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Vodafone is the first UK network to offer unlimited 5G data plans

Vodafone has just launched three ‘unlimited’ SIM-free contracts that include access to its shiny new 5G network. The deals start from £23 — so what’s the catch?

At the launch event of its UK 5G network last week, Vodafone announced three SIM-free contract plans that will give you unlimited texts, minutes, and data over both 4G and 5G. Yes, that’s 4G and 5G. That means the plans are open to users of regular old 4G devices and users of 5G phones.

The plans have just gone live, and here are the details of each monthly deal:

  • Unlimited Lite: £23 per month, 2 Mbps maximum download speed
  • Unlimited: £26 per month, 10 Mbps maximum download speed
  • Unlimited Max: £30 per month, maximum speed: “fastest available”

As you can see, the first two deals in the plan are quite limited in speed, which might be frustrating for customers expecting ultra-fast speeds. The data limits are acknowledged in the activities Vodafone recommends for each of the plans.

Related: 5G in the UK

Related: Vodafone 5G phones, prices, plans

The Lite data plan is recommended for users who just want to do web browsing, messaging, and music streaming. The standard plan is supposedly best suited for streaming HD movies, sharing photos and making video calls, and streaming single player games.

The most expensive Max plan would allow you to stream high quality multiplayer games, super-fast downloads, and hotspot with confidence. The latter plan is the one that will really take advantage of the benefits of 5G, though Vodafone hasn’t revealed real-world speeds yet.

Additionally, you can pay an extra £6 per month to add an entertainment pack to your plan, choosing from Spotify, Amazon Prime Video, Sky Sports Mobile, or NowTV.

However, even if you opt for the £30 per month Max plan, you won’t be guaranteed a 5G connection everywhere you go in the UK; the network was launched on July 3 and covers seven major cities in the UK (London, Glasgow, Manchester, Cardiff, Bristol, Liverpool, and Birmingham).

The rollout will continue over the course of the year to cover 12 additional British cities: Birkenhead, Blackpool, Bournemouth, Guildford, Newbury, Portsmouth, Plymouth, Reading, Southampton, Stoke-on-Trent, Warrington and Wolverhampton.

Along with its unlimited plans, Vodafone has also unveiled 5G plans for low-data users, named ‘Vodafone Red’. All supporting 5G at no extra cost, prices start from just £11 but this would only include 1GB of mobile data per month. Roaming in 48 destinations is included as standard.

Uniquely among 5G network providers, Vodafone has promised to bring mobile roaming to European cities in Spain, Germany, and Italy for its customers this summer.

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