Are Vodafone phones unlocked?

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While network phone locking (also called SIM locking) used to be more common prior to 2013, you’ll find most mobile phones are now unlocked by default. But if you’re considering signing up to a phone plan through Vodafone (or if you’re already signed up to the telco), you might be wondering if Australia’s third largest mobile network offers unlocked devices.

If you purchased a phone through Vodafone Australia prior to 1 August 2013, then your phone is most likely locked to the Vodafone network. Phones purchased on certain Vodafone plans after 1 August 2013, especially postpaid plans, are most likely unlocked. However, if you’ve picked up a phone outright from Vodafone to use with a prepaid service, this phone will probably be locked to the Vodafone network.

What does it mean if my phone is locked?

A locked phone, or SIM lock is when a mobile device is only able to be used on the network that the phone was purchased from. Generally in Australia, phones purchased outright for prepaid phone plans are locked to their original phone network. This is usually done to ensure that the phone is being used on the network it was bought from, preventing customers from purchasing a cheap phone from one telco and then switching to another telco for the service.

How do I unlock my Vodafone phone?

If you need to unlock your Vodafone prepaid phone, the telco charges an unlocking fee, which varies depending on whether you’ve had the phone for less than six months. You’ll need to check the Vodafone website to see what the unlocking fee will be for your device.

Devices purchased on a plan can be unlocked free of charge, and Vodafone allows customers to do this themselves via its online unlocking tool. To unlock your phone, you’ll need to find your IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) device serial number, which you can see by dialling *#06# on your handset. The first 15 numbers that appear are your IMEI.

Simply enter your number and follow the prompts. Once your phone is officially unlocked, you’re free to switch SIM cards and shop around for SIM-only phone plans.

SIM-only Vodafone plans

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Vodafone Logo

$35 Red SIM Only

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS

min. cost $420 over 12 month plan period

3GBMax Data**/billing period $35Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Vodafone Logo

$45 Red SIM Only

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS

min. cost $540 over 12 month plan period

15GBMax Data**/billing period $45Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Vodafone Logo

$50 SIM Only Plus

  • Unlimited data*(Capped at 1.5Mbps after 60GB)
  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS

min. cost $600 over 12 month plan period

60GBMax Data**/billing period $50Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Vodafone Logo

$60 SIM Only Plus

  • Unlimited data*(Capped at 1.5Mbps after 40GB)
  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Up to 10,000 Qantas Points

min. cost $720 over 12 month plan period

40GBMax Data**/billing period $60Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Vodafone Logo

$80 SIM Only Plus

  • Unlimited data*(Capped at 1.5Mbps after 80GB)
  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Up to 20,000 Qantas Points

min. cost $960 over 12 month plan period

80GBMax Data**/billing period $80Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all mobile plans listed on Canstar Blue

Why do I need my phone to be unlocked?

If you’re travelling overseas, you’ll most likely need your phone to be unlocked. Global roaming is usually quite expensive, so most travellers find it easiest to purchase a SIM card from the country they’re visiting. This is usually the most affordable way to use your phone on your travels, but keep in mind that your temporary international SIM will use a different phone number.

Alternatively, if you have a current plan with Vodafone, you could be eligible for Vodafone’s international roaming. For $5 per day, this add-on lets you use your phone plan the same as you would in Australia (minus roaming charges) in any of 80 selected countries.

Unlocking also means you can switch mobile phone plans. If you own a phone on a plan, have finished paying off the handset, and have no need for an upgraded device, you might decide to shop around for a cheaper phone plan, rather than continuing with your current plan.

If you’d like a new SIM-only postpaid phone plan to pair with your unlocked phone, here are a range of postpaid phone plans with 10GB of data. This table includes featured products from our referral partners.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Moose Mobile Logo

Moose 19 SIM Only – 12M

  • Unlimited standard national calls
  • Unlimited national and international SMS

min. cost $228 over 12 month contract

6GBMax Data**/billing period $19Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Exetel Logo

Extra Value 4G

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Unlimited international SMS
  • $300 standard international calls

min. cost $24.99 over one month plan period

10GBMax Data**/billing period $24.99Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Hive Mobile

$28.80 SIM Plan

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS

min. cost $28.80 over 1 month plan period

10GBMax Data**/billing period $28.80Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Pennytel Mobile

10GB Large SIM-Only

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Unlimited standard international calls to 10 countries

min. cost $28.99 over one month plan period

10GBMax Data**/billing period $28.99Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Yomojo Logo

10GB Plan

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS

min. cost $29.90 over 30 day plan period

10GBMax Data**/billing period $29.90Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Southern Phones Logo

Green 35

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS

min. cost $35 over one month

10GBMax Data**/billing period $35Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all mobile plans listed on Canstar Blue

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