Vodafone 4G Entertainment: Free NOW TV, Spotify or Sky Sports Mobile TV
October 17th, 2014
Vodafone’s 4G price plans have a free ‘Entertainment Pack’ included in the offering. Choose from a free subscription to NOW TV, Spotify or Sky Sports Mobile TV.
Customers choosing a Red Value price plan from Vodafone can choose a free entertainment pack to go with their tariff. On eligible 24 month contracts with a new handset and on eligible 12 month SIM only deals, you can choose a free subscription from either NOW TV, Spotify Premium or Sky Sports Mobile TV.
In this article, we review Vodafone’s 4G Entertainment packages. We’ll look at the Entertainment included on each tariff and we’ll compare your three options of NOW TV, Spotify Premium and Sky Sports Mobile TV. We’ll also look at how you’re able to use each of the packages: data consumption, handset compatibility and limitations associated with your usage.
- 1 Vodafone’s 4G Entertainment Packs
- 2 Spotify Premium
- 3 Sky Sports Mobile TV
- 4 Coverage
- 5 Switching to Vodafone: Keep Your Current Phone Number
- 6 More Information
Vodafone’s 4G Entertainment Packs
Vodafone has a wide choice of Red Value price plans with free entertainment included in the package. The entertainment packs are included on selected 24 month contracts where you get a new smartphone and on selected 12 month SIM only contracts. The duration of your free entertainment pack will depend on your tariff and also on the entertainment package you choose.
Pay Monthly Contracts
On Vodafone’s Red Value price plans, you can choose a free subscription to either NOW TV, Spotify Premium or Sky Sports Mobile TV. Until March 30th 2016, Netflix was also available as a 4G Entertainment option (new customers joining Vodafone today will no longer be able to choose a Netflix subscription).
A NOW TV Entertainment Pass is worth £6.99/month and gives you access to 13 paid-for channels from Sky. A Spotify Premium subscription is worth £9.99/month and allows you to stream ad-free music from the internet. Finally, Sky Sports Mobile TV is worth £4.99/month and gives you mobile access to Sky Sports 1, Sky Sports 2 and the Sky Sports News television channel.
SIM Only Plans
A SIM only plan is where you get a new SIM card that’ll slot into the back of your existing unlocked smartphone. Red Value SIM cards will give you unlimited calls and texts as well as ultrafast 4G internet for a super competitive price. You’ll get a free entertainment pack on Red Value tariffs (starting from £22/month).
Spotify is an online music streaming service. Rather than downloading music and paying for it on a per-track basis, Spotify instead allows you to pay a flat monthly fee for all the music you can stream over the internet. There are currently more than 20 million songs available online in the Spotify catalogue.
Although a free version of Spotify is available, it’ll only allow you to listen to music in a randomised shuffle mode when using your smartphone. The free version of Spotify also contains adverts (a little bit like listening to the radio).
With Vodafone 4G, there’s the option of receiving a free subscription to Spotify Premium (worth £9.99/month). This allows you to listen to on-demand music without any adverts. It’ll work from your smartphone, tablet, laptop, PC, web browser and other compatible home entertainment systems. You can also listen to music without an internet connection (Spotify has a feature for offline music listening). At any time, only one device can stream from the Spotify service.
Spotify Premium on Vodafone 4G
With Vodafone 4G, customers can choose a free subscription to the Spotify Premium service (worth £9.99/month). Depending on your price plan, this can last for up to 24 months.
When your inclusive subscription to Spotify ends, you’ll need to pay £9.99/month in order to continue using the service. Alternatively, you can drop down to the free tier of Spotify (though you’ll lose the ability to listen to music on-demand from your smartphone).
Mobile Data Consumption
Although a Spotify Premium subscription is included on your contract, any data consumed by the Spotify application will still count towards your monthly download limit. According to the Spotify website, the Spotify mobile app uses the following amounts of data:
|Spotify Music Quality||Bitrate (kbit/s)||Data Consumption (1 hour)|
|Low Quality (Default)||96kbit/s||43MB per hour|
|High Quality||160kbit/s||72MB per hour|
|Extreme Quality||320kbit/s||144MB per hour|
Spotify can stream music at three different quality settings. The default setting uses 43MB for one hour of listening. Source: Spotify.
Assuming you were to use the default setting (low quality streaming), listening to an hour of Spotify would consume 43MB of 4G data. Over a month, a one-hour-per-day music listening habit would use 1.3GB of data. The following table shows the expected data consumption when using Spotify on your mobile phone:
|Amount of Listening||Low Quality (96kbit/s)||High Quality (160kbit/s)||Extreme Quality (320kbit/s)|
|10 minutes per day||0.2GB per month||0.4GB per month||0.7GB per month|
|30 minutes per day||0.6GB per month||1.1GB per month||2.2GB per month|
|1 hour per day||1.3GB per month||2.2GB per month||4.3GB per month|
|2 hours per day||2.6GB per month||4.3GB per month||8.7GB per month|
|3 hours per day||3.9GB per month||6.5GB per month||13.0GB per month|
|4 hours per day||5.2GB per month||8.7GB per month||17.3GB per month|
Expected data consumption over one month for different listening habits. Spotify can very quickly consume large amounts of data at high quality and extreme quality settings.
In practice, data consumption will be slightly lower than in the table above. This is because Spotify will keep an offline copy of recently played songs (this is called caching). When listening to the same song a second time through the app, Spotify will access the local version rather than downloading a new version from the internet. If you regularly listen to only a couple of songs, data consumption could be much lower than listed in the table above. Because keeping an offline copy of recently-played songs can sometimes use large amounts of storage, Spotify will limit the number of songs that it’s able to cache on the phone.
Whenever possible, we’d still recommend using a wi-fi connection when listening to Spotify. For listening over a 4G network, it’s strongly recommended to choose the ‘Low Quality’ setting.
The Spotify application is available for iPhone, Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry devices. It’s also available on PCs, Macs, the iPad, other tablets and through a desktop web browser. You can use the Spotify application from multiple devices but only one device is able to stream at any time.
The Vodafone website will allow you to search for Spotify-compatible smartphones.
Sky Sports Mobile TV
Sky Sports Mobile TV is a video streaming service that allows you to follow the sporting action whilst on-the-go. Available for iPhone and selected Android devices, the package will allow you to watch Sky Sports 1, Sky Sports 2 and Sky Sports News HQ using a dedicated mobile app. The app can only be used on one registered SIM card.
Sky Sports on Vodafone 4G
With Vodafone 4G, customers can choose a free subscription to Sky Sports Mobile TV (Package 1 which is worth £4.99/month). Depending on your tariff, the free Entertainment Pack can last for between 6 months and 24 months:
The free subscription will only include Sky Sports 1, Sky Sports 2 and Sky Sports News HQ. If you’d like to have access to other Sky Sports channels (i.e. Sky Sports 3, Sky Sports 4, Sky Sports 5 and Sky Sports F1), you’ll need to pay £9.99/month.
Mobile Data Consumption
If you’re watching Sky Sports Mobile TV using a 3G or 4G connection, do keep a careful eye on your smartphone’s data usage. According to the Sky website, Sky Sports Mobile TV will use between 5MB and 10MB of data for each minute of TV viewing. For a typical football match, this can mean 1.2GB of mobile data.
The following table shows the expected data consumption when watching Sky Sports Mobile TV. We’ve included a “per hour” figure and an estimated figure for watching a Premier League football match (assumed to be 110 minutes with 90 minutes for the game, a 15 minute interval and 5 minutes of stoppage).
|Device Type||Bitrate (kbit/s)||Data Consumption (1 hour)||Data Consumption (1 football match)|
|iPhone||1,400kbit/s||630MB per hour||1.2GB per match|
|Android||670kbit/s||300MB per hour||550MB per match|
Assuming you were to use an iPhone to watch two football matches, this would use 2.4GB of mobile data. This could be 60% of the monthly download limit on the entry-level Vodafone Red 4G tariff.
The following table shows estimated data consumption based on different viewing habits:
|Amount of Viewing||iPhone (1,400kbit/s)||Android (670kbit/s)|
|15 minutes per week||0.6GB per month||0.3GB per month|
|30 minutes per month||1.3GB per month||0.6GB per month|
|1 hour per week||2.5GB per month||1.2GB per month|
|2 hours per week||5.0GB per month||2.4GB per month|
|4 hours per week||10.1GB per month||4.8GB per month|
To reduce data consumption when using Sky Sports Mobile TV, we recommend watching over wi-fi whenever it is possible. You should also use an Android device rather than an iPhone. This will keep data consumption to a more manageable level.
Firstly, the service can only be accessed from one registered device. This will be the handset that’s registered with your Vodafone SIM card.
Secondly, the Sky Sports Mobile TV app will only work on selected smartphones. To protect their TV revenue, Sky has also blocked users from connecting their phone to a TV or external monitor. Features such as MHL, Miracast or AirPlay will not work when using the application.
Sky Sports Mobile TV is available on the following devices:
- Apple: All iPhone devices are supported.
- HTC: HTC One (M8), HTC 610, HTC One, HTC One Mini, HTC One Max, HTC One V, HTC One S, HTC One SV, HTC One X, HTC One X+, HTC One XL, HTC Desire, HTC Desire S, HTC Desire X, HTC Desire HD, HTC Incredible S, HTC Sensation and HTC Sensation XE.
- LG: LG G2, LG Optimus 4X HD, LG Nexus 4 and LG Nexus 5.
- Motorola: Motorola RAZR HD and Motorola RAZR i.
- Samsung: Galaxy S, Galaxy S2, Galaxy S3, Galaxy S3 mini, Galaxy S3 LTE, Galaxy S4, Galaxy S4 Mini, Galaxy S5, Galaxy Note, Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy Note 2 LTE, Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy Nexus and Galaxy Ace 2.
- Sony: Sony Xperia E1, Sony Xperia M, Sony Xperia S, Sony Xperia SP, Sony Xperia T, Sony Xperia Z, Sony Xperia Z1, Sony Xperia Z1 Compact, Sony Xperia Z2 and Sony Xperia Z Ultra.
The service is accessed through the Sky Go app. This can be downloaded either from the App Store (iPhone) or the Google Play Store (Android devices). The Vodafone website allows you to search for new smartphones compatible with the Sky Sports Mobile TV service.
Vodafone currently offers 98% population coverage across the UK (this includes 2G, 3G and 4G coverage).
At the time of writing, 4G internet is listed as available in 168 towns and cities across the UK. A further 154 towns and cities are listed as “starting to roll 4G out”.
You can check the coverage for your area by entering your postcode on the Vodafone online coverage map.
Customers living in an area of 3G-only coverage can still choose a 4G tariff if they’d like to benefit from the 4G Entertainment (it’s not actually necessary to have a 4G connection when accessing Netflix, Spotify or Sky Sports).
Switching to Vodafone: Keep Your Current Phone Number
If you’re moving to Vodafone from another mobile network, it’s easy to keep your current phone number.
Firstly, you’ll need to get in touch with your current network and you’ll need to ask them to issue a PAC Code. A PAC Code is nine-digits long and will authorise Vodafone to take control of your phone number. Your current network must provide a PAC Code within two hours of you making the request.
Once you’ve ordered and set up the new Vodafone device or SIM card, you can submit the PAC Code through this form on Vodafone’s website. They should have your number moved over on the next working day.
For a step-by-step guide on transferring your phone number to Vodafone, please select your current mobile network:
|PAC Code Finder: Transfer Your Phone Number to Vodafone|
My passion is helping people to get the most out of their mobile phone. I've been blogging at Ken's Tech Tips since 2005.
Aside from writing about mobile technology, my interests are in software development, digital marketing and physics. Outside of the blog, I work with numerous technology companies helping them to explain their product and helping them to market it to consumers. Please get in touch for more information.