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Which is the best UK mobile network provider?

By Luke Thompson
Monday, February 26th 2018

There are dozens of mobile networks in the UK. But all that choice can make it difficult to make a decision. We’ve cut through the technical jargon and hype to bring you the best mobile network for this month.

We take a fresh look at our top choice every month to keep you updated on which network is the best. Along with the number one mobile network, we also list the best of the rest so you can compare the competition.

The best UK mobile network in March 2018 is Asda Mobile

All of Asda's plans run on EE's 4G network, ensuring excellent speeds and coverage. You also get unlimited texts and 800 minutes thrown in for good measure. On top of all that, this deal is on a rolling 30 day contract - ideal if you're not looking to make a commitment just yet.

Data 3GB
Minutes 800
Texts Unlimited
Contract 30 days
Price £12
Get Asda Mobile
Asda Mobile
30 days

Which other mobile networks should I consider?

Of the remaining UK networks, we recommend you consider signing up to BT Mobile, iD Mobile or Three. Here's a quick look at their offerings, followed below by why we favour these three in particular.

Data 500MB to 15GB 500MB to 6GB 500MB to unlimited
Minutes Unlimited 250 to 2000 200 to unlimited
Texts Unlimited 5000 Unlimited
Contract 12 months One month One to 12 months
Price From £5 From £4 From £5
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BT Mobile
500MB to 15GB
12 months
From £5 (for BT broadband customers)
500MB to 6GB
250 to 2000
One month
From £4
500MB to unlimited
200 to unlimited
One to 12 months
From £5

BT Mobile offers a free SIM to all new customers

BT Mobile comes with free access to millions of wi-fi hotspots – allowing you to browse the internet in most locations without using your data allowance. Plus, existing BT customers get a £5 monthly discount as standard. BT Mobile runs on the EE network, which has the best 4G coverage in the UK.

iD offers data rollover on all its plans

iD offers eight SIM-only plans, and is one of the cheapest mobile providers on the market. All its plans come on 30-day contracts, with data rollover and capping options to make sure you don't overspend.

Three offers unlimited data SIM plans

Three offers a range of SIM-only plans and is one of the only networks to offer unlimited data – ideal for those who stream content in HD. Three also offers free streaming with Netflix - meaning you won't eat into your data allowance when catching up on your favourite box sets.

Which UK mobile network provider has the best coverage?

EE currently claims to offer the best overall mobile coverage in the UK, however, Three, O2 and Vodafone follow very closely behind. All the networks now cover almost 100% of the population.

Visit EE

Customers rate O2 and Vodafone as having best coverage

Interestingly, in Ofcom's latest research on customer satisfaction with signal coverage, O2 and Vodafone both ranked highest with 86%, closely followed by EE, with 85%, and Three at 80%.

Always check the coverage maps before choosing a mobile phone network

Even though the coverage figures are impressive, they do not guarantee that you will get a decent 3G or 4G mobile signal where you live. To find out the coverage situation of a specific provider where you live, you'll need to use one of their coverage maps.

Which UK mobile network has the most customer complaints?

Vodafone generated the most complaints throughout 2016, with an average of 92 per every 100,000 subscribers – way above the average of just 35. Tesco Mobile, which runs on the O2 network, genrated the fewest complaints, with an average of just 3 per every 100,000.

Which mobile provider is best for network-to-network calls?

With so many minutes now included in most bundles, free network-to-network calls are not much of a selling point any more. If you are lookimg for this as a perk, however, both Giffgaff and Virgin Mobile offer it.

We would recommend Giffgaff, however, because of its focus on community. Its members are known as ‘giffgaffers’ and many are active members of the provider’s online forum, which offers assistance to new users. All giffgaff pay monthly plans benefit from free giffgaff-to-giffgaff calls to further enhance this community.

Data 100MB to unlimited
Minutes 150 to unlimited
Texts 500 to unlimited
Contract 30-day rolling
Price From £5 per month
Visit giffgaff
100MB to unlimited
150 to unlimited
500 to unlimited
30-day rolling
From £5 per month

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