Vodafone Coverage: Does the Network Measure Up?

Vodafone company logo

Don’t you hate it when your phone goes out of range in the countryside or at random in certain parts of a building? With people relying on their smartphones more and more, choosing a mobile phone provider that delivers comprehensive network coverage has become a priority for most. Here we investigate all aspects of Vodafone coverage in the UK and bring you our findings so that you can be the judge.

Is Vodafone Coverage any Good?

Mobile Tower

With around 19.5 million customers in the UK alone there’s a huge customer base relying on Vodafone’s network to deliver a high quality service. Luckily, Vodafone coverage Mbps extends to 99% of the UK population on 2G, 3G and 4G networks.

How does Vodafone compare to the other network signal providers on the market? Well, it’s a pretty close call as all of the major providers scored between 99%-99.8% population coverage on the 4G network. Vodafone is only beaten by Three’s network for coverage but it’s not exactly by much, or enough to create a substantial gap in network quality.

It’s worth noting that although most mobile networks use population coverage figures to present their level of coverage, these figures differ from geographical coverage. Geographical coverage refers to the percentage of the UK landmass to which mobile services are extended. This essentially determines the areas and regions where people can get signal on their phones.

Ofcom reported that in 2018 Vodafone and O2 had the highest outdoor voice call coverage at 90% of the UK’s landmass, whereas Three and EE had the lowest with 85%. All four mobile operators provide good 4G services however, delivering connection speeds of at least 2 Mbit per second to 66% of the UK landmass.

Mobile Network 4G Coverage Across UK Population
O2 99%
EE 99%
Three 99.8%
Vodafone 99%

So when we look at the numbers, Vodafone does pretty well for network coverage overall but what do Vodafone customers have to say about it?

Customer satisfaction with Vodadfone signal strength was at 87% in 2018 (Ofcom) which is the industry average level of satisfaction. Fellow mobile networks EE and Tesco mobile received a higher score of 88%, whereas O2 tied with Vodafone on 87% satisfaction with signal strength.


Vodafone 5G

Vodafone 5G

The Vodafone 5G network is already up and running and promises download speeds of between 150-200 Mbps! Vodafone became the second UK provider to launch this new generation mobile network in early July, following EE’s 5G launch in May.

If you’re a 4G customer and you’re looking forward to reaping the benefits of the 5G network, keep in mind that you won’t automatically receive 5G coverage. If you’re interested fast 5G download speeds without buffering then you’ll need a 5G compatible device and to set up a 5G plan with your provider.

Current Vodafone 5G cities:

  • Birkenhead
  • Birmingham
  • Bolton
  • Bristol
  • Cardiff
  • Gatwick
  • Glasgow
  • Lancaster
  • Liverpool
  • London
  • Manchester
  • Newbury
  • Plymouth
  • Stoke-on-Trent
  • Wolverhampton
  • More locations coming soon

In late 2019 Blackpool, Bournemouth, Guildford, Portsmouth, Reading, Southampton and Warrington will receive 5G Vodafone coverage.

Download Speed

Download speed

When it comes to 4G speeds the Vodafone network performs really well. If you compare it to the other mobile phone providers that offer network infrastructure Vodafone does well for download speed with a speed of 21.9Mbps - the second highest speed among the big four networks.

Mobile network 4G coverage across UK population
O2 15.16 Mbps
Three 18.8 Mbps
Vodafone 21.9 Mbps
EE 29 Mbps

Upload speed

If you’re a social media user you’ll most likely have uploaded content of some sort. Whether it’s a video from an awesome concert or pictures of your family, dog or anything in between - if you want to share memories with your friends and family as quickly as possible you’ll want to stick with a network that has a great upload speed. Let’s take a look at how Vodafone scores for upload speed.

Open signal upload speed results April 2019
Network provider Upload Speed
O2 6.3 Mbps
Vodafone 7.3 Mbps
Three 6.5 Mbps
EE 9.4 Mbps

Video experience

It’s no surprise that with the ever increasing popularity of video streaming services like Youtube and Netflix, many smartphone users are relying on fast and steady download speeds - not to mention increased data limits - to receive good quality playback. Netflix for example, requires a download speed of at least 5.0Mbps for HD (high definition) viewing and 25Mbps for UHD (ultra high definition) viewing both of which can be achieved by Vodafone.

In Open signal’s Mobile Network Experience Report from April 2019 Vodafone do well for user video experience from video streams, coming in second place in the rankings only behind the EE mobile network.

Network provider Video experience rating (out of 100)
O2 63.8
Vodafone 67.2
Three 62.3
EE 68.5

Vodafone coverage checker and network status

Login with a laptop

If you’re looking to join Vodafone or you’re wanting to compare its coverage to that of its competitors, it's important that you check the kind of service you will receive in your area and the areas you are likely to travel to.

Networks like Sky mobile, EE and O2 also have coverage maps. So if you want to compare the level of coverage you’ll get in your area we suggest comparing the different maps to see which network better suits you.

How to use the Vodafone network status checker

Wondering how the network status checker works? We’ve got you covered with a step-by-step guide on how to use it:

  1. First you’ll need to head to the network status checker page on the Vodafone website.
  2. Either enter the name of the area or postcode you want to search for and press the enter key or click on the location symbol inside the search bar for the checker to capture your current location.
  3. Once you’ve done that you will receive your results! Your results will be divided into 2G, 3G, 4G networks as well as 4G calling. The level of strength will show up as either good indoors & outdoors, good outdoors only, limited coverage or no coverage.

What can be done on the different generation networks?2G = Calling, SMS and MMS. 3G = Same as 2G but you can use basic mobile internet and video calling. 4G= Same as the 3G network but faster internet speeds plus the capability for gaming services, HD streaming and internet activities that require a faster download speed. 5G= O2 release their 5G network in selected areas in September 2019. Think the 4G network but faster internet with no buffering and better service in crowded areas.


Vodafone network coverage: pros and cons

Vodafone network pros and cons

Overall, Vodafone customers can rest assured that they are with one of the leading networks for coverage, download speed and video experience. Different networks have different levels of coverage depending on the area, especially if you’re in a regional area and looking at geographical coverage. Thankfully, Vodafone has a coverage checker tool that allows you to assess how much coverage you’ll receive in any given area.

Let’s take a look at the main pros and cons of Vodafone coverage:

  • Second highest 4G network coverage.
  • Second highest video experience amongst the major UK networks.
  • Second fastest download speed on the 4G network.
  • Provides 5G coverage in a wide range of locations in the UK with more coming soon!
  • Second fastest upload speed across the UK networks.
  • Handy tools like Vodafone network status checker available.
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