SMARTY’s SIM only offering is a relatively simple one – it doesn’t chop and change its data plans from month to month and there’s no cashback or free gift to factor into the equation. But it’s reasonably-priced and there are a few features that help the provider stand out.
SMARTY doesn’t have its own network, it is what is known as a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO), which means it uses someone else’s. As SMARTY is owned by Three, it’s no surprise that it uses Three’s network to deliver its services.
Three’s voice coverage reaches 85% of the UK’s landmass, according to a December 2020 Ofcom report, while the provider says its 4G network covers 99.8% of the UK population.
The Three network handles 36% of all UK mobile data traffic and makes use of a technology Three calls 4G Super Voice, which uses low frequency signals to eliminate indoor blackspots.
There are certain features that we’ve come to expect as part of a mobile phone or SIM only contract and they are mostly to do with how we use mobile data and whether we can share it. Let’s have a look at SMARTY’s policy on these features.
After the UK left the EU, free unlimited roaming within the European Union became a thing of the past. Despite most UK mobile providers re-introducing caps and/or charges for roaming abroad post-Brexit, SMARTY still offers EU roaming on all of its mobile plans.
SMARTY customers travelling in the EU can use their plan exactly like they can in the UK – data comes out of your monthly allowance, calls and texts (within the EU country you are calling from, and calls back to the UK) are unlimited and there are no hidden charges.
The places where you can use your SMARTY plan like at home are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Comoros & Mayotte, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, French Guiana, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Réunion, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden.
Outside of the EU it’s a bit different. You’ll need to top up your cash balance and then pay as you go. If there’s any money left in your account when you get back, you can knock that off your next bill.
How much it costs to make calls, send texts and use data varies from country to country. The roaming rates you’ll be charged for calls and messages while abroad will depend on which band the country you are travelling in falls into. For example, getting online will cost you 10p per MB in the US, but £1 per MB in Algeria. Have a look on SMARTY’s website to check whether you can use your SMARTY SIM in a particular destination, and if so to see how much it costs.
Wherever you’re going, you will need to make a one-off change to your phone settings in order to use your SMARTY SIM abroad. SMARTY has the details of exactly what to do.
You can make phone calls and send texts to other countries from the UK using your SMARTY phone. But first you’ll need to top-up your cash balance, which you can do by logging in to your SMARTY account. The cost of a phone call varies depending on the country you are phoning.
No, SMARTY doesn’t run credit checks. You pay for everything upfront, so there’s no need for them to know your credit history.
No, with SMARTY you get the data you pay for, it’s as simple as that. Three gives you generous data for heavy data usage, like streaming and social media, and Virgin Mobile offers data-free messaging on WhatsApp, Twitter and Facebook.
No, SMARTY only offers SIM only deals.
As SMARTY is owned by Three, it’s no surprise that it uses Three’s network to deliver its services.