Cookies on the SIM Sherpa website

We use cookies to track which pages on our website readers visit most. This helps us understand which topics people find interesting, to write more articles about them.

You can accept these tracking cookies or choose to block them. You can change these settings at any time.

X close

✖ Tracking cookies deleted and blocked

Ok, we will not track your page views as you move around any part of the SIM Sherpa website. But we will use that one cookie to remember you don't want to be tracked.

Click here to unblock tracking cookies

X close

✔ Cookies accepted

Thank you for accepting cookies for the SIM Sherpa website. This will help us constantly improve our content.

If you ever want to change your cookie settings for our website, go to our Cookies page here.

Various logos of UK mobile networks

Vodafone vs EE: coverage, 4G speeds and benefits compared

Vodafone and EE logos and VS text

The retailers featured on this page may compensate us when our readers follow links to their websites and make a purchase. More

We compare EE and Vodafone head-to-head to see which has the better mobile network, extra perks and pricing on SIM only and phone contracts. SIM Sherpa is your trusty guide. Last updated: 23rd October 2019

In our head-to-head guide

Offer alerts

EE's free Xmas gifts

EE Nintendo Switch offers

Get a free Nintendo Switch or Toshiba TV when you take a Samsung Galaxy A40 or Huawei P Smart 2019 on a pay monthly contract. A nice Christmas present for yourself or someone else.

See all EE offers > (opens in new tab)

Vodafone's 18‑month data boost deals

Vodafone 4x data 4GB SIM

Vodafone have already launched 2x Black Friday deals including:

1GB 4GB of 5G data for £11 a month (18‑month deal)

5GB 10GB of 5G data for £15 a month (18‑month deal)

See all SIM only plans (opens in new tab)

Mobile network quality: EE vs Vodafone

Mobile coverage compared on Vodafone and EE

Do EE or Vodafone have the best reception?

Vodafone and EE logos and mobile signal bars

4G: EE have more of the UK's landmass covered

Countryside dotted with 4G indictors

See coverage target

at EE.co.uk
(opens in new window)

Even though the stats for 4G population coverage are basically identical for Vodafone and EE (99%), it's worth remembering this only means signal where people live. But you take your phone everywhere.

In the country, on roads and railways, we'd say that EE are still minorly ahead of Vodafone for what is known as geographical coverage (how much of the actual landmass of the UK they bring 4G signal to).

But it's something that varies region to region, so we recommend using both networks' coverage checkers here before you sign up to either - and check everywhere you'll use your phone, not just at home.

Useful link: EE's geographical 4G expansion plans

There's little difference on 3G either

Vodafone best network banner

Read why

at Vodafone.co.uk
(opens in new window)

It's still worth thinking about 3G, because calls and texts are still carried on 3G signal. And it's what you'll revert to for data if you're somewhere where there's no faster 4G or 5G.

Vodafone and EE are practically neck and neck for 3G population coverage. But we do expect Vodafone to deliver better indoor coverage for making calls overall.

That's because Vodafone use frequencies that are better at getting through building materials. If your phone has WiFi calling or 4G calling, see further down for ways both networks get round poor indoor signal.

Useful link: How Vodafone have been improving their network

Use their coverage checkers

Don't just check at home, test everywhere you'll take your phone

Vodafone coverage map

Vodafone coverage checker

Check Vodafone signal

using their official checker
(opens in new window)

EE coverage map

EE coverage checker

Check EE signal

using their official checker
(opens in new window)

Our verdict on coverage:

A close win for EE

"The coverage differences between EE and Vodafone are now so small, most of the country are unlikely to notice a difference. It's less of a deciding factor between Vodafone and EE than ever."

Compare pricing and deals

How 4G speeds compare on EE vs Vodafone

Are EE's downloads still faster than Vodafone's?

EE and Vodafone logos with a speedometer

EE's 4G downloads faster on average than Vodafone

EE 5G locations on map of United Kingdom

See future 5G cities

at EE.co.uk
(opens in new window)

If you look at the findings of the two leading network speed testers Opensignal and Speedtest by Ookla, it's pretty clear EE are faster than Vodafone on average for 4G downloads.

They put EE's typical downloads between31.5 Mbps(Opensignal) and 32.99 Mbps (Speedtest), compared to Vodafone's at 21.15 Mbps (Speedtest) and 24.3 Mbps (Opensignal).

If you're just looking to browse the net, use social media or even watch HD videos, the results say both networks are viable. If you want to download large files at the last minute, EE look to be the better choice.

Our own testing suggests EE's advantage is probably most noticeable away from large towns and cities, where EE can still deliver around 20 Mbps but Vodafone drops lower to around 10 Mbps.

Useful link: About EE's faster 4G+ service

Both EE and Vodafone already offer 5G

Vodafone 5G locations map

Read 5G rollout news

at Vodafone.co.uk
(opens in new window)

If you're an early adopter and have already got a 5G-ready phone or are thinking of getting one, then Vodafone and EE are both options for you. They've each already switched on their 5G networks.

The rollout on both networks has concentrated on big cities first. Vodafone currently have the most cities out of the two (see their list here). But EE will quickly catch up too (see theirs here).

Speed-wise, 5G will make a big difference to the average speeds on both networks. And we're waiting for independent testers to give their initial verdicts on EE and Vodafone.

A lot of the benefits of 5G lie in capacity though, not just raw speed. We've all experienced being in large crowds and busy spaces where 4G slows to a standstill. 5G will cope much better and give consistent data connections.

Useful link: 5G vs 4G differences

Our verdict on 4G speeds:

Win for EE

"EE customers can expect to have faster network speeds than than Vodafone. If having the fastest speeds is important to you, the choice at the moment is still pretty simple."

Compare pricing and deals

WiFi calling / 4G calling on Vodafone vs EE

Which has the best network features to keep you connected?

Vodafone and EE logos and some gears

EE's WiFi calling supports calls and SMS

EE WiFi calling

Check device support

at EE.co.uk
(opens in new window)

Every pay monthly plan on EE includes WiFi calling and 4G calling (Flex and pay as you go deals do not include them). These help you to keep making calls, even where mobile signal can't reach.

WiFi calling lets your phone connect to WiFi instead of regular mobile signal for making and taking calls without using an app. EE's scheme also supports SMS texts too (Vodafone's does not).

4G Calling is similar and lets your phone use 4G signal for calls, which are normally only carried on 2G/3G. This means you've got a better chance of having a signal (more frequencies) and the audio quality is better too.

The only real issues with both on EE are whether your phone is supported. iPhone models with the feature should work automatically. But Android phones, bought from other networks might not connect.

Useful link: EE's help guide on WiFi calling

Vodafone also have both technologies on select plans

Vodafone WiFi calling scheme

See supported phones

at Vodafone.co.uk
(opens in new window)

Like EE, Vodafone restrict the WiFi calling functionality to their pay monthly plans and only selected ones too: join on a Basics or pay as you go plan and you won't get access to it.

Vodafone's scheme doesn't support SMS text messages. And there's the same issue as EE around Android phones not being guaranteed to be supported if they were bought from other mobile network providers.

If you're joining on SIM only and are really keen on the feature. It's worth testing as soon as your SIM arrives, so you can return it within 14 days if you can't get it to work.

If you're taking a phone contract with Vodafone, WiFi calling works on any model that's listed as having it as a feature (check specifications pages on each model).

Useful link: Vodafone's WiFi calling info page at Vodafone.co.uk

Our verdict on WiFi calling:

Narrow win for EE

"The main edge EE's WiFi calling has over Vodafone's is the fact it supports conventional SMS text messages too. Otherwise as long as your phone's supported, there's little difference."

Compare pricing and deals

Perks and benefits on EE vs Vodafone

How roaming compares on Vodafone and EE

Every network now has to offer free EU roaming, but what about further afield?

Branded roaming icons from EE and Vodafone

Vodafone's inclusive roaming can be excellent

Vodafone Global Roaming

What you can get

at Vodafone.co.uk
(opens in new window)

The number of inclusive roaming destinations you get on Vodafone depends on which plan you sign up to. Most pay monthly deals include only EU destinations at no extra cost (see country list here).

But you can get an extra 29 worldwide countries, where you can use your regular minutes, texts and data for no extra cost, by choosing a plan that comes with Global Roaming Plus. Or pay extra per day.

Like EE, Vodafone give you 4G data (and now 5G if your plan includes) wherever the technologies are available in the country you're travelling to.

We rate the scheme higher than EE's equivalent at the moment, although we still think Three's Go Roam scheme with free roaming in 71 destinations still beats both for simplicity and being genuinely no extra cost.

Useful link: All roaming costs on Vodafone

EE have way less worldwide inclusive roaming options

Free EU roaming on EE

See latest destinations

at EE.co.uk
(opens in new window)

Like Vodafone, most of the plans on EE only get you inclusive roaming within the EU (here's their list of countries). Also like Vodafone, you'll need to pay extra to get more worldwide deestinations included on EE.

On EE, it's only a five extra destinations you can access by choosing a Roam Further Pass as a Swappable Benefit or paying for it seperately for a fixed monthly cost.

Otherwise, EE operate roaming in a more conventional way, where you either pay just for what you use abroad or buy travel passes that get you chunks of data to use in select countries (read EE's full roaming guide here).

Whether this matters to you will depend on where you tend to travel and how often. In general though, we'd say EE have fallen behind Vodafone for roaming.

Useful link: All other roaming costs on EE

Our verdict on roaming:

Vodafone win

"If you mainly travel to EU countries, there's basically no difference between the two. Vodafone do have more options for inclusive worldwide roaming that will appeal to frequent travellers."

Compare pricing and deals

Extra benefits compared on Vodafone and EE

Do EE or Vodafone's plans come with better additional perks?

EE and Vodafone benefit icons

EE's Swappable Benefits are worth a look

EE Swappable Benefits banner

How they work

at EE.co.uk
(opens in new window)

On top of a free trial to four different streaming services (and free data to use them) that every EE pay monthly customer is entitled to claim, some plans now include a set number of Swappable Benefits too.

The benefits include a video data pass (unlimited data for using these apps), a music data pass (same but for these music apps), a roam further pass (extra destinations), a BT Sport subscription and Amazon Prime Video.

They're called Swappable, because you can add and remove them as you see fit. Some plans include a set number of benefits you can have for free, otherwise they're payable.

Of course, to get more Swappable Benefits, you need to take a more-expensive plan, so EE are using them to coax you into spending more money with them. But the benefits are genuinely useful if you need them.

Useful link: EE's guide to their Swappable Benefits

Vodafone are light on added extras

VeryMe banner

See example offers

at Vodafone.co.uk
(opens in new window)

Even though the basic cost of Vodafone's plans are at the higher end, you don't actually get an awful lot of standout unique benefits to make it worth paying the premium (unlike their cheaper sub-brand VOXI).

Vodafone do offer Entertainment Plans with an included subscription to one of four services. But we'd point out these typically cost £6 extra per month vs plans with the same data but no subscriptions (so it's not a freebie).

Every pay monthly Vodafone customer also gets access to Vodafone's VeryMe Rewards within the MyVodafone app. This serves you freebies, offers and discounts on online and high-street shopping, food and drink and experiences.

If you're and deal-hunter and are motivated enough to sit and scroll, you can find some decent offers in there. But we expect many people will barely look at them, never mind actually ever benefit from them.

Useful link: Read our full Vodafone review

Our verdict on extra benefits:

EE win

"Even if you don't bother paying more for a plan with Swappable Benefits on EE, you can at least get a free subsriptions thrown in, while all Vodafone's extras cost extra."

Compare pricing and deals

Vodafone and EE deals and pricing

Comparing SIM only plans on Vodafone and EE

Are EE or Vodafone's SIM only deals cheaper?

Vodafone and EE SIM cards

Choose what you want in your deal:

Deal options >
Choose mins, texts and data >
Choose data speed (4G or 5G) >
Choose max contract length >

Close options

Minutes

Texts

Data

Done

Minimum data speed

Any
4G
5G
Done

Maximum contract length

Any
1 month
12 months
Done

Close filters

Choose which networks you'd consider:

Three logo
BT Mobile logo
EE logo
giffgaff logo
ID logo
O2 logo
Plusnet logo
Sky logo
SMARTY logo
Tesco logo
Virgin Mobile logo
Vodafone logo
VOXI logo
Showing SIM only deals with at least
 mins |  texts |  data on 4G or 5Gedit search
( possibilities) on any length contract.

minutes
+
texts
+
G data
=
£ a month
on a -month contract
Features: Point1 | Point2 | Point3
(opens in new tab)

minutes
+
texts
+
G data
=
£ a month
on a -month contract
Features: Point1 | Point2 | Point3
(opens in new tab)

minutes
+
texts
+
G data
=
£ a month
on a -month contract
Features: Point1 | Point2 | Point3
(opens in new tab)

minutes
+
texts
+
G data
=
£ a month
on a -month contract
Features: Point1 | Point2 | Point3
(opens in new tab)

minutes
+
texts
+
G data
=
£ a month
on a -month contract
Features: Point1 | Point2 | Point3
(opens in new tab)
Want more results?
Use these filters to make your search more specific
minutes
texts
data
on G
£ a month
on a month contract
minutes
texts
data
on G
£ a month
on a month contract
minutes
texts
100MB data
on G
£ a month
on a month contract
minutes
texts
100MB data
on G
£ a month
on a month contract
minutes
texts
100MB data
on G
£ a month
on a month contract
minutes
texts
data
on G
£ a month
on a month contract

Our verdict on SIM only pricing:

No clear winner

"Both Vodafone and EE are a little more expensive than their no-frills rivals for SIM only, and evenly matched between themselves for value. Look out for their promotional plans, particularly on big data plans."

Compare pricing and deals

Special offers running on Vodafone and EE

A quick look at the promotions running on both networks this month

Special offers logos in Vodafone and EE branding

18‑month data boost deals on Vodafone

Vodafone 4x data 4GB SIM

See data boost plans

at vodafone.co.uk
(opens in new window)

Vodafone already have two Black Friday offers live, which are scheduled to last until Cyber Monday (2nd December). Both are data boost offers on their 18‑month contracts:

To get 5G speeds you'll need a 5G-ready phone and be in an area with 5G coverage. If you have neither, you'll still get 4G at Vodafone's top speeds.

The new everything unlimited plans have also been very popular, and they're available on Vodafone's phone contracts too (see the models here on their website).

Useful link: Vodafone's 5G rollout latest

EE's free Xmas gifts and Flex SIM data boosts

EE Nintendo Switch offers

See EE phone offers

at EE.co.uk
(opens in new window)

Order and activate an EE Flex SIM by 30th January 2020 to get triple data for six months:

For a bigger data allowance, you can get a Flex plan with 10GB 30GB for £25 a month and 20GB 60GB for £30 a month. And you'll have a simple 30-day rolling contract you can leave at any time.

Meanwhile, if you're after a smartphone contract, you can get a free Nintendo Switch or Toshiba TV when you take a Samsung Galaxy A40 or Huawei P Smart 2019. A nice Christmas present for yourself or someone else.

Useful link: See all EE's latest offers > (opens in new tab)

Comparing phone contracts on EE and Vodafone

Are you better off taking a pay monthly handset from Vodafone or EE?

EE and Vodafone logos with a generic white phone

Choose a manufacturer

Which make of phone do you want?

Find a plan for your phone

Choose what you want from your deal

Deal options >
Mins, texts and data >
Data speed (3G or 4G) >
Max contract length >
Max upfront cost >

Close options

Minutes

0+

Texts

0+

Data

0MB+

Done

Maximum contract length

Any
12 months
24 months
Done

Upfront cost

Any upfront cost

Done

Close filters

Choose which networks you'd consider:

Three logo
BT Mobile logo
EE logo
giffgaff logo
ID logo
O2 logo
Sky logo
Tesco logo
Virgin Mobile logo
Vodafone logo

Vodafone and EE offer similar contracts at similar prices

Compare phone contract prices

Use phone deal finder

at simsherpa.com
(opens in new window)

Both EE and Vodafone offer what we'd term as "traditional mobile contracts" - ones that last for 24 months and aren't based on finance or split contracts. There's little scope for free early upgrades with either.

Unlike Vodafone, EE offer an annual upgrade programme on their top-end phone models, which lets you upgrade your phone after just 12 months. But you do have to trade it in with EE for cash (you don't get to keep the old phone). Read their guide to how it works here to see if you think it's worth it.

Their ranges of handsets are similar, with all the Apple and Samsung Galaxy models you'd expect and cheaper mid-range Android too. If we had to generalise, we'd say Vodafone are priced very slightly lower than EE.

In terms of extras and benefits, take a look at our comparison in the section further up the page here. This will come to down to personal preference but in our view neither Vodafone nor EE have any killer benefits that massively trump the other on phone contracts.

Useful link: Use our phone contract comparison tool

Our verdict on phone contracts:

Little to split them

"While Vodafone's phone contracts might be a smidge cheaper than EE's, there's little to split them for benefits. Their network in your local area and which of their perks you like best might be the deal clincher."

Compare phone prices

Compare other networks

Comparing EE and Three

EE vs Three

Read our EE vs Three comparison

Comparing EE and O2

EE vs O2

Read our EE vs O2 guide

Comparing EE and BT Mobile

EE vs BT Mobile

Read differences between EE and BT Mobile

Comparing EE and Virgin Mobile

EE vs BT Mobile

Differences between EE and Virgin Mobile

Comparing Vodafone and Three

Vodafone vs Three

Read our Vodafone vs Three guide

Comparing Vodafone and O2

Vodafone vs O2

Read our Vodafone vs O2 guide

SIM Sherpa can help you find your next SIM only deal

network logos