Vodafone has launched an unlimited data plan with both 4G and 5G coverage from £23/month. Customers can choose from Lite, Standard or Max download speeds.

Vodafone has launched three new unlimited data plans with access to both 4G and 5G coverage. Available from £23/month on a 12-month contract, the unlimited data plans will also give you unlimited minutes and unlimited texts included.

For customers, the main difference between the three unlimited data price plans is the maximum download speed you’re able to obtain. The maximum speed is 2Mbit/s on Unlimited Lite, 10Mbit/s on Unlimited, and the fastest available speeds on Unlimited Max.

In this article, we’ll look at Vodafone’s unlimited data plans in more detail, including what you’ll get on each one and the difference between the download speeds available. We’ll also look at how Vodafone’s unlimited data plans compare to the rest of the market before looking at the coverage available and how to keep your existing phone number.

Vodafone Unlimited Data Plans

From the 10th July 2019, unlimited data is available on Vodafone from £23/month. The new unlimited data plans allow you to download as much as you like, with no hidden limits or fair usage policies.

If you have a 5G-ready smartphone, and if you’re in a Vodafone 5G coverage area, you’ll also be able to access Vodafone’s new 5G network. However, the maximum download speeds you can obtain will depend on your plan:

  • Unlimited Lite (from £23/month) gives you download speeds of up to 2Mbit/s.
  • Unlimited (from £26/month) gives you download speeds of up to 10Mbit/s.
  • Unlimited Max (from £30/month) gives you the fastest available speeds on Vodafone. In theory, this can go up to 1Gbit/s (1,000Mbit/s) but more realistically, it’ll be around 150-200Mbit/s on 5G or about 25-35Mbit/s on 4G).

There’s no fair usage policy on the unlimited data allowance, except that it needs to be “for your personal and non-commercial use”.

Unlimited Lite vs Unlimited vs Unlimited Max

The following table shows a summary of the key differences between Vodafone’s Unlimited Lite, Unlimited and Unlimited Max price plans:

Unlimited Lite Unlimited Unlimited Max
Monthly Price (12 month contract)
£23/month £26/month £30/month
Monthly Price (30 day contract)
£25/month £28/month £32/month
Download Speed Up to 2Mbit/s Up to 10Mbit/s Full-speed 4G & 5G
Inclusive Allowances
Minutes Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Texts Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Data Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Tethering
Entertainment Add £6/month
(12 month only)
Add £6/month
(12 month only)
International Roaming
Supported?
Inclusive EU Roaming
Inclusive non-EU Roaming 29 destinations
Roaming Data Allowance 25GB 25GB 25GB

You can add an Entertainment package to the Unlimited or Unlimited Max price plans for an additional £6/month. This will give you access to Amazon Prime Video, NOW TV, Sky Sports Mobile TV or Spotify Premium. You’ll also get 100 UK-to-EU minutes added if you buy an Entertainment plan.

Download Speeds

The key difference between Vodafone’s unlimited data price plans is the maximum download speeds you’re able to access on each one.

According to Vodafone, the three unlimited data price plans are designed for different types of usage:

  • Unlimited Lite (up to 2Mbit/s) is designed for browsing and social media, messaging, e-mail and online music streaming.
  • Unlimited (up to 10Mbit/s) is designed for streaming HD-quality videos, sharing photos, making video calls and streaming single player games.
  • Unlimited Max (with the fastest available speeds) is designed for super-fast downloads, streaming video in Ultra HD (4K) quality, multiplayer gaming on-the-go and tethering to multiple devices at the same time.

Which Plan Should I Choose?

If you’re looking to benefit from the high speeds available on 5G, we’d recommend choosing the £30/month Unlimited Max price plan. This is the only plan that allows you to access the fastest available speeds.

With the cheaper Unlimited Lite and Unlimited price plans, you’re still able to benefit from the increased capacity and lower latency of 5G technology. However, the increased download speeds of 5G will not be available to you.

In our opinion, the £26/month Unlimited price plan (up to 10Mbit/s) should be fast enough for almost everything you’d want to do on your smartphone. For instance, you only need around 5Mbit/s to watch iPlayer or Netflix in high definition. You can therefore save quite a bit of money by choosing this plan if you don’t actually need the faster speeds offered by Unlimited Max.

The £23/month Unlimited Lite plan only offers up to 2Mbit/s. This should be fine for everyday browsing and messaging but it’s unlikely you’ll be able to watch HD video without regular buffering and pauses.

Comparison to Alternatives

Besides Vodafone, there are numerous other UK mobile networks also offering an unlimited data plan.

The best value options are normally found on Three and SMARTY, both of whom offer unlimited data at full 4G download speeds. SMARTY offers a one-month rolling deal whereas Three offers Pay Monthly contracts of between 1 and 24 months in length.

giffgaff offers Always-On data with unlimited downloads, but full 4G speeds are only available on the first 40GB per month. After this, your download speeds are restricted to a maximum of 384kbit/s (around 0.4Mbit/s) between 8am and midnight each day.

Virgin Mobile also offers an unlimited data plan with speeds of up to 70Mbit/s available on EE’s 4G network. This is exclusive to customers who have a Virgin Media TV or home broadband connection.

The following table shows an overview of unlimited data plans that are currently available in the UK:

NetworkMinutesTextsDataMonthly
Cost
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£18.00
12 months
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£20.00
24 months
SmartyUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£22.00
1 month
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£22.00
12 months
iD MobileUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£23.00
1 month
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
2Mbps max
£23.00
12 months
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
2Mbps max
£23.00
18 months
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£24.00
1 month
giffgaffUnlimitedUnlimitedAlways-On£25.00
1 month
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
2Mbps max
£25.00
1 month
ThreeUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£26.00
1 month
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
10Mbps max
£26.00
12 months
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
10Mbps max
£26.00
18 months
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
10Mbps max
£28.00
1 month
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£30.00
12 months
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£30.00
18 months
VOXIUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£30.00
1 month
Virgin MobileUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£32.00
12 months
VodafoneUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£32.00
1 month
O2UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£33.00
18 months
EEUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£34.00
12 months
O2UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£35.00
12 months
EEUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£39.00
12 months
EEUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited£44.00
12 months

For more information, please see our in-depth comparison of unlimited data plans in the UK.

Coverage

2G, 3G & 4G Coverage

Vodafone offers 99% population coverage on their 2G, 3G and 4G network in the UK. Before signing up for their unlimited data service, it’s worth double-checking to make sure there’s coverage in your area. You can do this by entering your postcode on Vodafone’s online coverage map:

Check Vodafone Coverage (vodafone.co.uk) →

With 4G coverage, you can normally access download speeds from Vodafone of around 25-35Mbit/s. A more accurate forecast of download speeds in your area can be found on Vodafone’s online coverage map (just click on the Data speed info button once you’ve entered your postcode).

Our full guide to the coverage on Vodafone has more in-depth information about this topic.

5G Coverage

If you have a 5G-ready smartphone and live in a 5G-enabled area, you can access Vodafone’s 5G network using one of their unlimited data plans.

Vodafone’s 5G network is currently available in the following UK towns and cities:

Now Live32 towns and cities are live on Vodafone 5G (November 2019)
Bebington, Birkenhead, Birmingham, Bolton, Bootle, Bristol, Cardiff, Droylsden, Eccles, Gatwick, Glasgow, Horwich, Huyton-with-Roby, Isle of Scilly, Lancaster, Liverpool, Llandudno, London, Manchester, Mangotsfield, Newbury, Paisley, Penarth, Plymouth, Prestwich, Salford, Solihull, Stoke-on-Trent, Stretford, Wallasey, Warrington, Wolverhampton
Planned &
Announced
6 towns and cities planned
Blackpool, Bournemouth, Guildford, Portsmouth, Reading, Southampton (End of 2019)

Check 5G Coverage on Vodafone →

If you’re not able to access 5G coverage on your phone, you’ll still be able to access 2G, 3G and 4G coverage from Vodafone.

Tethering & Personal Hotspot

Tethering or personal hotspot refers to the process of sharing your mobile phone’s internet connection with another device (e.g. with your laptop or tablet).

On Vodafone’s unlimited data plans, it’s possible to tether and to use personal hotspot without any restrictions. This means you can share your unlimited data allowance with other devices.

One thing that’s worth remembering is that your download speeds will be shared across all tethered devices. For instance, on the 10Mbit/s unlimited data plan, it might only be possible to stream HD-quality video on two devices at one time (as a HD-quality video stream uses around 5Mbit/s). If you regularly use the personal hotspot feature on multiple devices, it might be worthwhile choosing the Unlimited Max data plan.

For more information, see our full guide to tethering and personal hotspot usage in the UK.

International Roaming

On Vodafone’s unlimited data plans, you can use up to 25GB of your data abroad each month.

For the Unlimited Lite and Unlimited price plans, roaming is included at no extra cost in 48 European Roam-Free destinations. In another 104 Roam-further destinations, you can pay £6/day to use your UK allowance.

With the Unlimited Max price plan, you’ll get Vodafone’s Global Roaming Plus service included. This gives you inclusive roaming in 77 destinations, including most of Europe, the USA, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand and more.

According to Vodafone, they offer 4G roaming in more destinations than any other network. At the time of writing, 4G roaming is available in 137 destinations. 5G roaming will also be launching this summer for customers travelling to Germany, Italy and Spain.

For more information, please see the Global Roaming webpage or check the international roaming rates on Vodafone’s website.

Keeping Your Phone Number

It’s a straightforward process to keep your existing phone number if you’d like to move from another mobile network to Vodafone.

You should start by ordering your new unlimited data SIM card from Vodafone. Once you’ve done that, contact your old mobile network to ask for a PAC Code. This is a nine-digit code that authorises the transfer of your phone number to Vodafone.

Once your unlimited data SIM card arrives in the post from Vodafone, place it inside your mobile phone. You can then give your PAC Code to Vodafone. They’ll schedule the transfer of your phone number once you’ve done this, normally for 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:

PAC Code Finder: Transfer Your Phone Number to Vodafone

Select your current mobile network:

  More Options

More Information

For more information on Vodafone’s unlimited data plans, please see their official website.

Your Comments 15 so far

We'd love to hear your thoughts and any questions you may have. So far, we've received 15 comments from readers. You can add your own comment here.

  • Thanks again, Ken. I have a further question – which is unrelated to the AI cube.
    Not sure if I should post it here, or in another review which you did?
    It relates to the upload / download speed for SIM cards. I read carefully about different unlimited SIM plans offered by Vodafone – it seems the more expensive one (Max) would have the fastest upload / download speed. In reality, does this actually work? – ie if we go for the Unlimited max the speed would be much faster than for the Unlimited light?
    I currently have a Three sim card as it gives me free roaming in 72 countries – I do travel a bit, so have found that to be useful for text messages or brief emails. However, I do understand that Three throttles the speed when roaming overseas – 2G and 3G, and a lot of time I have had no sensible signal at all. Some people have complained about this. Also Three does not allow hotspotting while overseas.
    If I have a Vodafone unlimited max sim card, it will give me free 71 roaming countries (not the same list as Three) – which is useful for my travel. Do you know if Vodafone will throttle the speed when roaming overseas (like Three)? Also, I read in one of your reviews that Vodafone does allow hotspotting while overseas (Three does not allow this). Is this correct?
    Sorry, too many questions. But, appreciate your thoughts on the above.

    • Hi Dragonfly,
      Thanks for your comment. I’ve taken the liberty to move your comment to my blog post on Vodafone’s unlimited data plans. I hope you don’t mind me doing this (I’m hoping it will just be more useful for other people here, in case they also have the same questions as you)!
      The answer to this is it really depends. You can see a bit more information about this in my guide to download speeds, but I’d typically expect download speeds of about 30Mbit/s on a modern 4G connection (even more if you’re connected to 5G). This differs, however, depending on your location, your proximity to the nearest phone mast, the amount of congestion, etc.
      With Unlimited Max, you’ll get the maximum possible speeds available on Vodafone’s network. Assuming the speeds available in your area are more than 10Mbit/s, you would get a faster experience when using the Unlimited Max plan. If the speeds available in your area are less than 10Mbit/s, there wouldn’t be much of a difference between your experience on the two.
      The other side of this is really what download speeds you need, and what impact this has on what you can actually do. Something like a HD quality video stream only uses about 5Mbit/s, so you may not actually have a need for the higher speeds above 10Mbit/s. Similarly, if you’re downloading a file, it may only save you one or two seconds (in which case, the extra speeds may not be justified).
      With regards to roaming, I believe Vodafone should give you full-speed roaming when you travel abroad. As far as I know, there are no limitations on tethering/personal hotspot, like Three has when you’re travelling outside the EU. On Unlimited Max, you’ll get Global Roaming Plus (inclusive roaming in 77 destinations).
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

  • Has anybody switched to Voda unlimited from Three? Like many others I am suffering from throttling with Three, and am about to reject my deal as unfit for purpose, and switch to Voda unlimited. I just wondered what other new users think about Voda’s speed and service.

    • Ee are to be releasing unlimited data soon, with the fastest download speeds in the uk for a mobile network may be worth the switch to them

    • I moved over from Three couple days ago been with them (3) for 10 years, but they once again shafted me with “getting rid of old plans” this is the second time.

      Previously was when they got rid of the “One Plan” was paying £15 per month SIMO.

      Currently was on unlimited everything with tethering for £18 wanted to move me over to £23 for same service.

      Out of principle moved to vodafone £30 max. First speed test on 4G i got 200 Mbps down on my S10

      Vodafone speeds seem substantially better than Three at most I’ve gotten was 80 Mbps

  • Would the unlimited max deal sim work in a 4g router? I live in an area bereft of regular broadband, and this would seem. Reasonable deal. Okay, more expensive but possibly faster than Three

      • Hello Jerry and Ken,
        This is exactly what I am looking to do. I live too far from the BT exchange to get good ADSL/VDSL etc (max 2Mbps). Currently I have a Vodafone Gigacube, with 100GB cap. It gives me between 20-45Mbps. Unfortunately I regularly hit the 100GB cap before months end, so I will purchase the £30 Unlimited data SIM and use it in the Gigacube 4G router. All being well, I will cancel the rolling 100GB contract and hopefully have unlimited 4G data.
        Thank you for your great website, and well explained articles and advice Ken.
        Keith

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