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Vodafone UK Launches its First 5G Mobile Broadband MiFi Device UPDATE

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2021 (3:12 pm) - Score 3,912
Vodafone-UK-5G-MiFi-Device-2021

Vodafone UK has today launched their first 5G based MiFi device, which is essentially a small battery powered (lasting up to 8.5 hours) mobile broadband router that can connect up to 32 devices via the WiFi 6 standard. Customers can select either a fixed term or rolling contract, with unlimited data prices starting from £15 per month.

Sadly, Vodafone didn’t see fit to publish any useful technical specifications alongside the new device (we have requested more detail), thus we know virtually nothing about its internal capabilities (chipset, bands etc.), ports or antenna setup. But we are told that it has a 2.4-inch touchscreen, which is.. nice, and it’s made by ZTE.

Customers purchasing on a 24-month Vodafone Unlimited data contract will get the first 6 months at half price (i.e. £15 per month instead of £30), which also comes with inclusive roaming in 83 worldwide destinations and the fastest available 5G speeds. However, you still have to pay a £100 one-off upfront charge for the MiFi router itself.

By comparison, those wanting a 12-month contract for the same service will pay £33 per month and £150 upfront, while anybody who prefers a 30-day contract will pay £37 per month and a hefty £200 upfront.

Data allowance 4GB 30GB Unlimited
24-month contract £10pm + £250 upfront £20pm + £200 upfront £15pm + £100 upfront (6 months half price)
12-month contract £11pm + £300 upfront £22pm + £250 upfront £33pm + £150 upfront
30-day contract £15pm + £400 upfront £26pm + £350 upfront £37pm + £200 upfront

Alternatively, a number of other manufacturers produce SIM-Free 5G MiFi devices with similar sounding specs, but you’ll often pay just south of £400 for one of those. Typically, the cheapest solution is to just turn your Smartphone into a WiFi hotspot 🙂 .

UPDATE 10th Jan 2022

Better late than never? Here’s the official spec sheet from Vodafone.

Vodafone-5G-MiFi-Specs_photos_v2_x2

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
Leave a Comment
22 Responses
  1. Buggerlugz says:

    No details and no external antenna eh? Can’t see this device being any good.

    1. Winston Smith says:

      You can see two covered arial ports on the top edge either side of the power button.

  2. Steve says:

    Two of my family wfh with a bank. Their system will not accept a hotspot. Would be handy if it did if my Virgin connection died

  3. Winston Smith says:

    ZTE MU5001U maybe?

    https://www.4gltemall.com/zte-mu5001u.html

    From the photo, it appears to have a USB-C port (maybe power only) and an ethernet socket.

    1. Mark Jackson says:

      Looks like a plausible candidate.

    2. Hungry Dog says:

      USB-C is for power + tethering according to the manual.

      https://ztemobiles.com.au/wp-content/uploads/downloads/manuals/MU500_Help.pdf

  4. JamesBand says:

    Whilst it sounds very good, and the screen is nice versus the old 4G Wif/Mifi devices, and the monthly rental seems about right, the upfront cost seems a little excessive?!

    1. Lucian says:

      With the upfront you can buy yourself a second hand 5g phone off ebay and turn it into a hotshot.

    2. JamesBand says:

      If so, then yes, it’s quite a high upfront cost.

  5. SM says:

    Are these unlocked or locked to Vodafone?

    Is the “unlimited” at a capped speed or the fastest 5G speed available at any given location without any speed capping?

  6. Stewart says:

    I have ordered one of these I originally bought a Samsung 5G Hotspot from Japan for a similar price but it doesn’t work properly so I sent it back will let everyone know how I get on as it arrives December 24th

  7. El Guapo says:

    Doesn’t seem to bad pricewise. But for me, Voda is the slowest of the 5G networks. I’ve tested em all. Voda can’t even be bothered to put a mast around the houses, they put them on the main roads instead ?

  8. Sam Perry says:

    Just a shame 5G on Vodafone is so far and few between…

  9. John says:

    Just to get 3G era speeds.

    1. Buggerlugz says:

      I know what you mean John, the entire 4g and now 5g service is so poorly implemented by the carriers it doesn’t ever deliver what its capable of, because the next speed hoax is always just around the corner.

    2. CJ says:

      Some networks are doing a better job with 5G than others.

      https://www.thinkbroadband.com/speedtest/1640244619351880355

      I can’t comment on Vodafone’s 5G implementation because I’m in east anglia, so there isn’t any. But their 4G is often slower than their 3G.

  10. Zakir says:

    Trying to challenge Three network on there 5G broadband offering.

    Price seems like what Three network offer on there 5G broadband except you have to pay upfront for the mifi on Vodafone unlike Three network

  11. Zakir says:

    On Three network Hong Kong site they have it listed https://web.three.com.hk/handsets/zte/mu500/spec-en.html

    Is it worth it long term its cheaper then what Three network offer I know the upfront cost might deter people away Vodafone could of added the upfront cost within the monthly contract if your not bothered spces that is.

    If you want better 5G router I would go for Three network as they are offering Huawei CPE pro 2 which has access to nearly all the 5G Bands.

  12. Dan says:

    Can confirm these are unlocked. Someone I know ordered one and has used a Three SIM and got 5G

    1. Stewart says:

      Good to know mine was ment to arrive yesterday but has not shown up yet still debating if I want to put it on ID Three Unlimited and give it to a family member as speeds locally has been anything from 500-900mbps which is crazy

    2. Zakir Hussain says:

      Not as good as Huawei CPE pro 2 as mifi’s will have less access to bands

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