Vodafone 5G plans explained

28 April 2020

Vodafone offers 5G on its plans at no extra cost, but that doesn’t mean that all plans allow for full-throttle 5G, making the choice potentially confusing. The good news is this guide will simplify and demystify the whole situation.

So whether you’re looking at an Unlimited Max or Red plan, SIM-only or pay monthly, or even mobile broadband or pay as you go, we’ve got the information you need.

Vodafone Unlimited plans

Plan Max speed Entertainment included?
Unlimited Lite 2Mbps No
Unlimited 10Mbps Yes, optionally
Unlimited Max Uncapped Yes, optionally

Unlimited plans, available either on SIM-only or on a pay monthly plan with a phone, all come with unlimited data, minutes and texts, but are split into three different speeds. There’s Unlimited Lite, which tops out at download speeds of 2Mbps, Unlimited, which tops out at 10Mbps, and Unlimited Max, which has no speed restrictions.

In practice, Unlimited Max is the only one of these that really allows for 5G, since while the other two are 5G-ready SIM cards and could even see you access Vodafone’s 5G infrastructure and spectrum, you won’t be getting 5G speeds – though being able to access 5G infrastructure could still mean improved coverage, so you’re benefitting in that way.

As an example of what each speed is capable of, with an:

  • Unlimited Lite plan you’ll take under 15 seconds to download a 4MB song
  • Unlimited plan will take around 3 seconds, and
  • Unlimited Max plan will be near instantaneous – assuming you have a 5G signal.

For a detailed look at the speeds you can expect on 5G, check out our ‘how fast is 5G?’ guide.

All three forms of Unlimited plan are available for 30 days, 12 months or 24 months if opting for SIM-only, with the monthly price decreasing as the contract length increases. On pay monthly all plans are 24 months.

On both pay monthly and SIM Only you can also opt to get ‘Unlimited with Entertainment’, or ‘Unlimited Max with Entertainment’. In both cases these add a subscription to your choice of Amazon Prime Video, Spotify Premium, NowTV Entertainment, or Sky Sports Mobile TV for the length of the contract. These aren’t available if you opt for a 30-day plan.

5G Coverage Checker

Find out which networks have launched 5G in your area, or when it is coming to your area.

Vodafone Red plans

Plan Max speed Data allowance Entertainment included?
Red Uncapped 1GB-60GB Yes, optionally

Red plans are for anyone who doesn’t need unlimited data, though they still come with unlimited minutes and texts. Given that they have a data limit they’re typically cheaper, but there are a range of data limits to choose from, ranging at the time of writing from 1GB to 60GB.

Red plans are also available on 30-day, 12-month or 24-month SIM only plans, as well as with a phone, but not all data allowances are available on all combinations. As with Unlimited plans, you can also optionally get an entertainment subscription bundled in (see above for details). These aren’t free, but are cheaper than paying for the subscription separately.

Unlike Unlimited plans though, none of these have speed restrictions, so you’re getting true 5G whatever Red plan you opt for.

Vodafone 5G pay as you go plans

Vodafone also offers 5G on pay as you go, however, not all pay as you go plans include this – look out for the words ‘5G ready SIM’ to ensure you’re getting 5G.

At the time of writing, you can get 5G on both the £50 Unlimited Bundle (which gives you unlimited data, minutes and texts) and the £30 Bundle (which gives you 20GB of data, 3000 minutes and unlimited texts).

All bundles last 30 days, and unused allowances can be rolled over into the next 30 days – though that obviously doesn’t apply to unlimited allowances.

Vodafone 5G mobile broadband plans

Vodafone also offers 5G on data-only SIMs which you can slot into a mobile broadband device or tablet, though notably at the time of writing it doesn’t sell any such devices with 5G support, so you’d have to source one elsewhere.

Data-only SIMs come in Unlimited and Unlimited Max varieties, detailed above, or alternatively you can get one with a data limit, but no speed limits. They’re available on both 30-day and 12-month plans.

Vodafone 5G home broadband plans

While Vodafone doesn’t sell any 5G mobile broadband devices at the time of writing, it does sell a 5G home broadband one, in the form of the GigaCube.

This is a true alternative to fibre broadband (assuming your home has a 5G signal), and it can be had with up to unlimited data.

Read more: 5G home broadband

What else comes with Vodafone 5G plans?

Beyond your allowances and in some cases either an entertainment package or allowance roll over, both of which are detailed above alongside the plan types that offer them, Vodafone’s 5G plans also include free roaming in numerous locations, and in many cases you can roam at 5G speeds.

All plans let you roam across most of the EU, while Vodafone’s Unlimited Max plans additionally let you roam further afield at no extra cost.

To roam on 5G, you’ll need to be in select cities in Spain, Germany, Italy or Ireland.

Check Vodafone 5G coverage

James Rogerson
About James Rogerson

Sub-Editor at 5G.co.uk

James is sub-editor at both 5G.co.uk and TechRadar. Also works as a researcher/ technical writer for 5G.co.uk and several other websites including TechRadar, T3, Smart TV Radar, 3G.co.uk with work on the web, in print and on TV.

View more posts by James Rogerson >

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