an eye on your data usage because exceeding each 500MB ‘bundle’ will trigger a further £1 charge for a further 500MB. That’s the only ‘gotcha’ as far as I can see, and not a huge problem considering most devices let you set a data limit.
Everyone not on Vodafone needs one of these SIMs! Seriously!
Users on another network with a dual-SIM phone, or any old phone from a recent upgrade, can now keep one of these as a backup – perhaps to use in areas where Vodafone offers better coverage or data speeds.
From Vodafone’s point of view, having users on EE, Three or O2 (or any virtual network) popping one of these into another device, or that currently unused second SIM tray, could be a great way to demonstrate that it might be worth changing network come renewal time.
A pound to test out the network as you travel around isn’t a terrible investment.
Vodafone is also allowing tethering, so this SIM may also be equally worthwhile fitted in a portable hotspot or 4G-enabled tablet. There’s nothing to stop you getting more than one SIM…
All things considered, this SIM is perhaps pretty exceptional after all.
Interested? Well pop along to the Vodafone site and request a free SIM to get going – and perhaps leave a comment below to share your thoughts. Also: To use the new plan, you do need to initially credit your account with at least £5.
More info: Vodafone PAYG 1 plan