Dan Howdle | March 20th, 2023
Vodafone is one of the UK’s four mobile networks, along with EE, O2 and Three. All the other UK mobile providers use the infrastructure of one of these networks to provide their services. In this case, as VOXI is owned by Vodafone, it uses the Vodafone network.
Now that you know a bit about Vodafone and VOXI, you might be wondering which is best for you, or if there’s any difference at all, since they technically use the same network. We’ve written this handy guide to help you navigate the differences, so you can decide which provider suits you best.
Vodafone offers pay SIM-only plans on one month, 12-month and 24-month contracts, and pay-as-you-go deals, whereas VOXI only offers contract-free SIM-only plans. Both providers also offer mobile phones, but there are a few differences. Vodafone has both pay monthly and pay-as-you-go (PAYG) handsets. The pay monthly handsets come with a customisable plan that lets you determine how much you pay upfront, your contract repayment period, and a service plan for your airtime and data usage. There’s a handy calculator on the Vodafone website so you can decide the cost of your monthly plan, contract term and other variables as you like.
VOXI, on the other hand, sells new and refurbished handsets with no upfront cost, with repayments made with PayPal Credit over a fixed 30-month period. Customers have to also buy a VOXI SIM-only deal, but as they only run on rolling one-month contracts, you can choose to leave VOXI at any time and get a SIM-only deal with another provider, because your phone credit is with PayPal, not VOXI.
Vodafone regularly runs promotions on recently-launched devices and includes various freebies in its plans (known as Xtras) like expanded roaming and data boosters. Vodafone also offers other products, such as broadband, laptops and other hardware, whereas VOXI keeps things simple, with all its focus on phones and SIM-only deals.
VOXI claims to be ‘the Unlimited Social Media’ provider, so you can post and scroll to your heart’s content without eating into your data.
On price alone, VOXI beats Vodafone handsdown, as its SIM-only deals are all considerably cheaper and although they don’t include some of Vodafone’s perks, they do come with unlimited use of social media, so if you’re a Twitter addict, it offers brilliant value. When it comes to handsets, VOXI offers customers the choice of more affordable refurbished phones, which Vodafone does not.
Vodafone and VOXI use the same network, so you might assume that their data and speed offerings would be exactly the same, but there are a few differences. Both offer the same access to Vodafone’s 3G, 4G and 5G network (assuming your device is 5G compatible), and both are subject to the same traffic management policy, but the details vary with each provider, and the plan you choose.
VOXI boasts unlimited data usage in the UK for social media apps Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat, Messenger, Whatsapp and Instagram with all its SIM-only plans. It also offers unlimited streaming of video apps TikTok, YouTube, YouTube Shorts, Amazon Prime Video and Netflix. In addition, it offers six months of unlimited free data usage for Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Deezer, TIDAL, Napster and Primordial Radio, after which time this extra will cost a fiver a month. Data allowances for any other online activity range from 15GB to unlimited, with no speed limit on any plans.
Vodafone offers tiered plans which include more features as the monthly price increases, and only caps speed on its Unlimited Lite monthly plan, which has a maximum download speed of 2Mbps, and its basic Unlimited plan, which limits speed to 10Mbps.
VOXI wins hands down when it comes to data and speed, with free social media data, free video streaming data, and six months’ free streaming of music apps too. Plus, unlike Vodafone, there are no speed limits on any of its plans, meaning you can enjoy the maximum speed on offer at any time.
Vodafone’s 4G network covers over 99% of the UK population, and its 5G coverage is quickly expanding across the UK, but you’ll need to use Vodafone’s network coverage checker to see if your area is covered. You’ll also need a 5G phone to be able to use it.
VOXI has access to the identical network and Vodafone’s 5G network is accessible on all VOXI plans, as long as your phone has 5G capabilities.
There is no difference at all in the network coverage of VOXI and Vodafone. Customers can take advantage of all of the network features available in their area, subject to being able to receive a Vodafone signal, so we’re calling this one a draw.
VOXI has been named best mobile provider by Which? a few times for its overall offering, but customer service options are limited. Aimed at Generation Z users (heavy social media users), VOXI doesn’t actually have a call centre and only offers online support via web chat or via Facebook or Twitter.
Vodafone, on the other hand, offers lots of support options. Your first option is TOBi, Vodafone’s automated digital assistant, available on the web or via Vodafone’s mobile app 24/7. TOBi can answer simple queries straight away, but can also connect you directly to a human for more complex questions. Vodafone’s mobile app also offers additional round-the-clock support through its knowledgeable online community of several hundred thousand customers, with lots of helpful tips, articles and guides to help you with whatever issue you might be facing.
For anyone wanting to speak to a human, you can call Vodafone’s customer service number directly on 0333 304 0191 between 8am and 8pm seven days a week.
Ofcom’s latest report on mobile customer service satisfaction states that Vodafone’s support is on par with the industry average, while VOXI isn’t mentioned at all. If you’re not fussed about being able to contact someone by phone as long as you can contact your mobile provider online, VOXI might suit you well. Then again, if customer service is important to you, especially if you want to be able to speak with a human over the phone, Vodafone is your best bet.
Vodafone offers perks and add-ons to suit any taste or budget, while VOXI offers very specific benefits that cater to niche userss. Both offer the same access to Vodafone’s 4G and 5G networks (for 5G-enabled devices) and free wifi calling.
Vodafone offers quite a wide range of extras that might entice you to sign up. Customers get access to the VeryMe Rewards mobile app for weekly deals and discounts. Vodafone’s entertainment plans include access to your choice of YouTube Premium, Spotify Premium or Amazon Prime, while their 4Xtra plans offer data boosts, device care and warranty coverage, the ability to send unlimited photo and video messages, and free roaming.
VOXI is focused on customers who use social media or users who watch a lot of videos online. All VOXI plans let customers use selected social media apps and stream their favourite content on YouTube and select other video apps without eating into the monthly data allowance. These are really valuable extra features for people who are online a lot, particularly those posting or scrolling through social media or watching a lot of videos, but it’s important to note that video or audio calls via your social media apps are not included in the unlimited offer.
Both Vodafone and VOXI have attractive extras on offer, but each provider will appeal to different users, depending on his or her preferences and usage, so we’ll call this one a draw.
Post-Brexit, customers in the UK are no longer protected from networks in European Union countries increasing their prices, so anyone who wants to use their mobile services abroad has to choose between a plan that includes roaming or choose to pay for it when you need it. As a result, most of the big mobile service providers in the UK have started charging for roaming, or pricing it into their roaming inclusive plans.
Vodafone offers lots of different options to use your mobile abroad in up to 200 countries, and has tiered pricing and coverage depending on the country to which you are travelling. All of Vodafone’s pay monthly plans cover roaming in the Republic of Ireland and Isle of Man, which they call Zone A. Roaming across Europe (Zone B, which includes 49 destinations) will cost you £2 per day if you don’t have it included in your plan, or you can purchase a fixed term roaming pass, which halves the cost for a set number of days. Zones C and D let you roam in another 107 destinations around the world for a few pounds extra per day, unless you have it included in your plan.
You can opt in to roaming in Zone D for a daily charge as and when you need it. Select Vodafone monthly plans include roaming in Zones A and B or Zones A,B,C at no extra cost. Vodafone pay-as-you-go customers get inclusive roaming in Zone A countries, but will need to add a Europe or Around the World Extra to use their phone at all outside of the UK or Zone A. Extra add-ons for roaming can be bought for a fixed period of time. Anyone who travels beyond Zone B and uses their mobile phone abroad will be charged at standard roaming rates, so purchasing an Extra is strongly recommended. A 25GB fair use policy applies to monthly data usage while roaming.
VOXI customers will need to add on a European Roaming Pass to use their plan’s minutes, texts, or data allowance across Europe. Passes start at £2 per day, and are available for periods of 1, 2, 8 or 15 days. VOXI has a fair use policy of 20GB that applies to usage while roaming. Roaming charges beyond Europe with VOXI vary, but they have a handy roaming calculator on their website so you can figure out what it will cost before you go.
VOXI is a good choice for anyone who doesn’t travel often or doesn’t need to use their mobile abroad, as you can add on the option to roam when you need it, and you can choose fixed day passes to cover roaming until they expire. Mobile users who travel frequently or want the peace of mind that comes with inclusive roaming will likely prefer Vodafone, because it offers so many different options for roaming in more than 200 different destinations worldwide. If roaming is an important factor in choosing a mobile provider, Vodafone is your best bet.
VOXI is a great choice for young people from the Generation Z crowd, and heavy social media or video content users, because you can have a simple plan that will let you use your favourite apps as much as you like without impacting your data allowance. However, Vodafone offers a greater choice of plans for all budgets and usage needs and also has lots of popular extras, including the handy mobile app for 24/7 support and account access, and exclusive weekly VeryMe Rewards offers.