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Vodafone UK to Donate 75,000 Free Mobile Data SIMs for Wimbledon

Monday, Jul 1st, 2024 (11:38 am) - Score 3,040
vodafone uk sim holder

Mobile network operator Vodafone has today announced that they will donate “up to” 75,000 free mobile data (broadband) and calling SIMs, as part of this year’s Wimbledon Championships (tennis), to help both digitally excluded people and sports clubs to cross the digital divide.

The reason why the figure is being expressed as “up to” is because the number of mobile SIMs that Vodafone chooses to donate will, for some reason of marketing, be based on the fastest serves recorded by IBM during Wimbledon. This will be done by multiplying the final MPH (Miles Per Hour) number by 14 – the number of days the event runs.

Based on the fastest serves recorded by IBM during last year’s Wimbledon, this could mean 71,148 donations provided to people, businesses, and communities without access to digital connectivity. On the other hand, they could have just skipped the gimmicks and handed out 75,000 SIMs. But perhaps that was just a bit too easy for Vodafone’s marketing department.


The initiative comes as research by Vodafone claims that 43% of Brits admit they’d find it difficult to identify opportunities to get involved in sports without digital connectivity, while 33% would struggle to do so for their children. Furthermore, 31% say they use digital connectivity to find out information about local sports clubs, book themselves into classes or sessions (27%) and to get hold of required kit and equipment (18%).

Over a quarter (26%) rely on the internet to connect with other people, such as other parents, who are involved in local sports clubs, while 12% use it to book their children into sports classes. In fact, 63% of new sports club sign-ups – for adults and parents doing so for their children – are all done online.

Nicki Lyons, Chief Corporate Affairs and Sustainability Officer at Vodafone UK, said:

“As the Official Connectivity Partner to The Championships, we recognise that the digital divide extends to the world of sport. Many individuals, communities and businesses lack the necessary connectivity to fully participate in and enjoy sports activities. This divide poses a barrier to accessing training resources, engaging with sports communities, and even promoting local clubs effectively.

Our everyone.connected initiative is designed to help address these challenges. By providing essential digital resources and support, we aim to empower sports enthusiasts and the organisers of grassroots clubs and businesses – who are often volunteers – to ensure that more people in sport can benefit from the opportunities that connectivity brings.”

The Connect Better challenge is part of Vodafone’s everyone.connected programme, which ultimately aims to help 4 million people and businesses to cross the digital divide by the end of 2025 (they’ve already distributed over 2.2m SIMs). The SIMs they supply typically come with 40GB of mobile broadband data every month, as well as unlimited texts and calls. But the free period only lasts for 6 months.

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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 X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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11 Responses
  1. Avatar photo insertfloppydiskhere says:

    Think it’s worth mentioning they gave out free 50GB for 7 days eSIMs at Glastonbury too.

  2. Avatar photo ramzez says:

    I would rather see them fixing their network then donating sims nobody can use

    1. Avatar photo insertfloppydiskhere says:

      Depends on area. Been able to try Three recently using an eSIM that the wonderful Raj gave me on the forums, and it is just not consistent at all, just seems unreliable.

      Vodafone has a lot of 5G deployed and it shows when I can get 60mbps at minimum on 5G throughout the city.

      EE has some issues with signal and O2 isn’t worth talking about.

  3. Avatar photo Ben says:

    It’s a shame how quickly these SIMs end up on eBay…

  4. Avatar photo Name says:

    So for every 6 months each sim end up in the bin and is being replaced by new one. Vodafone can report constantly growing customer database and people in need are happy.

  5. Avatar photo james smith says:

    If people can afford to go to wimbledon then there is no reason for them to be digitally excluded. Don’t go to wimbledon, watch at home, with the saveings pay for your own internet access

    1. Avatar photo 125us says:


      You understand that they’re not for the people going to Wimbledon?

  6. Avatar photo RightSaidFred says:

    Can we get a better explanation on the numbers please?

    71000 / 14 = approx 500

    Are they saying that the fastest serve is 500mph?

    For reference, Coco Gauff hit a serve yesterday at 124mph, which was 3mph higher than the fastest serve in last year’s tournament for the women.

    Even if you add the fastest serve from the men’s tournament to that, you still won’t even get to 300mph total.

    1. Mark-Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      So this is what they said:

      Source: Statista

      Fastest Men’s Serve 2023: 141 mph

      Fastest Women’s Serve 2023: 121 mph

      Wheelchair tennis fastest serve 2023 – ​​T. Oda at 101 mph

      141 x 14 = 1,974 x 14 = 27,636

      121 x 14 = 1,694 x 14 = 23,716

      101 x 14 = 1,414 x 14 = 19,796

      = 71,148

  7. Avatar photo Tech2 says:

    can afford to give out all these free SIM’s but yet can’t afford to retain their UK staff (unless hierarchy)

  8. Avatar photo Julia says:

    Be careful here guys You could end up being conned! Keep your original sim card as long as it’s not with voaphone!

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