Vodafone Basics SIM-only plans offer unlimited UK minutes & a data allowance from £6/month.
Vodafone now offers three basic SIM-only plans that are a cheaper alternative to their Vodafone Red and Unlimited plans. Promising to “include only the things you use every day”, the Basics SIM cards are an online-only exclusive for customers that are new to Vodafone. You can only purchase the plans through a special page on Vodafone’s website.
At present, it’s possible to get a Vodafone Basics plan from just £6/month on a 12-month contract. The plan will come with unlimited UK minutes, unlimited UK texts and an allowance of UK data. For instance, the £6 plan comes with 1.5GB of data, the £8 plan comes with 3GB of data, and the £10 plan comes with 5GB of data.
Being a cheaper and lower-cost alternative to Vodafone’s other SIM-only plans, there are a number of limitations on Basics. For instance, a Basics plan won’t allow you to use international roaming so your mobile phone will not work outside the UK. International calls and premium-rate calls are also barred on the service.
In this article, we’ll review the Vodafone Basics tariff in more detail. We’ll start by looking at the plans available, along with the features of the tariff and how this compares to other SIM-only plans. We’ll then compare the price against rival SIM cards from other mobile networks before looking at the coverage you can expect and how to keep your existing phone number.
- 1 About Vodafone Basics
- 2 Comparison to Alternatives
- 3 Network & Coverage
- 4 Keeping Your Phone Number
- 5 Frequently Asked Questions
- 6 More Information
About Vodafone Basics
SIM Only Plans
Vodafone Basics is a new range of lower-cost SIM-only plans, available from Vodafone in the UK.
At the moment, there are three plans available within the Vodafone Basics range:
All of the plans come on a 12-month contract and you’ll need to undergo a credit check as part of the application process. You’ll also need to set up a monthly Direct Debit from your bank account to pay for your Vodafone Basics plan.
According to Vodafone, the Basics SIM-only plans come with “no fuss, no frills, and none of those extra features that just cost you more”.
It’s worth being aware of the following limitations before you sign up for a Basics plan:
- You’ll only be able to use your phone inside the UK. International roaming is not available on Vodafone Basics. This means you won’t be able to make or receive phone calls using your SIM card when abroad. You can still use wi-fi to get connected to the internet when abroad, or you can use a different SIM card whilst travelling. On Vodafone’s other price plans (Red and Unlimited), it’s free to use your mobile phone in other European countries or you can pay £6/day in Vodafone Global Roaming countries.
- Many additional paid-for services are barred. This includes international calling, MMS picture messages, premium-rate phone calls (to phone numbers beginning with 09) and premium-rate SMS text messages. You’ll still be able to share photos and videos through instant messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.
- Wi-Fi Calling and 4G Calling are not available on Basics. Vodafone does not offer Wi-Fi Calling or 4G Calling to customers with a Basics price plan.
- 5G coverage isn’t available on Basics. Vodafone Basics is limited to 4G download speeds. If you have a 5G-ready handset and live in a Vodafone 5G coverage area, consider getting a Vodafone Unlimited plan or a Vodafone Red plan with at least 5GB of data. This will give you access to Vodafone’s 5G network.
- The Basics plan is only available to new Vodafone customers. In order to get a Vodafone Basics plan, you can’t be an existing Vodafone Pay Monthly customer. If you’re a Vodafone Pay As You Go customer or a customer of a different mobile network, you can sign up for Vodafone Basics.
- You can only sign up for a Vodafone Basics price plan online. The Vodafone Basics price plan is only available to customers who sign up online through a special page on Vodafone’s website. It isn’t possible to sign up in store or by telephone.
Comparison to Alternatives
£6 per month plans
For £6/month, Vodafone is offering a Basics plan with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 1.5GB of data.
Around this price point, there are several smaller mobile networks offering SIM-only deals. Vodafone typically has the largest data allowance at the £6/month price point, but other mobile networks may offer features like international roaming.
£8 per month plans
At the £8 per month price point, Vodafone is currently offering a Basics plan with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 3GB of data. This compares fairly strongly to the rest of the market, though some alternative deals have a shorter 1-month rolling contract. This may give you a little more flexibility than on Vodafone Basics.
The following table shows some alternatives to Vodafone’s £8 Basics plan:
£10 per month plans
At the £10 per month price point, Vodafone is offering a £10 Basics plan with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 5GB of data.
Several other mobile networks are also offering unlimited minutes and a comparable amount of data for £10 per month.
The following table shows some alternatives to Vodafone’s £10 Basics plan:
For a full comparison of SIM-only deals available in the UK, please see our full comparison of Pay Monthly SIM cards.
Network & Coverage
2G, 3G & 4G UK Coverage
Customers with a Vodafone Basics plan can access 99% population coverage on Vodafone’s 2G, 3G and 4G networks in the UK. This includes 99% population coverage on 4G with up to Category 9 LTE download speeds (up to 450Mbit/s).
Before signing up for a Vodafone Basics plan, we’d strongly recommend checking the coverage in your area. You can do this by entering your postcode on Vodafone’s online coverage map:
No International Coverage
One major limitation of Vodafone’s Basics price plans is you’ll be unable to use your mobile phone outside of the UK. Whereas on most other tariffs, you’ll have access to international roaming, this is barred for all customers using a Vodafone Basics plan.
Because there’s no international coverage available, you won’t be able to make or receive phone calls when you’re outside the UK. You also won’t be able to send or receive SMS text messages, or access mobile data when abroad. It’s still possible to call the emergency services, and to access the internet using wi-fi (e.g. in hotels, coffee shops and airports).
On Vodafone’s other SIM-only plans, you can benefit from free European roaming. You can also use Vodafone’s £6/day Global Roaming offer which allows you to use your UK allowances in 104 Roam-further destinations. Customers with a Vodafone Unlimited Max price plan will get inclusive roaming in 77 destinations.
Tethering & Personal Hotspot
Tethering or personal hotspot refers to the process of sharing your smartphone’s internet connection with another device (e.g. with your laptop or tablet). It’s often a convenient way to get your other devices connected to the internet through a mobile broadband connection.
On Vodafone Basics, you can tether and share your mobile data allowance with other devices. There are no additional restrictions on tethering or personal hotspot – you can share your entire monthly data allowance this way.
For more information, see our guide to tethering on UK mobile networks.
Keeping Your Phone Number
If you’re moving from another mobile network to Vodafone, it’s easy to bring your phone number with you.
To begin the process of moving your phone number to Vodafone, start by contacting your current mobile network to get a PAC Code. You can usually get a PAC Code instantly through your mobile network’s website or app. Alternatively, text PAC to 65075 to get your PAC Code by text message.
Once you’ve gotten the PAC Code from your current network, order your new Basics SIM card from the Vodafone website. Once your new SIM card arrives in the post, place it inside your mobile phone and then enter your PAC Code on Vodafone’s online form. After you do this, your phone number transfer will normally take place on the next working day.
For a step-by-step guide on transferring your phone number to Vodafone, please select your current mobile network from the drop-down menu below:
Frequently Asked Questions
|What is a Vodafone Basics plan?||
Vodafone Basics is a no-frills SIM-only plan which, according to Vodafone, “only includes the things you use every day”. You can get a Vodafone Basics SIM card from £6/month with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and an allowance of UK data (between 1.5GB and 5GB per month).
|What allowances will I get with Vodafone Basics?||
You’ll get 1.5GB of data for £6/month, 3GB of data for £8/month or 5GB of data for £10/month. All Basics price plans also include unlimited minutes and unlimited texts. A 12-month contract applies on Vodafone Basics plans.
|What are the key restrictions on Vodafone Basics?||
The main restriction on Vodafone Basics SIM cards is that you’ll only be able to use your mobile phone inside the UK. This is because international roaming is not supported on Basics SIM cards. In addition, some paid-for services like international calls and premium-rate calls are not available. You’ll have access to Vodafone’s normal 4G coverage (but no access to 5G coverage, Wi-Fi Calling or 4G Calling).
|Who can sign up for Vodafone Basics?||
Vodafone Basics is only available to new Vodafone customers. You can sign up online through this special page on their website. It’s an online-only exclusive so you won’t find it in Vodafone stores.
|What type of coverage is available on Vodafone Basics?|
|Can I keep my current phone number?||
Yes. It’s a straightforward process to keep your current phone number. Ask your existing mobile network to provide you with a PAC Code. You can get one free of charge through your mobile network’s app or website, or by texting PAC to 65075. You should then provide Vodafone with this PAC Code during or after ordering your Vodafone Basics SIM card.
For more information about Vodafone Basics, please see the official Vodafone website.