Mobile Phone Provider Recommendations

(Dan Mullen) #41

I’m currently paying £14 for 12GB of data, £17 for 30GB and £20 for 100GB. Hoping to get those prices down at renewal time in June.

(Dave Alderton) #42

Also try Instavoice for visual voicemail on IOS. Hullomail was great but they started charging for it.


You say that but three only bothered with volte as they couldn’t meet ofcoms requirements for coverage without it.

Maybe it’s only reaching the places it couldn’t before because of buildings and walls getting in the way but it’s certainly boosted their coverage.


I have an EE and Vodafone contract at the moment,

I would recommend a Vodafone SIM only deal from 60GB for £17.50 after cashback. Includes Spotify premium and Global Roaming Plus - inclusive roaming in 77 countries including the USA. No FUP either. 4G roaming in more countries than any other network.

I used them last year for the 50GB deal. Helps if you have a bank account with cheque imaging in-app though! Just upload the first page of your bill every two months and get sent a cashback cheque.

Renewed at the weekend with Vodafone. 15GB + 100GB, for £22.95 a month, including Spotify I could have got a new contract and PAC’d out and in and saved a few £s, this seemed easier.

(Liam) #45

Because 4G typically used lower frequencies than 3G. Radio waves at lower frequencies travel further and penetrate buildings better, thus increasing coverage, especially in rural areas, with fewer masts than at higher frequencies.

4G with no voice won’t help you with ofcom coverage. 4G with added IP telephony will. Even if most of your customers still have to drop to 3G to make a call.


Definitely going to be unpopular but I like Virgin. Never have a reception issue, speed is more than fast enough and I get 45GB for £18 a month, which rolls over as well.

(Liam) #47

I’ve been with Virgin a couple of times and never really had an issue with them.

They used to be an NVNO on the T-Mobile Network, I presume these days they are able to use the whole BT Mobile network (EE/Orange/T-Mob).

I left them when they still didn’t allow tethering. I am not sure if they’ve updated this policy yet?


Yeah, they MVNO on EE, and whilst they don’t have VoLTE or LTE Advanced, they do have really good value data deals, so it’s swings and roundabouts (a bit like premium banking products I suppose).

I know the policy about tethering was removed recently but they don’t explicitly allow it. Ive been using tethering recently and not been stuck with any extra charges.

(Liam) #49

For those interested, heres a list of the virtual networks and their respective host network.
Could be useful for cheaper packages on the one network that gives a better signal near you.

Brand Host network 2G 3G 4G WiFi Calling
1pMobile EE :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :x:
Airwave Smart Mobile EE :heavy_check_mark: ? ? :x:
Asda Mobile EE :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :x:
Auracall Travel Talk EE :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :x: :x:
Axis Telecom EE :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :x: :x:
BT Mobile EE :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark:
BT Onephone (BTOP) EE :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark:
Call & Give EE :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :x: :x:
CMLink EE :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :x:
CTExcel EE :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :x:
Econet Mobile EE :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :x: :x:
Ecotalk EE :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :x:
ETS Mobile EE :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :x:
HP Mobile Connect EE :x: :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :x:
Meem Mobile EE :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :x:
NordTelekom EE :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :x: :x:
Now PAYG EE :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :x: :x:
Our Telecom EE :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark:
Plusnet Mobile EE :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :x:
Talk Home Mobile EE :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :x:
Telecom Plus EE :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :x:
The Phone Co-op EE :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :x:
Vectone Mobile EE :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :x: :heavy_check_mark:
Virgin Mobile EE :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :x:
White Mobile EE :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :x: :x:
C4C Mobile O2 :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :x: :x:
Champions Mobile O2 :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :x:
CUniq O2 :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :x:
Fonome Mobile O2 :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :x:
giffgaff O2 :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :x:
KC Mobile O2 :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :x:
Lycamobile O2 :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :x:
Sky Mobile O2 :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark:
TalkTalk Mobile O2 :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :x:
Tesco Mobile O2 :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :x:
Torica Mobile O2 :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :x: :x:
Toggle Mobile O2 :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :x: :x:
Truphone O2 :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :x:
365 Mobile O2, Vodafone :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :x:
Anywhere Sim O2, Vodafone, EE, Three Yes[note 3] :heavy_check_mark: Yes[note 4] :x:
Jump O2, Vodafone, EE, Three Yes [note 3] :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :x:
Pebble Mobile Network O2, Vodafone, EE, Three[2] :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :x: :x:
360Coms Telecom Three :x: :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :x:
AfriMobile Three :x: :heavy_check_mark: :x: :x:
AlwaysOnline Wireless[1][note 2] Three :x: :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :x:
Ctrl Mobile Three :x: :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :x:
FreedomPop Three :x: :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark:
Gamma Telecom Three :x: :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :x:
Globalgig[note 2] Three :x: :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :x:
iD Mobile Three :x: :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark:
JOi Telecom Three :x: :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :x:
Rok Mobile Three :x: :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :x:
RWG Mobile Three :x: :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :x:
SMARTY Three :x: :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :x:
Superdrug Mobile Three :x: :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :x:
Telfoni Three :x: :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :x:
The People’s Operator (TPO Mobile) Three :x: :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :x:
Age UK My Phone Vodafone Yes[note 1] :heavy_check_mark: :x: :x:
Lebara Mobile Vodafone :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :x:
Talkmobile Vodafone :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :x:
TalkXtra Mobile Vodafone :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :x:
Vivio Vodafone :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :x:
VOXI Vodafone :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :x:

Source Wikipedia

(Adrian) #50

Three and EE limit access to their 800Mhz frequency to phones that support VoLTE on their network - this means that even though 800Mhz is on a subset of cells, where it is used it is on much higher power meaning that it can cover much more area.

This isn’t really perceptible on EE except in some rural areas, but Three have really gone to town on it to the point where I would say that you shouldn’t use Three unless you have access to VoLTE.

Vodafone & O2 can’t do this because they use theur 800Mhz frequency for LTE on all phones, so they aren’t allowed to have LTE coverage exceed that of their 2G/3G networks as phones that don’t do VoLTE would then be unable to make a call.

(Liam) #51

So Three has actively hobbled their network in some places then? Denying access to LTE on 800MHz to phones that are technically capable of communicating on that frequency, but have not been given specific updates to authorise VoLTE on their specific network?

I was about to say that’s nuts… but it’s actually genius.

If your cell shrinks in coverage zone whenever more people connect to it, you’re going to maintain wider coverage for Ofcom reporting purposes - and all using fewer masts (and less backhaul, electricity and ground rent) than your ‘real’/general access network which you can concentrate on more populous/profitable areas.

(Adrian) #52

I think they probably just looked at the % of devices that wont be able to access VoLTE and decided it was worth the sacrifice and just use 800Mhz for coverage without having to try and make their 2100Mhz 3G coverage match so that all phones can make calls, which has always been a challenge hence Three’s bad reputation for coverage.

LTE doesn’t suffer from cell breathing like 3G either so if you’ve got 4G coverage you will always have it (barring the mast going down/being removed) - it just slows down the more people are connected to it.

(DΛVΞ) #53

I’m currently with O2, as the signal where I live was by far the best at the time I joined. I used to be with Three before that, but left due to poor reception (although it’s probably much improved now, as we are talking several years).

It was quite comical when I left Three though. I called CS, went through the usual rigmarole of getting offered (and rejecting) various deals, and then got told I was extremely ungrateful, as they’d provided me a good service for several years, and I really owed it to them to stay!

I still left, albeit now filled with feelings of guilt and shame :cry:

(Liam) #54

Sounds about right. My cancellations story went like this.

  • Me: Rings to cancel, unless they can give me the ‘one-plan’ that they have withdrawn earlier in year.
  • 3 India: Offered OK deal
  • Me: Nope, I’ll cancel, ta.
  • 3 India: Here’s a better deal.
  • Me: OK I am tempted but can I think about it.
  • 3 India: Sure the deal is good for 24 hours.

Next day

  • Me: I’d like to avail myself of last nights deal, please.
  • 3 India: Certainly [repeats initial OK deal]
  • Me: Nope, I’ll have the good deal that I was assured would be added to my notes.
  • 3 India: There was no other deal
  • Me: You’re wasting my time. I’d like to speak to your supervisor
  • Supervisor: I’ve listened to the call, there was no other deal.
  • Me: Transfer me to your complaints team.


  • Complaints handler: [listens to call] We can offer you a better deal if we can resolve this between us.
  • Me: I’m listening.
  • Complaints: We’ll give you unlimited data, calls and texts plus 6GB tethering allowance. £16 no contract.
  • Me: That’s the ‘one plan’ I told the other guy I wanted, but he said it doesn’t exist anymore.
  • Complaints: We don’t call it that. Would you like me to sign you up?
  • Me: Yes, please.


Sounds about right :+1::joy:

(Dave) #56

Just for fun I had a chat with EE customer services earlier this evening to see if they could improve on my current out of contract monthly SIM only plan. They have a plan on their website that would suit my needs if I could keep the £6 monthly loyalty discount I get. I mostly use WiFi so I don’t need much data.

Here is the transcript of the web chat (with some bits edited for privacy):

  • Me: Hello. I am recently out of my contract and I see you might have a better plan for me on the website if I can retain the £6 monthly loyalty discount I get. Can we look in to that please?
  • Mark: Unfortunately discounts no longer roll over to new contracts but i can have a look and see what we can offer you moving forward

I wait…

  • Mark: in all honesty i would just stay on the plan you are on
  • Me: I had a feeling you might say that :slight_smile:
  • Mark: because your £6 is going to drop off so my advice is to stay put :slight_smile:
  • Me: So do I get to keep the £6 discount as long as I stay on this current plan?
  • Mark: yes that’s right
  • Me: Seems like EE are missing a trick to lock me in for another 12 months :slight_smile:
  • Mark: we can still offer you broadband though

Always looking for an opportunity for a sale. However, at least he was honest right off and I respect that. He didn’t try to sell me a plan I didn’t need either.


Never bother with customer services, you need to speak to the retentions team by requesting a PAC code.

No issue with telling them you’re leaving them and getting a PAC number - if you don’t use it, you just stick on your current deal with your current provider.

Sometimes they won’t be able to offer a better deal, sometimes you get lucky - I’m on a rolling contract with unlimited texts, minutes and data and some worldwide roaming for £10.

(Liam) #58

Good work.

(Dave) #59

Yes, retentions would be my next stop. I use exactly that tactic with Virgin Media and get a loyalty discount every year. It was Virgin Media customer services that told me to specifically ask for retentions or go to the “I’m thinking of leaving…” telephone option. It’s worked every time so far.

(Adrian) #60

My other half is with Plusnet Mobile - they seem to have reliability issues with something - calls & texts have been down at least once per month for the last few months - twice today!

There don’t seem to be any issues with the actual network as EE are fine.