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Vodafone Coverage and Network Review

5th June 2024

Vodafone Network Coverage

Vodafone has gone from strength to strength since it launched its 4G mobile network in 2013, as it now has over 99% UK 4G population coverage across thousands of towns, cities, and villages, and is also rapidly rolling out 5G, with at least 318 UK towns and cities now having coverage.

Beyond coverage, Vodafone has some significant selling points, such as entertainment subscriptions included with plans, and 5G roaming.

Here’s everything you need to know about the network, including where 4G and 5G are available, what kinds of plans and extras it offers, and what its strengths and weaknesses are.




Good coverage

Not the cheapest network

5G roaming

Not as fast as EE or Three

Inclusive entertainment


Our Rating

Table of Contents


Vodafone Coverage

Network Type

Coverage by population


Now available in at least 318 locations




Switched off in 2024



Check Vodafone Coverage

5G coverage

Vodafone first made 5G available on July 3rd, 2019, which made it the second UK network to do so (roughly a month after EE’s May 30th switch on date).

5G from Vodafone was initially only available in seven cities, but many more locations have now had a 5G upgrade, with at least 318 locations having 5G at the time of writing.

So Vodafone offers 5G in lots of locations, and the actual number is possibly a lot higher than 318, as the network hasn’t provided an updated count in a while.

You may well have 5G where you are now then, but it’s worth waiting for if you don’t already have it, as 5G is much, much faster than 4G, as well as offering lower latency and greater capacity, so you can stream, download, and browse faster, more smoothly and in higher-quality – it could for example make 8K or even holographic streamed video viable, among many other things.

To use 5G you will need a 5G plan and a 5G phone, but Vodafone offers numerous 5G handsets. They include the Samsung Galaxy S24Samsung Galaxy S24 PlusSamsung Galaxy S24 Ultra, iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Pro, iPhone 15 Pro Max, iPhone 15 PlusiPhone 14iPhone 14 ProiPhone 14 Pro MaxiPhone 14 Plus, and iPhone SE (2022), among many others.

4G coverage

Vodafone has over 99% population coverage with 4G, which is in line with rivals. As a result, 4G from Vodafone is now available in over 1000 larger towns and cities.

Vodafone’s 4G service is also available in thousands of smaller villages and other communities across the UK.

3G coverage

At its peak, Vodafone had around 99% population coverage with 3G, however, the network switched its 3G service off in 2024. This freed up infrastructure and spectrum for 4G and 5G use though, so it will improve Vodafone’s network in the long run.

You can use Vodafone’s coverage checker above to find out more about Vodafone coverage in your area, including signal strengths and details of both indoor and outdoor coverage.


Vodafone offers a range of Pay Monthly and SIM Only plans, or you can opt to Pay As You Go.

Vodafone Pay Monthly Plans


Mobile Phones

SIM Only

Data Only

Plans Available

Max Data




Contract lengths

3-36 months

1, 12 or 24 months

1, 12 or 24 months


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SIM Only Deals

30 GB data

Unlimited mins

Unlimited texts

12 Month Contract

£8.00 a month

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150 GB data

Unlimited mins

Unlimited texts

24 Month Contract

£12.50 a month

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6 GB data

Unlimited mins

Unlimited texts

12 Month Contract

£7.00 a month

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50 GB data

Unlimited mins

Unlimited texts

12 Month Contract

£10.00 a month

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50 GB data

Unlimited mins

Unlimited texts

24 Month Contract

£21.00 a month

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You can see plan durations in the chart above, but note that if you’re buying a phone, you have to choose both the duration over which you pay off the handset (which can be set to anywhere between 3 and 36 months), and the duration of your airtime plan (your allowances), with the latter being either 12 or 24 months.

Plans are further split into ‘Red’, ‘Xtra’, ‘Unlimited’ and ‘Unlimited Max’, with the various Unlimited plans in some cases also being ‘Xtra’ plans (meaning they come with special benefits). You can see what you get with each below, but most come with 5G at no extra cost. They also all come with access to VeryMe Rewards, which provide customers with weekly discounts, giveaways, and prize draws.

Plan Benefits





Unlimited Max


Max data speeds





Free roaming

Yes Yes, on Xtra plans Yes, on Xtra plans

Extended roaming

Yes, on 'Global Roam' plans

Yes, on Xtra 'Global Roam' plans

Yes, on Xtra 'Global Roam' plans

Vodafone’s Red plans are generally the cheapest, as they’re the only ones that don’t come with unlimited data. However, some Red plans do come with inclusive entertainment, with a choice of Amazon Prime or YouTube Premium.

Unlimited plans of all varieties give you unlimited data, but the speeds vary. On Unlimited they’re up to 10Mbps, and on Unlimited Max they’re unrestricted, which is what you need for 5G speeds. Unlimited and Unlimited Max plans can also optionally come with the inclusive entertainment options above.

Free roaming in Europe is limited to plans that come with ‘Xtra Euro Roam’ or ‘Xtra Global Roam’. Plans with ‘Xtra’ in the name also include unlimited picture messages, and device care. If you’re on an ‘Xtra’ plan that doesn’t have unlimited data then you also get ‘Unlimited Data Boosters’, which let you boost yourself to unlimited data for 30 days a set number of times.

Plans that include ‘Xtra Global Roam’ also let you roam further afield at no extra cost (more on this in the roaming section below).

Vodafone also offers Data Only plans for tablets, MiFi devices and dongles. These come with data but no minutes or texts and are available SIM-only on 1, 12 or 24-month contracts with up to unlimited data. You can also get them along with a tablet or other device on a customisable plan of up to 48 months.

Then there’s Pay As You Go, the details of which can be seen in the chart below.

Vodafone Pay As You Go Plans


Mobile Phones

Data Only

Plans Available


Add-ons available


Max Data Allowance



Data Rollover

Next month -

Add-on expiry 

30 days -

Top Up Expiry

180 days inactivity -



Free EU Roaming

x -

Note that tethering is included on Vodafone Pay As You Go, as are VeryMe Rewards, and if you purchase a Big Value Bundle then any unused data rolls over to the next month – assuming you renew your bundle. That said, its newer Pay As You Go Plus bundles don’t include data rollover, and in all cases roaming costs extra.

You can also just use Vodafone’s standard pay as you go rates, known as Pay As You Go 1. This charges you £1 on any day you use your phone for something chargeable. You’re then able to use unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 50MB of data for the rest of the day without paying anything more.

Vodafone Perks and Policies


Mobile Phones

SIM Only

Data only SIM


Free Roaming




Wi-Fi Calling


Data Rollover

Spending Caps

Unlimited Data

Family Plans

Credit Check




* selected plans only


Vodafone offers 5G on many plans, including Pay Monthly ones with a handset, SIM Only, Data Only, and Pay As You Go. However, it doesn’t come as standard on all plans. Look out for the terms ‘5G’, ‘5G at no extra cost’, ‘5G ready’, ‘5G Ultra’, or ‘fastest available’ speeds when buying, otherwise you could be lumbered with slower speeds.

A prime example of that is Vodafone’s unlimited plans, with only the Unlimited Max ones offering true 5G speeds. This is slightly disappointing, especially from a major network. We’d argue 5G should be a standard feature by now, but at least it’s an option on just about every Vodafone plan type.

In any case, the network also offers ‘5G Ultra’, which is Vodafone’s branding for 5G with better coverage and less drain on your smartphone’s battery than standard 5G.

Roaming Destinations

Free roaming no longer comes as standard on Vodafone, but for customers on plans with ‘Xtra Euro Roam’ or ‘Xtra Global Roam’ the network offers inclusive roaming (up to a fair use limit of 25GB) at no extra cost in the following 51 locations:

Aland Islands, Austria, Azores, Balearic Islands, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canary Islands, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Finland, France (inc Corsica), French Guiana, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Guadeloupe, Guernsey, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Jersey, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madeira, Malta, Martinique, Mayotte, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Reunion, Romania, St Barthelemy, Saint Martin, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and Vatican City.

On plans with ‘Xtra Global Roam’ you’ll be able to roam for free in all the above locations plus 32 more, for a total of 83.

The additional locations include: Albania, Anguilla, Antigua, Aruba, Australia, Barbados, Bermuda, Bosnia and Herzegovina, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Ghana, Grenada, Jamaica, Kenya, Lesotho, Mexico, Montserrat, Mozambique, Netherlands Antilles, New Zealand, Saba, Sint Eustatius, Sint Maarten, South Africa, St Kitts and Nevis, St Vincent, St Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey and Northern Cyprus, Turks and Caicos, and the US.

If you have a plan dating from before August 11th, 2021, then you may be able to roam for free in some or all of the above locations without having ‘Xtras’, depending on the terms of your plan.

Customers on basic plans can also roam for £2.42 per day in Europe, or for £12 total if paying for an 8-day European Roaming Pass, or £17 total for a 15-day European Roaming Pass.

If you want to roam further afield than Europe on a basic plan (or further than any plans allow inclusively) then you’ll be charged £7.39 per day in most other destinations.

Note that Vodafone also lets customers roam at 5G speeds in select locations. At the time of writing that includes at least 344 towns and cities across Spain, Germany, Ireland, and Italy.


Vodafone allows tethering as standard on all plans and allows you to use as much of your data allowance as you want for tethering, so your only limit is your monthly allowance, which can be as high as unlimited.

Wi-Fi Calling

Wi-Fi Calling means making calls over Wi-Fi. It’s a service Vodafone (and some other networks) offer which works seamlessly, so you can use your normal dialler and SMS apps to keep communicating when there’s no signal.

However, you need a compatible device. Most recent handsets such as the iPhone 14 and Samsung Galaxy S22 are compatible, but for a full list head here.


VoLTE or Voice over LTE is known as 4G Calling on Vodafone, and it refers to the ability to make calls over 4G.

This means you can make calls in more places than ever, as some areas have a 4G signal but no 3G or 2G. It can also allow for higher quality voice calls.

4G Calling comes as standard on Vodafone’s plans. You also need a compatible handset, but many recent ones are supported.

Data rollover

Vodafone doesn’t offer data rollover on any of its contracts, but you can get it on Pay As You Go. There, if you purchase a Big Value Bundle, it will give you another 30 days to use any unused data rather than it expiring after a month – though you will of course need to buy another Pay As You Go bundle to be eligible for this.

Spending caps

Vodafone offers spending caps through what it calls a Spend Manager. This tool allows you to limit out-of-plan charges on things like premium rate calls and picture messages.

You can enable Spend Manager within the My Vodafone app, and you can set a level of spend that you’ll allow. Set it to £10 for example and you won’t be able to spend more than that per month on the out-of-plan charges that it covers. Note however that some costs aren’t covered by Spend Manager, so it’s worth double checking what you can still be charged for if this is a concern.

Unlimited data

Vodafone offers unlimited data on Pay Monthly, SIM Only, Data Only, and Pay As You Go plans, so whatever plan type you have you don’t need to worry about data limits if you opt for an unlimited data option.

Note however that some of its unlimited plans come with speed restrictions, so look out for that – we’ve detailed that more thoroughly under the ‘plans’ heading above.

Family plans

Vodafone offers what it calls an ‘Additional Plan’ service, which allows you to add additional plans to your account, with a 15% discount on each. So you can add friends or family members to your account and save them some money in the process (or just get multiple plans for yourself).

Up to nine additional plans can be added, for ten plans in total. Note that for Pay Monthly handset plans, the discount only applies to the airtime part of the plan (in other words the cost of your allowances), not the cost of the device itself.

Overall this is a middling family plan offering compared to other networks. O2 for example offers similar but with a 20% discount.

Credit checks

Like most networks, Vodafone will typically check your credit when you apply for any sort of contract. So if that’s a concern you’re best off sticking with Pay As You Go.

Unique perks

The main extra offered by Vodafone is subscription to an entertainment service on some plans. This isn’t free, but it is discounted. We’ve detailed this in full further up, but the options at the time of writing include YouTube Premium and Amazon Prime.

Beyond that, Vodafone also provides its VeryMe Rewards app, which offers discounts, freebies, and competitions from a variety of brands. It’s a similar idea to O2 Priority and Three+.


Umlaut has rated Vodafone as the ‘Best Network for Voice’ and the ‘Most Reliable Network’ in numerous cities in its Mobile Network Benchmark 2022. It also won ‘Best Network for Business’ at the Mobile News Awards 2024.

Those are among Vodafone’s most recent awards, but the network has been no stranger to awards in the past either. That said, it’s arguably no better on this front than the other major networks.


Network speeds

5G aside, for the most part Vodafone just uses standard 4G, which is around 5 times faster than a typical 3G network. However, it’s also rolled out LTE Advanced in select locations, which is typically 20 times faster than a standard 3G network.

Opensignal – Mobile Network Experience, September 2023, and April 2020


Download/upload speeds

4G latency (ms)













According to Opensignal data from September 2023, Vodafone’s average download speed is 27.9Mbps, putting it behind EE and Three but ahead of O2. Its 8.0Mbps upload speed meanwhile is only behind EE.

Its average 4G latency (based on data from April 2020) is said to be 39.0ms. That’s the measure of how long the network takes to respond to a request, which is vital for things like online gaming, and Vodafone’s latency is better than Three’s but worse than EE's or O2’s.

Note that the latency figure is older because recent Opensignal reports don’t include latency. Also note that for speeds, the data uses a combination of all available signal types (so 5G, 4G and 3G).

As for 5G, Vodafone’s average download speed on that is 114.3Mbps according to September 2023 data from Opensignal, so that’s quite an upgrade. Its median download speed is similarly high at 158.3Mbps according to H2 2023 data from RootMetrics.

That report also put Vodafone’s 95th percentile 5G download speed (so close to the highest recorded) at 401.8Mbps.

Finally, Speedtest in 2023 put Vodafone’s median 5G download speed at 141.71Mbps, its median 5G upload speed at 12.21Mbps, and its median 5G latency at 31ms.

For the most part the various 5G results above are worse than Three or EE but better than O2, however there are some cases where it matches or beats EE or Three as well.

Network Frequencies

Vodafone Network Frequencies


Frequency Band



Band 20



Band 8

2G & 3G

1400MHz SDL

Band 32



Band 3



Band 1


2600MHz FDD

Band 7


2600MHz TDD

Band 38









Vodafone uses the 800MHz and 2600MHz bands for 4G. These are at opposite ends of the spectrum, with one band’s strength being the other’s weakness. Specifically, the 800MHz band is long range and good at penetrating walls, making it useful in both rural locations (where there aren’t many masts) and more built-up areas.

But it doesn’t always have the capacity to deal with large numbers of connections, which the 2600MHz band does. The network also uses the 1400MHz band, which is something of a middle ground.

And for 5G it’s making use of the 3400MHz and 3600MHz bands, which are even higher frequency than the 2600MHz band. They’re short range and bad at passing through objects, but they can cope with lots of connections.

For more in depth information, check out our 4G and 5G frequencies guide.

Customer service

Customer service is one area where Vodafone may not excel, as according to a 2023 Ofcom customer service report, while there’s 86% satisfaction with the service overall, 17% of customers had a reason to complain and just 56% were satisfied with the way their complaint was handled.

There were also 9 complaints to Ofcom for every 100,000 Vodafone customers, which is slightly more than the average across networks (which was found to be 8).


Vodafone is a well-rounded network, with high data limits, speedy 5G roaming abroad in many locations, and strong 4G coverage and speeds at home, along with growing domestic 5G coverage. Plus, if you spend enough, you can get extras thrown in, like entertainment packages.

It’s not quite the fastest network and it’s far from the cheapest, but it does a good job of balancing price with features.


If you’re looking for an alternative to Vodafone then you probably either want a network with the same coverage, or a similarly big and feature-packed network.

For the former, options include VOXI, Lebara, Asda Mobile, and Talkmobile, all of which use Vodafone’s infrastructure and spectrum, so their coverage is identical, and all of which also offer 5G.

That aside these are all positioned as fairly affordable alternatives to the big networks, albeit typically with fewer plan options and perks. Lebara additionally stands out through free international calls on its plans, while VOXI has handy extras like limitless social media use and video streaming.

If however you want a big, feature-packed network, then the alternatives really are Three, EE or O2, as they’re the only other UK operators with their own network infrastructure. Like Vodafone, they offer a wide range of plans and extra perks, but their coverage differs, so check they have it where you need it before picking one of them.

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