Coming up to a year since Vodafone switched on its 4G network, the carrier’s finally opened those superfast airwaves up to pay-as-you-go customers today. If you already own a compatible handset, all you need is a £20 “Freedom Freebee” top-up – which grants you 2GB of data, 500 minutes and unlimited texts – to start enjoying LTE speeds (anything cheaper and you’re stuck on 3G).
Higher top-ups of £30 and £40 get you 4GB and 6GB respectively, as well as unlimited calls and either Spotify Premium or Sky Sports streaming access. You’re probably best springing for the £20 option initially, though, as your welcome bonus to 4G PAYG is unlimited data for the first month. If data is all you’re after, PAYG mobile broadband customers can now also access 4G at a minimum cost of £15 for 2GB.
Now, if you’re also in need of a 4G-capable handset, they start at £79 for Vodafone’s own Smart 4 turbo. To get that price you’ll also need to drop £20 on a top-up, but overall, it’s still way more reasonable than the £135 launch price. Other budget options include the Lumia 625 at £96, Voda’s Smart 4 power at £120 (reduced from a whopping £175) and the Lumia 635 at £125. If you’ve got a bit more disposable cash, there are several pricier handsets, topping out at £292 for the Galaxy S4 Mini.
Vodafone launching 4G for pay-as-you-go customers means it’s finally caught up with the other big carriers, which all added the option at some point last year. EE got there first, only a couple of weeks before O2, while 4G became the standard for all Three customers as soon as its network went live last December.