Who is the best mobile network?

Confused man

Looking for a new mobile network, but not sure who to choose? Below, we compare Britain’s biggest and best phone networks for coverage, offers, price and customer service to find out which is best. Here’s how they fared…

No one should have to pull their hair out when switching mobile networks. But, with coverage, price, choice of handsets, decent customer service plus a long list of other things to consider, the whole process can easily get overwhelming.

Fortunately, here at Compare My Mobile, we’ve done all the homework so you don’t have to. Before we get into which providers are best, though, here is a snippet of what each has to offer:

O2

With O2, you get a huge selection of deals, plus all the latest Samsung, Apple and Huawei handsets to choose from.
Moreover, it boasts some delightfully low-priced pay as you go SIM tariffs too.

That said, our favorite thing about O2 are the perks. Indeed, O2’s Priority App gets customers access to a shed load of freebies, including gig tickets before anyone else. This gets a big thumbs up from us.

Find out more about 02 in our full O2 Mobile review.

Provider Data Amount Contract Length Monthly Costs
O2 sim only 9GB data 12 months £19.00 p/m
O2 sim only 25GB data 12 months £28.00 p/m
O2 sim only 50GB data 12 months £45.00 p/m
  • O2 sim only
    4G
    • 9GB of 4G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • £19.00 per month
    12 month contract From O2
  • O2 sim only
    4G
    • 25GB of 4G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • £28.00 per month
    12 month contract From O2
  • O2 sim only
    4G
    • 50GB of 4G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • £45.00 per month
    12 month contract From O2

Three

Yes, Three has plenty of choice when it comes to the latest handsets, as well as a decent selection of cheap SIM only plans to boot. But its real selling point is data.

You see, it’s the only network in the UK that offers truly unlimited data. No ifs, buts or hidden small print. Three’s data is well and truly unlimited.

This, and the fact that its big data plans are reasonably priced compared to other networks, and its 4G network covers a round 99.8% of the UK, makes Three a great choice for compulsive streamers, and those who watch Netflix on their daily commute.

Find out more about in our full Three review.

  • Three sim only
    4G
    • 8GB of 4G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • £10.00 per month
    12 month contract From Three Mobile
  • Three sim only
    4G
    • 12GB of 4G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • £12.00 per month
    12 month contract From Three Mobile
  • Three sim only
    4G
    • Unlimited 4G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • £21.00 per month
    12 month contract From Three Mobile

BT

After acquiring EE back in 2015, BT has become a juggernaut in the mobile market. And when you look at its SIM-only and handset contracts, its not hard to see why.

For starters, its got a plethora of SIM only and pay monthly plans to suit every kind of user. But there is a catch. To get its cheapest deals, you have to be a broadband customer. So if you’re already signed up, BT are well worth a look.

Also, because it uses EE’s infrastructure, its 4G coverage reaches around 99% or Britain.

Find out more about in our full BT Mobile review.

  • BT Mobile sim only
    4G
    • 15GB of 4G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • £25 BT Gift Card
    • £15.00 per month
    12 month contract From BT Mobile
  • BT Mobile sim only
    4G
    • 20GB of 4G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • £35 BT Reward Card
    • £20.00 per month
    12 month contract From BT Mobile
  • BT Mobile sim only
    4G
    • 100GB of 4G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • £45 BT Gift Card
    • £30.00 per month
    12 month contract From BT Mobile

EE

Aside from being the largest mobile provider in the UK, EE also offers a plethora of contract, SIM only and pay-as-you-go tariffs at decent price points.

Its two main types of plans are Essential and Smart. With Essential, you get unlimited data, minutes and texts, plus 4G speeds of up to a whopping 60Mbps. Smart, on the other hand, consists of all of the above, but allows you to choose up to three swappable benefits from month to month.

These include the BT Sport app, zero-data passes for music and video streaming and the option to extend the number of locations where you can use your UK allowances for no extra charge.

All customers on all plans also get the BT Sport app for the first three months, as well as free streaming on Apple Music for six months too. We don’t think that’s too shabby, actually.

Unsurprisingly, you will pay more for EE’s network. But with the extras included and the plans on offer, we can’t grumble too much.

Find out more in our full EE review

Vodafone

If it’s tons of choice you’re after, Vodafone is well worth a look.
Indeed, you’ll get to choose from all the latest mid-range and brand-new handsets with Vodafone, including high-end Samsung and Apple phones, right through to the best mid-range Android handsets.

Moreover, its cheapest SIM-only deal costs a shade over £10 per month - which is decent value when compared to other well-known providers.

In short, although Vodafone isn’t the cheapest option, it does offer the most choice, plus unlimited calls and texts on its Vodafone Red plans.

Find out more in our full Vodafone review

Plusnet Mobile

Owned by BT, Plusnet is the one-stop shop for cheap SIM only deals.

Its SIM deals are offered on a 12-month or 30-day contract. Prices are cheap, too – starting at around £5. Plus, you also have the option to add bundles of extra minutes, texts and data when you run short.

And to make sure you don’t overpay, Plusnet also let you apply a Smart Cap each month to ensure you don’t go over your allowance. Lastly, you’ll even get access to the company’s award-winning customer service to boot.

Find out more in our full Plusnet review.

  • Plusnet Mobile sim only
    4G
    • 9GB of 4G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • Roam like at home
    • £12.50 per month
    12 month contract From Plusnet Mobile

Asda Mobile

As a Virtual Mobile Operator, Asda Mobile doesn’t own its own network – it piggybacks off EE’s.

This means that it will have excellent coverage across the UK. Brilliantly, it also offers loads of pay as you go bundles, ranging from only £5 for a few hundred minutes, to over £20 for unlimited minutes, texts and around 15GB of data. No matter which way you look at it, its great value for money.

In short, what Asda Mobile lacks in choice, it more than makes up for with value.

Find out more in full Asda Mobile review.

VOXI Mobile

Launched by Vodafone in 2017, VOXI is a separate network to the mobile giant, aimed at the younger generation.

How do you target a mobile network to the younger generation? Well, VOXI doesn’t offer handset contracts – only 30-day rolling plans. Its biggest selling point, though, is that customers can use social media apps, including Twitter and Instagram, as much as they like without eating into their data allowance.

Plus, unlimited calls and texts are included too.

Find out more in full VOXI Mobile review.

  • VOXI sim only
    4G
    • 6GB of 4G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • Unlimited social data
    • £10.00 per month
    1 month contract From VOXI
  • VOXI sim only
    4G
    • 15GB of 4G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • Unlimited social data
    • £15.00 per month
    1 month contract From VOXI
  • VOXI sim only
    4G
    • 45GB of 4G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • Unlimited social data
    • £20.00 per month
    1 month contract From VOXI

Sky Mobile

Piggybacking O2’s infrastructure, Sky Mobile entered the mobile space back in 2017.

Interestingly, you get a choice of four data allowances: 1GB, 4GB. 8GB, 20GB and 40GB. And, as you’d expect, there is some great options available for Sky TV customers who want to take out a mobile contract – like unlimited streaming.

There’s also loads of choice, including all the latest handsets.

Problem is, its not the cheapest – but it does have a lot to offer.

Find out more in out full Sky Mobile review.

  • Sky Mobile sim only
    4G
    • 1GB of 4G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • Unlimited streaming for Sky TV customers
    • £6.00 per month
    12 month contract From Sky Mobile
  • Sky Mobile sim only
    4G
    • 10GB of 4G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • Unlimited streaming for Sky TV customers
    • £10.00 per month
    12 month contract From Sky Mobile
  • Sky Mobile sim only
    4G
    • 15GB of 4G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • Unlimited streaming for Sky TV customers
    • £18.00 per month
    12 month contract From Sky Mobile

giffgaff

giffgaff might not come with the same bells and whistles as other networks, but it does offer a decent amount of brilliantly low-cost 30-day ‘goodybags’ which start at around £5 per month.

Alongside these goody bags, you can also buy handsets outright, as well as pay-monthly plans.

Downside is, giffgaff don’t have a customer service team you can call up – all queries are answered in the community forum, or by an online chat advisor.

That said, the price is truly brilliant. If you’re looking for good value, you won’t get much better than giffgaff.

To find out more read our full giffgaff review.

iD Mobile

Owned by Carphone Warehouse, iD Mobile is a low-cost mobile provider that offers plenty of 30-day contract options.

In short, you won’t get the same freebies as you might with other networks, but you will get much cheaper deals to choose from.

Find out more in our full iD Mobile review.

  • ID sim only
    4G
    • Exclusive
    • 9GB of 4G data
    • 500 minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • Free Data Rollover
    • £11.00 per month
    1 month contract From iD Mobile
  • ID sim only
    4G
    • 20GB of 4G data
    • Unlimited minutes
    • Unlimited texts
    • Free Data Rollover
    • £20.00 per month
    1 month contract From iD Mobile

Virgin Mobile

Although it doesn’t have the widest selection of handsets, Virgin Mobile does offer all the usual suspects.

Plus, you can get them on regular contracts or Freestyle early-upgrade contracts, which separateyour bill into the cost of the phone and the tariff.

Find out more in our Virgin Mobile review.

SMARTY Mobile

True to its promise of simplicity, SMARTY offer just five 30-day sim only plans – x small, small, medium, large and unlimited.

Another great perk with Smart Mobile is that if you don’t use all your data in a month, it’ll discount next month’s plans. Plus, because it uses Three’s network, around 99% of the population will be able to access its fast 4G.

Find out more in our Smarty Mobile review.

Tesco Mobile

Like its well stocked fruit and veg selection, Tesco Mobile offer a fair amount of contracts and a good choice of the latest handsets.

It’s above-average for SIM-only plans too, which include 12-month deals, 30-day rolling contracts and 12-month plans.

Find out more in out Tesco Mobile review.

  • Tesco Mobile sim only
    4G
    • 10GB of 4G data
    • 5000 minutes
    • 5000 texts
    • £13.50 per month
    12 month contract From Tesco Mobile
  • Tesco Mobile sim only
    4G
    • 50GB of 4G data
    • 5000 minutes
    • 5000 texts
    • £35.00 per month
    12 month contract From Tesco Mobile

Who offers the best mobile coverage?

As it stands, EE offers the best mobile coverage in the UK. But we don’t recommend you choose a network based on coverage alone.

Once you know which network is available in your area, start comparing the best deals via one of deals tables. You can filter for things like data, minutes and price.

Which network has the best deals?

As you can see, each mobile network offers a range of deals for different created for different users. And which one you choose depends on what you’re looking for.

If you want the latest handset, Vodafone has a dazzlingly huge selection to choose from.
But if it’s value you’re after, both giffgaff and Plusnet’s SIM only plans are delightfully low price, plus its customer service is second to none.

And for coverage, you won’t get much better than EE. While O2 offers the most perks and freebies.

In short, have a think about what it is you’re looking for before you sign on any dotted lines. If you still need help choosing a network, you can find more information via guides on our site.

Alternatively, if you’d like to compare right away, click on the button below.