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Vodafone Basics SIM only plans: why you need to be careful taking one

Vodafone logo and a SIM card

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

Vodafone's new Basics SIM only deals are the cheapest way to get on their network. But it's worth knowing what you do and don't get with them. SIM Sherpa is your trusty guide. Last updated: 6th June 2019.

Vodafone Basics vs regular SIM only deals

What are Vodafone’s Basics SIM only plans?

Vodafone Basics banner

Basics plans aren't openly advertisedSee hidden page

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

If we’re honest, we’ve always found Vodafone to be a little expensive. So they’ve probably struggled to attract people who are after a cheap and cheerful SIM, and aren’t fussed about extras.

They recently launched a sub-brand called VOXI, which offers low-cost 1-month SIMs with big amounts of data and some innovative benefits. But what about people who want to join Vodafone direct?

That’s where their Basics plans come in. They’re cheap 12-month deals, directly on Vodafone. They don’t actively advertise them out in the open (they’d rather people took their regular deals).

The plans come with unlimited minutes and texts, plus a monthly allocation of data. But that’s more or less it. As we show you in the next section, you need to be happy not getting other benefits too.

Useful link: Get a Vodafone Basics SIM now

You don’t get ANY roaming whatsoever with Basics SIMs

Global Roaming on Vodafone

Regular plans include at least EU roamingRead roaming guide

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

The first benefit that Vodafone have stripped out from their Basics plans is roaming. Regular SIM only deals from Vodafone include at least inclusive EU roaming as standard.

Vodafone’s Basic SIMs however don’t work abroad at all. We’re not just saying you don’t get roaming for no extra cost. Literally none of the services work outside the UK (apart from emergency numbers).

So why have Vodafone done this? Well, new rules mean that pay monthly deals must include EU roaming at no extra cost. But there’s a loophole. Networks can just offer UK-only plans, so there's no roaming to make free.

It’s a way to keep their costs down (UK providers pay foreign networks while you're roaming). And it means they can offer their Basics SIMs at a considerably lower price vs their regular plans.

Useful link: Vodafone’s roaming rules on Basics plans

4G calling and WiFi calling aren’t included either

Vodafone's WiFi calling

Regular plans include WiFi/4G callingHow it works

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

Vodafone’s regular pay monthly SIMs come with 4G calling and WiFi calling activated on them. On their Basics SIM only plan, neither of those services work. So will you miss them?

Their main function is improving your indoor signal for making calls. Check your predicted Vodafone coverage here using their map. This will give you a guide as to whether you need the two services.

Not every phone actually has the technology as a feature either. So if yours doesn’t have it, it’s not actually going to make a difference for this if you take a Basics SIM vs regular Vodafone deals.

Why have Vodafone done this? We suspect it’s just to build in a difference between cheap Basics SIMs and their regular pay monthly deals (to make the more expensive plans worth paying for).

Useful link: About Vodafone’s 4G calling and WiFi calling

They’re a lot cheaper than Vodafone’s regular SIMs

Vodafone reasons to buy

The cheapest plans Vodafone have per GBOrder a plan now

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

Here’s a quick rundown of how each of Vodafone’s Basics SIMs compares to its equivalent regular 12-month deal from Vodafone with the same data:

Cheapest Basics deal (no roaming or WiFi/4G calling):

Closest regular SIM only deal (with roaming and WiFi/4G calling):

Next Basics deal (no roaming or WiFi/4G calling):

Closest regular SIM only deal (with roaming and WiFi/4G calling):

Next Basics deal (no roaming or WiFi/4G calling):

Closest regular SIM only deal (with roaming and WiFi/4G calling):

Have a look at VOXI by Vodafone as an alternative

VOXI's unlimited social media data

Use social media without it using dataSee how it works

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

If you’re looking for a cheap, no-frills way to get on the Vodafone network, it’s worth taking a look at their sub-brand VOXI’s SIM only plans too (read our full review of VOXI here).

Like Basics SIMs, you don’t get WiFi calling or 4G calling on VOXI but you do get inclusive EU roaming. VOXI also give you unlimited data for using all these social media apps here too.

VOXI offer larger data amounts. And they’re only on 1-month deals, so you can change your mind easily. Plus there’s no credit check to join VOXI. And they’ve got rid of their old age under 30 age limit.

Here are their current deals:

Useful link: Order a free VOXI SIM card here

Compare Basics vs all SIM only deals

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