Vodafone Australia is revamping its prepaid plans, expanding its data inclusions and maintaining its focus on international calls with a temporary offer of unlimited calls to 10 international destinations one one plan. Here's what you need to know.
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The main changes come in Vodafone's $30, $40 and $50 prepaid caps, all of which run for 28 days. Data allowances across all three have been increased, and the $50 plan now has unlimited calls in Australia. The table below shows what was previously included and what has been added.
If you renew online, Vodafone now also offers additional data on each plan, as detailed in the table. (You also have the option of using PayPal to pay for your recharge.) All plans include infinite texts and PXTs within Australia.
|Recharge||Old data||New data||Online bonus||Old call credit||New call credit|
Vodafone is also introducing a temporary arrangement for customers on the $50 plan, where calls to landlines and mobiles in 10 countries will be free until the end of the year. The countries covered are China, India, USA, UK, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong and South Korea.
These changes make Vodafone more appealing if you make a lot of international calls — but do bear in mind that the offer of infinite calls only runs until 6 January, 2015. At that point, you might want to start hunting for another plan. (Vodafone says it wants the plans to focus on Australia's busiest tourist season, though it won't be much help for anyone visiting for the Australian Open.)
Is it worth it?
While its network has improved dramatically, Vodafone hasn't been especially competitive in pure prepaid — in our assessment, its own best-value deal has been its $50 offering, which is technically a month-to-month SIM, not a prepaid deal. (Its $20 365-day recharge is also useful for travellers and will continue.)
The increases to the data allowance is certainly welcome, and the online recharge bonus is helpful, if a little awkward to explain. All of this, and the switch to unlimited local calls, makes the $50 deal in particular more competitive.
The increased data allowance on the cheapest plans is welcome, but if your main needs are data and Australian calls, you'd still do better with Amaysim's plan on Optus' network, which offers infinite call and text and 5GB of data for $44.95. (Amaysim is 3G only, so your choice might depend on whether Vodafone 4G is available in your area.)
If you're on the Vodafone month-to-month SIM-only $50 plan, switching to prepaid right now would score you extra data, since you'll get an extra 500MB if you recharge online each month. That said, you wouldn't have the option to use Vodafone's $5 a day roaming option when travelling, and your customer service would switch from being Australia-based to being offshore.