Mobile Phone Provider Recommendations

(Derpa Derp) #61

I used to be with Three sim only and paid £12pm for 12Gb if data

No 4G roaming and their 4G service was awful, would always say I had signal but never did and could never connect in some spots. Fastest speed I think ever had was like 4Mbps.

Recently moved to EE sim only pay £20 for 25Gb and get 6 months Apple Music and 3 Months BT Sport, fasted I have had is 130Mbps


I used to be plusnet mobile for quite a while. Never had a problem with the network (in fact 4g was generally superior to three), but got really stung by their lack of support for texting to short numbers. They seem to be the only mobile network that don’t allow texting short numbers.

So, if you get spam and want to text ‘stop’ to 12345 - tough, you can’t.

But it got even worse for me, when one day Barclays fraud system swung into action for me after initiating a transfer in online banking: got a text saying “if this was you please send ‘YES’ to 12345”. since I couldn’t do that my account was frozen for a week until I managed to go to branch with my passport.

So, long story short: I would not recommend plusnet mobile at all, because sometimes you might really need to text a short number …

(Liam) #63

Huh, didn’t realise there were any networks that dont allow shortcodes.

Pretty dumb really as they’re owned by the company that owns EE.


Their official reason is that shortcodes can be expensive to send to. But as you said: pretty dumb…

(Liam) #65

You’re right. It is dumb.

By that logic they shouldn’t allow ‘phone numbers’ because some are premium rate.

(Ashley Quint) #66

I have been with O2 for the last 10 years, and for my mobile I have to say they have been very good. Vodaphone built a mast on land they don’t own where I work, and the land owner kept cutting the line - so I had no signal at work, and had to walk a mile away to make or receive a phone call!

The strange situation I have is a sim for my iPad. While a mobile sim you can use your data in Europe, you can’t on a data sim - and they won’t let me switch to a mobile sim for my ipad… Useless


I get EE data SIMs from ebay which work in Europe, maybe worth investigating.

(Don't Bullshirt Me, I know what the Fork is going on here!) #68

I put a regular sim in my iPad. Although I can’t use the texts and calls i find data bundles are cheaper on the mobile sim only deals

(Kris ) #69

In the same boat in that I’m looking for a new provider myself.

Three were top notch for me back when I was in Scottish land but their coverage in and around London is just atrocious and data speeds really dam slow on both 3G and 4G. I can only assume that their networks are completely saturated, so far the only saving grace has been the WiFi at my workplace - which is a data centre so is super connected.

I just can’t handle the speeds/coverage on my commute anymore so will be watching this thread with great interest.

(Derpa Derp) #70

Which is why I left Three, I am now on EE sim only and it’s so much better.

They still have the same deal I am on £20 for 20GB

(Liam) #71

I’m not speaking from experience here, but in theory EE’s signal should be about as good as it gets.

EE/BT have the contract to be the replacement for the emergency services radio system.

The new system is effectively just a cell phone network, co located at their existing EE sites.

You kind of need to fill those ‘not spots’ when you’re the backbone for emergency communication!


In E14, London I get these inside my flat…

Vodafone 170meg
EE. 5meg.

EE is almost unusable round Canary wharf.

(Liam) #73

Huh, lets hope the Met and the LFB haven’t chucked out their old radios yet then!


You also have to remember the phone also makes a big difference, I can get a signal in places that some people can’t on the same network.

I’ve had many discussions over the years about how that is not true, all you need to do is get a few people on the same network with a low signal problem and see who gets 1 2 3 4 bars etc.

I’m on three have no problems in London.

(Kris ) #75

The device can make a difference for sure, but I’ve had at least three devices since moving to London and they’ve all exhibited the same problem so it’s time to chuck three and move on.

EDIT: four devices, I had three home-fi broadband when I moved here and it was just as bad as the mobile devices I’d tried.

(Derpa Derp) #76

I have an iPhone 8, in Oxford Circus on Three it showed 4G and full service. Could I get a data connection, could I fu**.

(Kris ) #77

Yeah, I know the pain! I go through some total dead spots too, no calls, texts or data. These aren’t out of the way either, this is in and around London!


When I visited Manchester recently and was in the city centre it did seem noticably slow.

Where I live I can get about 5mb but where I work around 70mb which is better than Vodafone and ee.

(Liam) #79

Got to be said I rarely have issues with Three where I need to use it.
My building’s not great, but I’m happy with the 4G signal that seems to collect around my desk.

I think my advice to anybody looking for a new network would be to take a five pound note* down to their local home bargains or pound shop and buy a cheapy SIM for Vodafone, EE, O2 and Three.

Work out which one has the tariff that you’d prefer to sign up to and then try the corresponding SIM at home and work. If you take pubic transport, try it there too.

Now compare it against the others.

Work out if your best value contract is still good value when you compare against coverage.

*contactless card of your choice, if you prefer.

(James Cocker) #80

Or order them on their websites for free. :grin:

I got a free Three SIM the other day and signal does appear to be a little better than EE at home, but not by much. Got a free O2 SIM on the way next.

Also, rather than using the 4 signal bars which aren’t very precise, I’ve been comparing the signal strength in dB using the phone’s “Field Test Mode”. Top tip!