ASDA Mobile review 2021
By Aaron Howdle | Monday, April 26th 2021
ASDA Mobile has carved out a niche for itself as an affordable, no-frills provider, but will its range of SIM-only bundles have you slapping your back pocket in delight?
ASDA Mobile was founded in 2007, as a subsidiary of ASDA, who are in turn owned by the US supermarket giant Walmart. ASDA Mobile is one of over 100 MVNOs operating in the UK today. MVNO's (Mobile Virtual Network Operators) don't operate their own mobile network, but rather get their network coverage from one of the large providers, in this case EE. So what does ASDA Mobile have to offer and is it worth a punt?
Tariffs & plans
ASDA Mobile doesn't deal in monthly contracts, so you won't find the latest iPhone, or a 24-month contract here. Instead, it focuses on straightforward SIM-only bundles and classic Pay-As-You-Go deals. Customers order a free SIM, then buy a bundle of minutes, texts and data according to their needs, or simply top up the SIM and then pay for the minutes, texts and data used.
ASDA Mobile bundles are divided into two types: Standard bundles and Unlimited data bundles. All the bundles come with unlimited calls and texts. The Standard bundles offer six data allowances ranging from 1GB to 50GB, with the four largest allowances coming 5G ready. The Unlimited Data bundles are exactly that – three Unlimited data bundles that are priced according to download speed. Choose from 2Mbps, 10Mbps or 150Mbps. All Unlimited data bundles come 5G ready.
Customers looking for a more contract-like experience can set up a recurring monthly payment for their bundles. All ASDA Mobile SIMs are on rolling one-month contracts, so customers can leave, or change their bundle at will.
ASDA Mobile also offers traditional Pay-As-You-Go. Customers can order a free SIM and then top it up when necessary. Calls are charged at 4p per minute, texts 4p each and data costs 4p per MB.
Top-ups can be bought over the phone, by text, by using a top-up card or in-store at ASDA supermarkets. If you want to top-up via phone or text message, you will need to register a credit or debit card by phone first.
Phone & device range
ASDA Mobile doesn't offer contracts with handsets, and you won't find any phones on its website. However, ASDA sells a limited range of mobile phones though its main website and in store. You won't find the latest phones here, and the range on offer is very limited, serving the needs of customers on a budget. Available phones include smartphones Nokia 2.4, Nokia 5.4, and Oppo A15, or the Nokia 105 for those seeking a very basic handset. You have to pay for the phones outright – there is no option for a repayment scheme.
Back in 2013, ASDA Mobile had some well-publicised hiccups when a change of networks from Vodafone to EE created problems for some customers. Happily, these woes seem consigned to the past.
The industry regulator Ofcom doesn't have specific figures on customer satisfaction for ASDA Mobile, but EE is rated 93% for overall customer satisfaction by Ofcom. However this figure doesn't include information on how complaints are handled by ASDA Mobile. It's also worth noting that at the time of writing, ASDA Mobile has 2.4 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot, which is pretty good considering people are much more likely to leave a review after a bad experience. For the sake of comparison, EE only manages 2 stars and O2 just 1.5.
ASDA Mobile offers a live chat service which is available from 8am-7.45pm Monday to Friday, 9am-5.45pm on Saturdays and 10am-4.45pm on Sundays and bank holidays. Alternatively you can call on 0808 006 2732, or 2732 from your ASDA Mobile handset, or you can get in touch via Twitter or Facebook. The FAQ section of the ASDA Mobile website also answers a lot of common questions.
Value for money
In line with ASDA's image, ASDA Mobile positions itself as a value provider. The theory goes that by letting network partner EE handle the infrastructure, ASDA Mobile can concentrate on offering great-value bundles to its customers. In practice, it does offer cheap deals, but you don't always get as much for your money compared to some of its competitors, particularly those with a similar business model.
ASDA Mobile’s small data allowances are much in line with those of its competitors when it comes to price. In terms of its Unlimited bundles, it is one of the first providers (along with Vodafone) to offer unlimited data at different price points according to the download speed – up to 150Mbps with its most expensive bundle, which is faster than the majority of home broadband connections. As a result, ASDA’s unlimited data bundles offer very good value for money.
It's always important to check local coverage at your postcode, especially if you live in a rural or remote area. ASDA Mobile has a coverage checker on its website. It's also worth bearing in mind that while coverage may be generally good in your area, mobile signals can be blocked by tall buildings or the structure of your home. If you want to be certain, it may be a good idea to invite a friend with ASDA Mobile or EE to your home, to check they get a good signal. This advice applies to all mobile providers.
ASDA Mobile has set out its stall as a value-for-money provider and it does offer some very good bundles at reasonable prices, all of which come with unlimited texts and minutes as standard. With no long contracts to tie you down, 5G included with all bigger data bundles, and a choice of download speeds available with the unlimited data plans, ASDA Mobile bundles good value with flexibility into its offering.
ASDA Mobile does not cater for customers wanting the latest iPhone or Samsung, but if you are looking for a well-priced and flexible SIM-only deal, ASDA offers an all-round impressive mobile solution that’s worth serious consideration.