Review of Vodafone mobile phone plans

As one of the biggest telco companies in the world, Vodafone has a product range as diverse as it is comprehensive. As one of the three network providers in Australia, Vodafone competes with Optus and Telstra, plus a host of small carriers nipping at its heels in the value stakes. Shaking off a dodgy reputation from the past, Vodafone has modernised its plan range and is now hard to beat, whether you’re looking for new handset, postpaid or prepaid terms

People are hungry for more data, calls and texts, and all round better value. So how does Vodafone compare to its mobile rivals? Here, we review Vodafone’s comprehensive plan range and cast some thoughts on where you’ll find the best deals. This is your one-stop-shop on all of what Vodafone has to offer.

What phone plans does Vodafone offer?

Like Optus and Telstra, Vodafone offers a monumental range of mobile phone plans to suit every budget – there are more than 40 of them in total! Here’s a quick rundown of what Vodafone offers:

  • Prepaid: 21 plans, ranging in price from $8 to $60
  • No-contract postpaid: Five plans, ranging in price from $35 to $60
  • 12 month postpaid: Seven plans, ranging in price from $30 to $60
  • 24 month postpaid: 13 plans, ranging in price from $40 to $120

So, with a massive range of plans, without any further distractions, let’s get straight into it, if you’re not confused already.

Vodafone Prepaid Plans

Vodafone’s most basic prepaid mobile plans are some of the cheapest and most flexible. Plans range in billing periods from 7 days to 365 days, and many have a pay-as-you-go (PAYG) feature, meaning you only pay for what you use. Let’s see what they have to offer:

Plan Types Price Features
‘Pay As You Go’ Plans From $10-$50 PAYG, 365-day expiry, dollar-value inclusions
‘MyMix’ Plans From $8-$60 ‘Build Your Own’ plans, expiries from 7 days to 90 days
‘Combo’ Recharges $10 Unlimited calls and texts, 500MB data, 7 day expiry
$20 Unlimited calls and texts, 2GB data, 10 day expiry
$30 Unlimited calls and texts, 2GB data, 28 day expiry
$40 Unlimited calls and texts, 5GB data, 28 day expiry
$50 Unlimited calls and texts, 7.5GB data, 28 day expiry
$60 Unlimited calls and texts, 10GB data, 28 day expiry

PAYG Plans:

These are the hassle-free plans that you can simply ‘set and forget’ with their 365-day expiry. These are especially useful if you don’t use your phone that often, or if you’re adamant of having the freedom to only pay for what you use. As for how much you can get with your pennies, calls are billed at 20c per minute for standard national ones, standard international calls start at 2c/minute, and no flagfall for either. Texts are 20c each for Australia and overseas, and data is billed at 2c per megabyte. This is pretty solid value, and a $50 plan could potentially look like this:

‘MyMix’ Plans

These plans are great if you’re unsatisfied and can’t seem to find a plan that quite fits the bill. Seeing as there are many different possibilities, it’s hard to provide an all-encompassing picture of what a MyMix plan would look like, but basically the minimum spend is $8, while if you max-out all of your options, you can expect to pay $60. Here’s what a $35 plan could look like:

  • 28-day expiry
  • 5GB data
  • Unlimited calls

Another bonus is that the MyMix plans also have cheap international call rates. It pays to have a play with the plan builder. Other nifty bonuses include subscriptions to Spotify Premium, Stan or the Sydney Morning Herald online. If you’re a music lover, a movie buff or a news consumer, then these plans could be for you. Here’s a snippet of the potential plans you could build:

Combo Plans

These plans are the most straightforward of the lot from Vodafone, with plan configurations most of us are bound to recognise. The minimum spend here is $10 for 7 days, which gets you a handy 500MB of data, with unlimited calls and texts. The most expensive plan is $60 over 28 days, which gets you a hefty 10GB data with unlimited calls and texts. With these plans, keep an eye out for bonuses and ‘starter packs’ that boost the value of the plans.

Vodafone no contract postpaid plans

This is where Vodafone presents itself most simply. In total there are five plans, but a couple are at the same price points, so at some stage you’ll reach a crossroads and have to ask yourself:

  • Do I want more data? Or…
  • Do I want more international calling inclusions?

Here’s a quick rundown:

Price Per Month Features
$35 Unlimited calls and texts, 1.5GB data
$50 Unlimited calls and texts, 8GB data
$50 Unlimited calls and texts, 6GB data, various international calling inclusions
$60 Unlimited calls and texts, 11GB data
$60 Unlimited calls and texts, 9GB data, various international calling inclusions

This is an interesting set of plans, because Vodafone gives you the freedom to choose same-price plans based on your international calling or data needs. Besides calling internationally, Vodafone also lets you have roaming from as little as $5 extra per day, so there’s no messing around trying to find out the best phone plan in a foreign country.

The $35 plan is a solid entry-level plan, and is the most ‘fuss free’ of the lot – what you see is exactly what you get here. You’ll get 1.5GB of data combined with unlimited calls and texts, and no gimmicks.

As for the $50 plans, you’ll get a serious ramping-up of data and international inclusions. So, what do you get with the international call inclusions? Well, you’ll get 300 minutes to selected countries, and a massive 1000 minutes to ‘Super 1000’ countries. These include Canada, China, New Zealand, South Africa, South Korea, the UK and US, among a few others. As for the selected countries, you’ll get a choice of up to 55 countries. While you can’t call Afghanistan, you can call Austria, and while you can’t call Syria, you can call the Spanish Canary Islands. You can even call up your mate the Pope in Vatican City.

The $60 plans are much the same as the $50 plans, just with more included value. You still get your ‘Super 1000’ countries, but this time with 9GB of data. The other $60 plan contains 11GB data. These plans seriously beef value up when it comes to calling abroad, so if you’re an expat or have loved ones overseas, these could be the plans for you.

Vodafone 12 month postpaid plans

Now for the plans we’re most likely familiar with, Vodafone has come to the table with some seriously beefy inclusions if you’re willing to commit to a 12 month postpaid contract. You might find they resemble the month to month plans a lot, but there are a couple of differences. Let’s get a quick rundown of them below:

Price Per Month Features
$30 Unlimited calls and texts, 1.5GB data, unlimited international texts
$40 Unlimited calls and texts, 12GB data (6GB bonus)
$50 Unlimited calls and texts, 15GB data (6GB bonus)
$50 Unlimited calls and texts, 13GB data (6GB bonus), international calling inclusions
$60 Unlimited calls and texts, 20GB data (7GB bonus)
$60 Unlimited calls and texts, 18GB data (7GB bonus), international calling inclusions

The $30 plan is a great introduction, and could be one to sway you to commit to a year with Vodafone. You’ll get 1.5GB data, with unlimited calls and texts, but the real kicker is the unlimited texts to foreign countries. If you’ve got an exotic Italian boyfriend that had to go back to Italy to see his parents, then chances are you’ll get solid value out of this plan.

If you jump up to the $40 plan, you’ll see your data increase exponentially. You’ll get a whopping 12GB data here, but half of that is presented as a bonus – ordinarily the plan would feature 6GB of data. Nevertheless, the plan presents solid value at the mid-range of the market.

The $50 plans resemble those found in the month to month plans. You can either choose between more data, or more international calling. The floor is yours. You can either opt for a whopping 15GB of data, or see your data reduced by 2GB, but with the enticement of international inclusions. These data inclusions are beefed up by a 6GB bonus. As for the international inclusions, you’ll get 300 minutes to selected countries, and 1000 minutes to ‘Super 1000’ countries. It’s a familiar sight, and the $60 plans are also much the same story, just with even more data (7GB of which is a bonus):

Vodafone 24 month postpaid plans

Ah finally, the plans that have the opportunity to be bundled with a mobile phone. This is where you can bundle the latest iPhone 7 and pack in some hefty inclusions, ranging in price from $40 a month to $120. Basically the plans are divided up into:

  • Two Red Plans
  • Two Red ‘Data’ Plans
  • Three MyMix Red ‘Data’ Plans
  • Three MyMix Red ‘Global’ Plans
  • Three MyMix Red ‘Play’ Plans

Let’s get a rundown of what you can get if you’re willing to commit to two years.

Vodafone Red Plans:

These are the most basic plans you can get on a 24 month contract. They are all about no-frills and solid value. There are two plans, which compromise of the following:

  • $40 – unlimited calls and texts, 1GB data and unlimited international texts
  • $60 – unlimited calls and texts, 4GB data (1GB bonus), and 150 minutes international calls to selected countries

Here’s how they’ll look bundled with an iPhone 7 32GB:

MyMix Red ‘Data’ Plans:

If you’re hankering for a bump in your data, these plans could prove to be handy. You won’t get any frills or gimmicks here – just solid extra data inclusions. There are three plans here, which are:

  • $80 – Unlimited calls and texts, 9GB data (1GB bonus)
  • $100 – Unlimited calls and texts, 18GB data (2GB bonus)
  • $120 – Unlimited calls and texts, 24GB data (2GB bonus)

These plans are eye-wateringly data heavy. For a mere $20 more per month, you can double your data inclusions. Again, you can get an iPhone 7 32GB from an extra $10 per month, and it’s free on the $120 plan.

MyMix Red ‘Global’ Plans:

If you’re feeling like a bit of a global mogul, then these plans may be more up your alley. They boast generous international inclusions, along with Qantas Frequent Flyer Points. Additionally, like many of Vodafone’s other plans, they include generous international calling minutes – 300 minutes to selected countries, and 1000 minutes to ‘Super 1000’ countries. Here they are:

  • $80 – unlimited calls and texts, 7GB data (1GB bonus), international inclusions, 10000 Qantas FF points
  • $100 – unlimited calls and texts, 16GB data (3GB bonus), international inclusions, 15000 Qantas FF points
  • $120 – unlimited calls and texts, 20GB data (2GB bonus), international inclusions, 20000 Qantas FF points

With these Global plans, you can get an iPhone 7 32GB from an extra $10 per month, and it’s free on the $120 plan.

MyMix Red ‘Play’ Plans:

As the name suggests, these plans are all about ‘play’ or entertainment. With these plans you’ll get a choice of either a subscription to Spotify Premium, Stan or the Sydney Morning Herald online. This is in addition to the bundles of:

  • $80 – Unlimited calls and texts, 7GB data (1GB bonus)
  • $100 – Unlimited calls and texts, 16GB data (3GB bonus)
  • $120 – Unlimited calls and texts, 20GB data (2GB bonus)

The fact you can get an entertainment subscription included means that these plans throw up some serious value propositions. And for the iPhone 7 32GB, that can be added on from an extra $10 per month, or free for $120 customers.

That’s all of Vodafone’s plans dissected. Now you’ll hopefully have a clearer mental picture of the large array of plans Vodafone has to offer. The next step now is to compare them to the competition.

How does Vodafone compare to other providers?

Vodafone, with all of its plans, has a pretty good chance of competing well against the competition. Let’s see how they compare.

Prepaid plans compared

The easiest plans to compare here are the Combo plans. Unfortunately, the MyMix and PAYG plans are rather hard to compare for the simple reason that MyMix plans are so varied and customisable that every customer differs, and other PAYG plans account for calls, text and data differently. One thing’s certain though, and that’s that the call, text and data rates are quite low, and having no flagfall is also handy.

The Combo plans are also a little hard to compare due to their differing expiry periods. The most straightforward plan – the one that’s $30 for unlimited calls, texts and 2GB data – compares well against the likes of GoTalk, Woolworths Mobile, Boost Mobile and Optus. It fares fairly well but loses out to Boost and Woolworths, who both offer 1GB more data for the same price. This is also echoed across the board for Vodafone’s Combo plans; they are solid, but fall behind a couple of other players who offer more data.

No contract postpaid plans compared

These are some of the easiest plans to compare, but they also face the stiffest competition. Vodafone here beats Virgin Mobile, is comparable with Optus, and loses out to the likes of TeleChoice, who offers more data for cheaper. This is also a chance to reflect on how moving away from the bigger providers and onto a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) such as TeleChoice can save you money. You might be surprised at the value on offer.

12 month postpaid plans compared

This is where the larger telcos start to become more noticeable due to their pervading stronghold in the contract market. Here it seems that Vodafone again competes directly with Optus and Virgin, but again loses out to MVNOs such as Dodo who offer more data for comparable costs per month. However, Vodafone does have generous international inclusions, which may be enough to sway you. Here it’s especially evident that the ‘Big 4’ of Vodafone, Telstra, Optus and Virgin are all competing with themselves, while MVNOs are all the small fish jostling for your attention.

24 month postpaid plans compared

This is where the Big 4 starts to pull away from the competition. With their premium phone contracts, Vodafone, Telstra, Optus and Virgin all compete in their own bubble. If you want a high-end phone such as the iPhone 7 bundled with a plan, you virtually have no choice but to go with one of these guys. While all the plans here are pretty tit-for-tat, you’ll have to look out for inclusions such as free music streaming or subscriptions to TV content services such as Stan or Netflix. These are the bargaining chips that the providers use to set themselves apart.

So, what’s the deal with Vodafone?

Vodafone offers a huge range of plans – probably too many in fact! But hopefully you will have gained a clearer picture about what they have to offer, and have hopefully identified a potential plan for you if you’re set on the ‘Big Red’ telco. Vodafone competes well with Optus, Telstra and Virgin – the only real differences you’ll need to look at are the type of phone you want bundled (if any) and what extras you want (i.e. Stan or Netflix streaming).

However, Vodafone does get pipped by some low-cost MVNOs who piggyback off the main networks and offer extra data for fewer dollars. If you’re not adamant on bundling your plan with a phone, preferring the SIM only approach to life, then your world is opened up to a suite of great value phone plans. The moral of the story is to shop around, because you could end up saving big bucks over the course of a year or two.

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