Vodafone might be one of Australia’s biggest names in mobile connectivity, but it’s relatively new to NBN and has only been offering plans since 2017. While Vodafone has a reputation for offering bang-for-buck mobile plans, is it the same for NBN? Let’s take a closer look.
But before we take a look at how Vodafone stacks up to the competition, here are Vodafone’s NBN plans:
Vodafone NBN plans have a few unique perks that help them stand out from the crowd. The most significant is 4G backup, a feature that Vodafone introduced to the Australia market. If your NBN craps out, you’ll fallback on to the Vodafone 4G network and stay connected with unlimited data. Speeds are limited to 12Mbps down and 1Mbps up, however. If it’s your first time connecting to the NBN, you’re able to use Vodafone’s 4G backup for as many as 30 consecutive days.
4G backup is powered by the WiFi Hub, an optional modem you can get when signing up to a Vodafone NBN plan. The plans are contract-free, but if you take up the modem, you’ll pay out a pro-rated fee if you leave within your first 36 months. This is equivalent to $5 multiplied by the number of months left in your term.
If you’re a Vodafone mobile customer, you’re able to save on your NBN plan by sticking it on the same account. Vodafone will knock 5% off your total monthly bill for every service you have on your account after the first, up to a maximum of 20% if you have five services.
So are Vodafone’s plans actually a good deal? Here’s how they compare.
Vodafone Unlimited NBN 50 plans
At $75 per month for unlimited data, Vodafone’s NBN 50 plan isn’t the cheapest option around, but it’s also far from the priciest. Once you exclude promotional discounts, $75 is pretty standard for an NBN 50 plan.
For comparison, Tangerine is one of your cheapest options right now, coming in at $59.90 per month for your first six months, and $69.90 per month thereafter. Tangerine reports typical evening speeds of 42Mbps, which is identical to Vodafone.
If you want a plan that’s a bit zippier, TPG reports some of the fastest NBN 50 speeds available: 45.6Mbps. You’ll pay $69.99 per month for this plan. If you’re interested in TPG, you can either sign an 18-month contract, or pay $129.95 in upfront fees for a contract-free option.
Optus recently refreshed its entire range of NBN plans with some significant changes. Lock-in contracts have been axed, you get a modem with 4G backup, and the plans are a little bit pricier. But are they actually worth it? Let's take a closer look.Read more
Kogan Internet is also a little bit cheaper than Vodafone, priced at $71.90 per month. Kogan Internet, however, is simply Vodafone by another name. While the service may bare Kogan branding, Vodafone is responsible for delivering the connection. Going with Kogan instead of Vodafone proper will save you around $3 per month, but you’ll miss out on Vodafone perks like bundling discounts and 4G backup.
Optus’ new NBN plan is priced identically to Vodafone’s but a little bit faster, with evening speeds of 44Mbps. Much like Vodafone, Optus offers a modem with 4G backup. If you leave Optus with your first three years, you’ll need to pay out the remaining value of your modem, which is equivalent to $7 per month for each month left in your 36-month term. That’s $2 per month pricier than the $5 per month you’d pay on Vodafone. Optus also charges a $99 setup fee.
Vodafone Unlimited NBN 100 plans
Thanks to a promotional discount, Vodafone is currently one of your cheapest options for an NBN 100 plan. You’ll pay $75 per month for your first six months, which is the same price as Vodafone’s NBN 50 plan. However, you’ll be up for $95 per month after your discount runs out, putting it on pricier side when it comes to NBN 100 plans. Since Vodafone’s NBN plans are contract-free, you could always drop down to its NBN 50 plan when your first six months are up. Vodafone reports fairly average typical evening speeds of 82Mbps.
For comparison, MATE charges $79 per month for an NBN 100 plan with typical evening speeds of 83Mbps. Better yet, this plan isn’t subject to promotional discounts, which makes it one of the cheapest options for NBN 100 full stop.
Superloop reports typical evening speeds of 90Mbps and Aussie Broadband 86Mbps, and both plans are available for just under $90 per month. That’s cheaper and faster than Vodafone’s NBN 100 plan, at least when the discount runs out.
Of course, none of these providers offer 4G backup on NBN 100 plans. If you’re keen for 4G fallback, Vodafone is your cheapest option. Otherwise you’re looking at $104.95 per month on Tangerine (plus a $199.90 upfront modem fee), $105 per month on Optus, or $110 per month on Telstra.
And it is worth remembering that even bundling a single Vodafone mobile plan with a Vodafone NBN 100 plan brings down the monthly price to just a hair over $90 per month, making it a little more in line with what other providers charge.
Alex Choros is Managing Editor at WhistleOut, Australia’s phone and internet comparison website.