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Vodafone X 5G vs Data Unlimited 5G
Hi Sean,

Thanks for your previous help. I haven't posted in a while but I read every other day. I remember reading your post on the new Vodafone 20e 5g deal. 

Did you notice any difference the two plans?

To date I have not tested the new Vodafone Data Unlimited 5G €20 plan. I don't think they treat the data any different to the Vodafone X 5G plan as the main difference between the two plans is the calls/texts allowances. Both use the same SIM card and APN.

The next time I have an extended trip in a Vodafone 5G area such as Letterkenny I intend activating that plan. Besides being €5 cheaper than Vodafone X 5G, the out of bundle charge is much cheaper at €1.86 per GB. This means I can do occasional 4G speed tests without having to buy a 5GB bundle, especially around here where I am about 100km from the nearest 3.6GHz 5G Vodafone site.
This morning I had no Three signal due to storm Isha, very unusual given I usually pick up many weak band 20 and 28 masts across Donegal bay.  With Eir also out, I was left with Vodafone that had no credit!  As I was unsure how long Three would be out and needed to work from home, I drove part way to Killybegs to pick up other Three masts across the bay to access My Vodafone. 

For some reason I could not change to the Data Unlimited 5G plan with the Vodafone App or website.  The Vodafone App would say "Something went wrong" on each attempt.  With the My Vodafone webpage, it would initially say "Success" and then a moment later show another message saying there was a problem changing my plan, please contact Support.  I used the Chat support and once I got past the chatbot, the assistant switched my plan.  I was also surprised how quickly the chat agent responded given the storm.  Even on a good day with Three, their chat assistants usually take several minutes to respond to each message.

From a handful of speed tests at the time, there was no obvious sign of throttling:


The 5G signal there is DSS band n1, which is where the network shares the bandwidth with 4G band 1, so I'm not surprised with the 5G speed being under 100Mbps.  However, I was surprised how far away it connected in 5G mode as I have not seen Three connect a 5G carrier with a Timing Advance above about 10km. 


While Vodafone gives a generous 35GB EU roaming on this plan, it mentions the speed is limited to 10Mbps, so this could be an issue for those who frequently travel abroad:  


The Vodafone X 5G plan did not mention a roaming speed limit and I was not throttled the last time I was in the UK, unlike Three.  I will test this the next time I travel abroad, which could be a while as I have no travel plans yet.
While in Dublin I did a few speed tests down various streets and it appears that Vodafone added some more 3.6GHz band n78 sites since my previous trip around September last year.  Most of my speed tests on Vodafone were typically around 300 to 500Mbps where I had a good signal on 5G band n78.  The upload speeds in these areas were very good, ranging 130 to 160Mbps.  Like 48 (Three), there were just a few areas that got above 600Mps, which likely had good fibre backhaul.  The following speed tests are the fastest I got on the download (Cabra to Navan road junction), followed by the upload:


As traffic was slow moving along Navan road, I ran the speed test 5 times in a row, mainly to see if I could get any faster and to also see if they would throttle, but managed to get 5 tests all over 700Mbps.  The upload speed dropped as were moving further from the that site mast.  The 5 speed tests used about 5.2GB of data.  


While at the Monto Cafe (Sundrive Road), I curious to see if Vodafone improved their coverage there, but surprisingly still 3G and Three the same.  I didn't expect to still see 3G on Vodafone there as I don't recall my phone showing 3G the entire way home with Vodafone either decommissioning its 3G sites or converting the hardware directly to 4G on band 8.


Once we left Dublin, I don't recall encountering a single 5G band n78 site on the way back to Donegal either.  All the 5G areas I encountered on the way back were DSS based band n1, which share the bandwidth with 4G on that band.
I have someone on Vodafone Data Unlimited 5G with the sim in a router. They can't access betting sites. I did see something about Vodafone do block them. I wonder what is the easiest way to get it unblocked. Unregistered sim card.
I suggest try installing the Cloudflare Wrap App / software and see whether this provides access.

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