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5G on Vodafone prepay now - Printable Version

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5G on Vodafone prepay now - Seán - 13/11/2021

Vodafone finally made 5G available on prepay as of the 15th November.

They have three 5G plans:

Vodafone X 5G - €25 every 4 weeks
  • Unlimited 5G data (no speed cap)
  • 100 national minutes on weekday
  • Unlimited minutes 3pm Friday to 11:59pm Sunday
  • Unlimited national texts
  • 5G roaming in EU
  • 30GB EU roaming, €2.50/GB excess

Extra Unlimited 5G - €30 every 4 weeks
  • Unlimited 5G data (no speed cap)
  • Unlimited national calls & texts
  • 100 international minutes (to landline & mobile)
  • Free voicemail
  • 5G roaming in EU
  • 30GB EU roaming, €2.50/GB excess

Smart Extra 5G - €25 every 4 weeks
  • 20GB of 5G data
  • Unlimited calls & texts to Vodafone customers
  • 100 minutes and texts to national and mobile numbers
  • Unused data carried forward upon renewal
  • 5G roaming in EU
Unlike the 4G-only Extra Unlimited plan which has a 10Mbps speed limit, the 5G plans all mention fastest speed available. The 5G roaming details are mentioned in the main prepay 5G T&C's section. They haven't published the Vodafone X 5G T&C's, so likely similar T&C's to the regular Vodafone X apart from 5G capabilities.

Extra Unlimited 5G T&C's - https://n.vodafone.ie/content/dam/gowingmyself/pdfs/payg-terms-and-conditions-nov-2019-updated/extra-unlimited-5g.pdf
Prepay 5G T&C's (scroll down) - https://n.vodafone.ie/support/pay-as-you-go-hub/pay-as-you-go/top-up-offer-faqs.html

Although Vodafone X 5G is the same price as Three's 5G prepay offering (3 Pay 20 + €5 5G add-on), Vodafone surprisingly offers more - 30GB vs 11GB EU roaming, 5G vs 4G roaming, 100 (plus unlimited weekend) vs 60 minutes.

Even the Extra Unlimited 5G is better value and €5 cheaper than Three's €35 prepay plan (3 Pay 30 + €5 5G add-on) - 30GB vs 17GB roaming, 5G vs 4G roaming and 100 vs 30 international minutes.

With Three and Vodafone making 5G available on Prepay, this should lure Eir into doing the same. Update: They have! Big Grin


RE: 5G on Vodafone prepay now - Patrick - 16/11/2021

That Vodafone X 5G is another option for non contract broadband so. The standard Vodafone X had the 10Mbps speed limit. Their broadband offering is now €45 with unlimited data, the most expensive one. Was €40 with 300GB. I assume the 5G bit won't change the APN?


RE: 5G on Vodafone prepay now - Seán - 16/11/2021

The APN should be the same on the 5G plans. I'll know for sure for their prepay 5G once I get a SIM.

Their 5G unlimited broadband plan is €35 per month for 6 months, then €45 month thereafter. They charge €99 for the 5G router and the contract length is 12 months.

With the high cost of 5G routers, their official unlimited 5G broadband would actually work out cheaper over the first 2 years, assuming one does not already have a 5G router.

5G unlimited broadband
1 year - €99 + €35 x 6 + €45 x 6 = €579.
2 years - Year 1 + €45 x 12 = €1119

Vodafone X + €450 5G router (Likely higher due to shortages)
1 year - €450 + €25 x 13 = €775
2 years - Year 1 + €25 x 13 = €1100

The main catch is the router on contract will most likely be network locked.


RE: 5G on Vodafone prepay now - Patrick - 17/11/2021

(16/11/2021, 11:42 AM)Patrick Wrote: That Vodafone X 5G is another option for non contract broadband so. The standard Vodafone X had the 10Mbps speed limit. Their broadband offering is now €45 with unlimited data, the most expensive one. Was €40 with 300GB. I assume the 5G bit won't change the APN?

I was actually thinking in terms of 4G, but forgot to say it. 
Stupid question, but if have 5G sim, presume there is no issue with it working in a 4G device as 4G or even 3G ??


RE: 5G on Vodafone prepay now - Seán - 17/11/2021

The Vodafone X 5G SIM should work the same as the regular Vodafone X 4G SIM with 4G devices, just without 5G access. In fact, 3G, 4G and 5G all use the same type of SIM. For example, when Tesco Mobile finally made 4G available, there was no need for a SIM upgrade. Similarly, Eir has recently made 5G available to all existing customers. The user just needs a 5G capable handset, no mention of replacing the SIM.

The last time I recall a SIM upgrade being required was when upgrading from 2G to 3G. Back when I was on the former O2 network, I had to get my SIM changed for a 3G SIM when I got my first 3G phone. Similarly, Three's SIMs will not work on 2G only devices.


RE: 5G on Vodafone prepay now - Patrick - 19/11/2021

Thanks for the sim info Sean as I use Vodafone X for testing, so it's great not to have speed capped at 10. I wouldn't have spotted it.

Any idea why a Vodafone 4G router can loose connection completely at random times. Best speed is 25, worst 2. Don't have any more info as haven't called there yet. Don't think that far from mast.
Said fine for first few weeks. Heard someone else say if you complain it improves for a while. Do they prioritise new and complaining customers I wonder? 

And another question!  If rain is causing poor performance on 4G, would it be less of an issue with 3G? Normally 10-20 down + up, but rain can drop it to 0.06 down + up. X-Pol 2 outside, mast 7km he cut some trees but still few blocking sight.


RE: 5G on Vodafone prepay now - Seán - 19/11/2021

For your existing Vodafone X SIM, you can try switching to the 5G plan if you have not topped up in the last 4 weeks (or wait until your current top-up interval has expired). When you log into My Vodafone, click "Change Top-up Offer" and it should show the list of other plans, including the Vodafone X 5G.

The random dropping of connection could be either it dropping to 3G or it trying to switch to a congested or out of range mast. I suggest monitoring the cell ID and signal readings, e.g. get one set of readings when it's working well and again when it has lost the connection.

For the rain issue, I suggest doing the same, i.e. monitor the cell ID and signal readings. I would not expect rain to affect the signal that much unless the signal is already extremely weak (e.g. <110dBm). If the RSRP and SINR readings don't change much during rain, the culprit could be with the mast's backhaul suffering rain fade, which I know a few others had problems with before. If the RSRP dives when it's raining, try placing a plastic bag over the X-POL to see the next rain affects it. This will rule out a water ingress issue with the antenna as rain droplets on the outside of the antenna should barely have any effect on the signal readings.


RE: 5G on Vodafone prepay now - Seán - 20/11/2021

I got myself a Vodafone SIM and bought the Vodafone X 5G bundle to try out.  

I travelled with someone to Donegal, which let me monitor the signal readings and run speed tests along the way.  First impressions were rather daunting driving through Kilcar, only getting 3G.  However, once we reached Killybegs, I had a full 4G+ signal.  The last time I had Vodafone about 2 years ago, the nearest 4G+ reception was Mountcharles.  This time they have 4G+ in most areas that I pick up 4G+ on Three.

Upon arriving in Donegal town, my phone showed the outlined 5G icon.  This technically means there is 5G available on the mast it's connected to, but is not established.  The Samsung's *#0011# technical read-out shows this:

   

As the RestrictDCNR is false, this means I should have 5G access, but my phone is unable to connect.  Either they are using a 5G band my phone does not support, my phone is not on their whitelist (if they limit to approved handsets) or the 5G cell is down. 

While I had no problem getting well above 10Mbps, the speeds are completely erratic no matter where I tested.  In Donegal town, they varied between 20Mbps and 100Mbps.  As another example, the following two tests were run two minutes apart in the same spot outside Supervalu in Killybegs:

       

The fastest speed I got along the way was with the Ookla App.  This was just a one off also in Killybegs:
   

With no Vodafone 4G yet in Kilcar, their 3G network there is congested to the point of being barely usable for basic web browsing.  Good luck making a video call with this: Big Grin
   

There are a few things I can confirm - The APN remains the same - live.vodafone.com.  Samsung does not grey out any APN profiles even in Android 11, unlike the stock Android versions.  VoLTE is available.  From a brief test, Wi-Fi calling appears to work even over my Three 4G connection. (See update below) Tongue


RE: 5G on Vodafone prepay now - Seán - 24/11/2021

I put the Wi-Fi calling to the test at my brother's house, which is in a worse signal blackspot than at home.  

From trying multiple phone numbers, turning Wi-FI on/off, etc. it just kept saying mobile network not available when I touched to dial via the Vodafone SIM:

       

So it looks like Wi-Fi calling is not available on Vodafone prepay yet, even though the Wi-Fi Calling option appears to be enabled.  If I just leave my 48 SIM in, the Wi-Fi Calling option disappears from the call settings.


RE: 5G on Vodafone prepay now - Seán - 25/11/2021

I have tried this Vodafone SIM in my MikroTik Chateau 5G router and it connected fine once configured with the Vodafone live APN.  Just make sure "Use Network APN" is not ticked, otherwise it may use the "hs" APN that charges for data as out-of-bundle usage:

   

While my phone could barely pick up a 4G signal outside on band 20 and nothing on band 28, I was able to connect to three different band 20 cells and a band 28 cell.  It shows just how much an outdoor antenna can make. No sign of any band 1 or 3 cells however, let alone 5G, even with the router set to bands 1 and 3 only.

With lots of band 20 cells in the cell monitor with similar RSRP readings picked up from across Donegal bay, this meant I was unable to achieve much more than about 15Mbps.  Even still that's better than the 2Mbps my phone managed to pick up with this SIM. Big Grin 

On band 28, the weak cell it picked up performed surprisingly well with barely any packet loss on the M-Lab test.  I ran a few different speed tests and definitely no sign of the 10Mbps cap, even on TestMy that is very sensitive to traffic shaping or connection issues:

   

[Image: 11db4f33-5c5f-40f6-90b7-406b3f7442e9.png]

[Image: TkcnFuuiW.2DfUr8sik.png]

Usually with an RSRP signal strength this weak on band 28 (or 20), I wouldn't even expect 10Mbps, but goes to show how important it is getting good RSRQ and SINR readings:

   


RE: 5G on Vodafone prepay now - Comsman - 02/02/2022

Hi There, 

I took delivery of "Voda X €25 every 4 weeks" today and popped it into a H122 to see what it would do.  Default APN was hs.vodafone.ie

It connects ok,  but no data.  Connection looks up and stable but no data.  Looks like they dont allow the hs.vodafone.ie APN to be used in a router  Dodgy

What evil sourcery is this!

That's a shame.  I contacted chat support and they confirmed.  I popped it into a 5G handset and away it went no issue.  I did try the other APN profile on the H122 also,  live.vodefone.ie but no connection

I can only think it must be IMEI related as the connection somes up..... any thoughts or magical tricks are welcome.  As always,  love the forum and keep up the good work.


RE: 5G on Vodafone prepay now - Seán - 02/02/2022

I'm not sure if you just mistyped the live APN above, but it's live.vodafone.com (not  live.vodefone.ie) Smile

The hs.vodafone.ie APN is their mobile broadband APN and had it connected, it would have consumed any credit as out of bundle data.  This is an issue when tethering with many phones as they run the tethered data through the hs.vodafone.ie APN.

The only router I tested the SIM in was a MikroTik Chateau 5G.  With this router, I had to turn off the setting "Use Network APN" (post #10 above), but am not sure if there's a similar setting on the H122.  However, do make sure the live.vodafone.ie APN is set as Default.


RE: 5G on Vodafone prepay now - Seán - 23/03/2022

I decided to top-up by €5 and buy a 5GB add-on to keep the SIM active. 

From a quick test around Donegal town, I see it still provides 5G access, i.e. "RestrictDCNR: 0".  My phone lacks the n1 band, so just shows an outlined 5G icon:

   

This is also useful to know for anyone just looking to test 5G access again without paying another €25 to renew the Vodafone X 5G plan.  As long as their SIM is already on the Vodafone X 5G plan, the data add-ons provide 5G access, but obviously with a limited data allowance, i.e. €5 for 5GB or €15 for 20GB.  Either lasts 28 days.  Just beware that running a speed test in a high speed 5G area (>500Mbps) will typically use over 1GB per test.  

I recommend setting the phone to aeroplane mode before topping up to buy an add-on, otherwise the phone may connect to data and cause out-of-bundle charges between topping up and buying the add-on.


RE: 5G on Vodafone prepay now - waveguide - 24/03/2022

Does anyone know if it possible to plug in a normal analogue phone to a Huawei B525 and make use of the included minutes with these plans?


RE: 5G on Vodafone prepay now - Seán - 24/03/2022

Pity about the timing as I recently sold my Huawei B525, so am unable to test here.

The only network I recall someone mentioning for blocking voice calls in a router is Eir / GoMo. There's an earlier post here that mentions this works with Vodafone UK, but not sure about Vodafone here in Ireland.

If this does work, just note that the router will switch to 2G or 3G mode for the duration of each phone call, including the ringing period of each incoming call.


RE: 5G on Vodafone prepay now - waveguide - 30/03/2022

(24/03/2022, 06:21 PM)Seán Wrote: Pity about the timing as I recently sold my Huawei B525, so am unable to test here. 

The only network I recall someone mentioning for blocking voice calls in a router is Eir / GoMo.  There's an earlier post here that mentions this works with Vodafone UK, but not sure about Vodafone here in Ireland. 

If this does work, just note that the router will switch to 2G or 3G mode for the duration of each phone call, including the ringing period of each incoming call.

Cheers Seán,
I will give it a try once I find an old phone.


RE: 5G on Vodafone prepay now - Seán - 01/08/2022

I did another test run on Vodafone and so far no sign of any mast upgrades between Glencolmcille and Donegal, unlike both Eir and Three which have several mast upgrades along the route.  If anything, Vodafone's performance has deteriorated to the point that both GoMo and 48 make a mockery of Vodafone's speed tests just about everywhere I ran speed test comparisons.

For example, here's a speed test comparison in Killybegs.  As the masts are at the opposite ends of the town, I ran the Vodafone test first near its mast, then just before leaving Killybegs, I ran the 48 test near the Three mast:

       

While at the Glencolmcille Agricultural Show, I ran a handful of speed tests, all returning low single digit results.  For comparison, I was getting around 40 to 80Mbps down and 10 to 20Mbps up on 48. In Carrick where Vodafone only has 3G coverage, it is congested to the point that I have not managed to load the Google homepage the last few times I was there, never mind run a speed test! 

       

The only positive thing to report is that Wi-Fi calling and VoLTE work on Vodafone prepay, e.g. remains on 4G during a test call.  However, Wi-Fi calling does not appear to provide SMS text capability: