Vodafone SIM-only plans are a good match for consumers happy with their existing handsets.
What services does Vodafone Mobile offer?
As with the Vodafone Red contract plans and Vodafone prepaid services, Vodafone SIM plans operate on the company's own 4G and 3G networks across Australia. Being SIM-only, there are no specific provisions for phones with these plans, although you can get the same inclusions with a bundled handset on Vodafone’s 24 month plans.
Vodafone’s SIM plans are offered on month-to-month and 12-month terms.
How much do Vodafone SIM plans cost?
Vodafone's postpaid SIM-only plans are offered on 12-month contract terms or on rolling month-to-month terms. If you sign up for the full year you typically get larger data inclusions, although like the postpaid plans with bundled handsets, the more expensive plans also come with additional international calling inclusions.
For 12 month contract, here's the typical pricing on Vodafone's capped SIM-only plans:
|SIM-only $35||SIM-only $45||SIM-only $55||SIM-only $65|
|International calls||Nil||1100 mins||2200 mins||Unlimited Z1|
300 mins Z2
Vodafone also offers "unlimited" SIM-only plans which function quite differently to its regular capped plans. These plans include a set amount of data for use at the maximum speed of your mobile connection and once you've used that up, you'll have unlimited data for the rest of the month at a significantly slower speed of 1.5Mbps.
These unlimited plans are only available on a 12-month contract, and are priced as follows:
|SIM-only Plus plan $45||SIM-only Plus plan $55||SIM-only Plus plan $65|
|Data||30GB full speed|
|80GB full speed|
|120GB full speed|
|International calls||1100 mins||2200 mins||Unlimited Z1|
300 mins Z2
Vodafone is quite aggressive in terms of bonus deals on its 12-month SIM-only plans, with frequent data boosts or price cuts, so it's well worth comparing the current deals.
If you're more interested in a postpaid plan with no ongoing commitment, Vodafone's month-to-month SIM-only plans may suit your needs:
|SIM-only $35||SIM-only $45||SIM-only $55|
As you can see, there's a significant upside to signing up for a year in data terms alone, but if you're not in the market for a year's worth of service, Vodafone's SIM-only plans may be what you need. Special deals are less common for its month-to-month plans, but they're not exceptional.
What extras does Vodafone Mobile offer?
Most of Vodafone’s SIM plans include either a quantity of calling minutes to selected countries or unlimited calling minutes to other countries and in some cases both types of inclusion, depending on contract level.
Vodafone’s very popular and simple $5/day roaming plans are open to its SIM-only contract customers. This deal charges you a flat $5 per day for access to your plan’s normal inclusions while travelling through a wide range of countries.
What excess charges could I face on these plans?
The inclusions on Vodafone's SIM-only plans vary widely depending on whether you opt for a month-to-month or 12 month plan, but all include unlimited standard national calls and texts, as well as set data quotas.
Beyond that usage, however, you may incur additional usage costs. Directory assistance and any premium call or text services will incur additional charges and are not covered as "standard" call types. Charging will depend on the rates set by each premium carrier.
Standard calls and texts may be infinite on Vodafone's SIM-only plans, but data isn't. If you use more than your plan quota, you'll be charged the industry standard for excess data at a flat $10 per GB or part thereof used. This will come in as soon as you exceed your data quota, and then again for every time you go another GB over.
Vodafone's SIM-only plans do often include some international calling minutes, especially at higher tiers. If you run through all your call minutes, or wish to call a country not included in your calling minutes quota, you'll have to pay Vodafone's international calling rates for the country of your choice. Vodafone's rates for international calling can be found here.
Vodafone's $5 red roaming deal extends to SIM-only customers, which means that if you're travelling in any of 55 selected countries, you'll pay just $5 per day to access your plan's existing quota of data, as well as unlimited standard national calls and texts. If you're travelling outside of those countries however, Vodafone charges a flat $1 per minute to make or receive calls, 75c per text message sent and $1 per MB of data usage.
Vodafone customers who wish to exit their contract early will incur cancellation fees, typically charged as a flat sum multiplied by the number of months remaining on the contract, plus any outstanding handset repayment fees. Vodafone's network guarantee does apply to its SIM-only plans, so if you exit your contract in the first 30 days there's no cancellation fee to pay.
- International call inclusions. If you want a contract plan with international calls built in, you don’t have to spend too much with Vodafone to get just that.
- Unlimited data options. 12-month Plus plans let you continue browsing the Internet after you've used up your monthly data cap.
- Smaller network. Vodafone’s done a lot of work on improving its network, but this is most notable in metropolitan areas. In regional spaces, it’s the smallest of the three competing networks.
- Month to month drops value. It’s not a shock, but if you don’t commit to a longer-term plan, Vodafone drops the quantity of data and other extras included in the plan.